I want to write something today but I’m not sure how or even what. It’s been a long time since I tried turning thought into entity, perfectionism and performance anxiety are getting in the way and I’m scared of saying the wrong thing or things that are insignificant so I say nothing at all. It’s a circumstance that has been stagnating for weeks, gradually building up so that at first I was not even all that aware of it; awareness only setting in once the damage was constant, a permanent switch. But if I am honest, and I try to be whenever I can, it’s been even longer than that: months.
When I look back on the past year, scrutinising and evaluating my achievements, what I have and have not done, it becomes obvious to me: there are many blanks. Two years ago, and for many years before that, I wrote and wrote. Nothing could stop me – not travelling or season or circumstance or environment, not sickness or health. And then there was the big that we shall call the ‘Big Bang’, the thing that changed everything, and since then the parts of my brain that created simply don’t work. I might get a poem or a piece of prose from time to time, but mostly it’s just non-fictional writing: analysis, exploration, education; nothing to write home about. I hate that: it’s like someone reached in when I was absent and hacked off a limb, rendering my writing arm useless, stealing pieces of my brain, removing the most authentic and valuable parts of me. I feel deprived, deceived, disillusioned and desperate. Disappointed too. And I don’t understand why.
Do I no longer have something significant to say?
Have I lost the ability to step into and walk through alternate worlds?
Am I no longer an ‘innocent’ or ‘good enough’ to be granted gifts?
And where do these thoughts come from, these doubts, these questions about my worth and my integrity?
I have always believed it is that inner naïve part, the small child that never grew up, that inspires me: for only she still has access to those other land- and timescapes, those other worlds. And while I might still wholeheartedly believe in them and indeed visit them very often in my dreams, I no longer know how to put what I see into words: the letters that complimented the pictures have gone.
I think, if I’m honest, it has a lot to do with this.
Writing is all about ownership – fessing up, revealing and holding fast
to core truths.
And I am avoiding doing this. There are things I want to say, things I need to clear, baggage I am tired of dragging because I have been dragging it for many years, that need to be aired. Only I am scared of sharing what is most personal to me and what might, if I let it, cause a storm, cutting me off and alienating me from more than I had accounted for or am prepared to lose. So I sit and stare and attempt to write and what is hidden behind remains concealed.
Do other people have this problem or is it just me?
And when relating to those that do: how long does it last?
I am impatient and eager for it to pass. I want to move on and beyond it. I want my limb back, even if it is now maimed and disfigured and not at all the same as it once was. I don’t care. I accept. I can’t continue without it. And there are so many other parts that no longer work. Or work, but differently, in a way that is visible and seen, that tells me there is a bone here, an organ there, a ligament, a muscle, etc. Their presence, their being there, is externally heard and felt. And there is pain. I am carrying a crucifix. If I can bear all of this, then surely I can bear that.
So before I conclude, I guess I will just add this, sending it out to whoever is listening, whoever relates or cares, whoever might have the power within their hands and with their prayers to change my reality.
I have had enough. I am ready to continue, moving forwards towards a ‘something’ instead of stagnating beside a ‘not at all’. Healing is going to take time, and perhaps I never will: some do, some don’t. I am learning to accept this. Take off the brakes. Release the wheels. Let me be. Trust me to choose and decide. So what if I crash, so what if I fall off and scratch things I would rather keep unscathed, so what if the direction I choose isn’t the one you had planned: I’m okay with that. After all, I’ve been choosing the wrong direction just fine up until now and I’m alive, I’m standing.
And if you cannot trust me or don’t deem it wise… Guide me and lead me instead. I am good at taking orders and following lists. What I’m not good at is staying still. There is a restlessness that won’t vacate, a voice that won’t silence, pain that longs for me to lie flat, and it is dominating my life.
Please forgive me. I am human. I have fouled up. I have made a mess completely and I have sinned.
Grant me your forgiveness and a clean slate. Make me like a babe again and this time I will devote my life to service in your name.
I will not let you down. I will not disappoint. I will take your light and shine it brightly throughout the world.
All I want for Christmas is a new beginning and absolution from what came before, confirming by its very existence the existence of a higher power and the possibility of salvation. I have to believe that there is something greater, that life is about more than this, that what has happened and come before will not break and prohibit what ought, by rights, come now.
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Rebecca Atherton is an integrative therapist. She offers transpersonal counselling and psychotherapy mixed with energy and alternative healing. To find out more about her and the work she does, visit lemonrosepetals.
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