Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Where Am I?


When I was working as a chaplain, my fellow students and I would meet with our supervisor once a week for what we called IPR (Interpersonal Relationships). We grew accustomed to our supervisor coming in late, taking a seat, then asking each of us the same question, "Where are you?" Of course he wasn't asking where we were physically. That was obvious. He was asking were we were emotionally. He was asking where we were in relationship to ourselves, each other, the world and our job, which could be both emotionally and physically taxing. When he asked that question, a question we all quickly learned to ask each other and ourselves, he was asking us to look inside.

So where am I this week? I'm in a very unusual place. I'm not even certain how to describe it. Although on the outside everything looks fine, inside I'm not so confident. Nothing appears to be wrong and yet all week I have felt raw and vulnerable. I have felt the need to nurse and care for some kind of invisible wounds. Perhaps the best description of how I've been feeling is to say I am experiencing what feels like the emotional equivalent to the first few days and weeks after Britton's birth. Because of the c-section every step I took was slow, careful, deliberate. Sudden movements sent waves of pain through my body. Sneezing required I brace my belly as firmly as possible. Laughing was a nightmare. Because my wounds were healing, I had to be very, very gentle with myself. No unnecessary activity. No over exertion. No heavy lifting.

The past few days I have felt that same vulnerability. Something is going on emotionally that I have yet to define or name. I just sense the same need to function at a slower and much more deliberate and conscious pace. Then I cradled my body because it was fragile and held together by a few staples. The past few days I have felt the same desire to be very protective of myself. I have needed solitude. I have longed for the comfort of darkness. I have wanted to stay in bed and crawl inside myself. I'm not saying this is a bad thing. I don't think it's bad at all. I think there is something my soul is trying to work out. It's just a very different place than I'm used to. So I'm waiting. Waiting to see what comes of this. Waiting to see what is birthed in the darkness. Waiting to see what direction my spirit is getting ready to lead me. Waiting to see if I will trust and follow.

So that's where I am. Where are you?

22 Comments:

Anonymous beansprout said...

This is great. I love the question and your description of where you are. Being gentle with yourself, having the patience to wait to see what your soul needs seems exactly right. It is necessary to move slowly sometimes (I lesson I could definitely apply!) And me? I am feeling focused and determined to create the life I want for myself. I'm feeling unstoppable. Thanks for asking. Continue to be tender with yourself. Sending sweet blessings your way.

8:25 PM  
Blogger Colorsonmymind said...

I am right next to you, in the same place- feeling vulnerable and not exactly sure why.


Where did you get the t shirt in your last post. I really would love to have one.

8:41 PM  
Blogger Swirly said...

That is wonderful that you are willing to see where this takes you. Most of the time I enjoy those strange moments of tension, discomfort...that slight unsettledness. Notice I say most of the time, as in not all of the time!

Where am I? I'm in a similar place as you, but I know exactly where it is coming from, and honestly it is a total drag. But it is what it is and I am trying to just plow through it and take care of myself.

10:27 PM  
Blogger telfair said...

As always, I enjoy hearing about your journey...and I'm looking forward to reading where this watchful, caretaking, waiting period takes you. Because I think these times always come for a good reason, even if we don't quite know what that reason is right away.
Keep trusting your instincts in regard to taking good care of yourself!

10:53 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

Waiting is good. Sometimes feelings need gestation too. And seldom do they have the easy entry into the world. Wait. And wonder.

Where am I? Limbo. Waiting in anticipation and a little apprehension for my new course to start. Am I ready to be a full time student? If I wait, I will find out.

1:38 AM  
Blogger gkgirl said...

funny how such a seemingly simple
question can be made to
ask something so much deeper...

where am i? waiting for june.

3:06 AM  
Blogger acumamakiki said...

You are doing some amazing work with yourself. Being able to describe this feeling, instead of sinking into it is amazing. Could be hormonal (I hate that I just said that but it's true) but waiting and checking and waiting some more.....it's all good as you've said.

3:17 AM  
Blogger kelly said...

last week when i went through my
trauma with my mom...we had words
about myself. it bothers her with
the way that i deal with any issue that my come up. she is uncomfortable with the fact that there are times that i need to be
with myself and she doesn't accept this as normal, she takes it personally. but i say, iam dealing, feeling, healing. she
doesnt' do this. i wish she would

i know what you are saying. i had 3 c-sections....you are so right about the laughing. i carried a pillow around with me.

today i am feeling rather crappy.
i have had a sinus headache for 24hours and my body feels achey.
and my two teens have decided to
forget items at home, so now rather
than going to bed, i have to run
a paper due and a t-shirt to the
school...kids, what are we going to do with them.

heres to leading your spirit!

5:41 AM  
Blogger Deb R said...

I think the awareness of what you're going through and your willingness to see where it leads shows a lot of maturity and courage.

Where am I? Drifting and wondering. This is usually a bad time of year for me, when I'm quite prone to walking the black dog of depression - or letting it walk me. So far this winter that hasn't happened (very scary to me to type that!) and I find myself almost holding my breath, wondering if this will turn out to be an unexpectedly easy winter or if it will hit me late and be all the more crippling for having waited. Drifting. Wondering.

6:52 AM  
Blogger Alexandra S said...

Wonderful post! My cousin, Marianne, was the first person who ever showed me that I don't have to DO something with every emotion that I have. Seems simple enough but the idea was revolutionary to me, and sometimes, its actually still hard to do.
Where am I? I think I've been better. This should be a really exciting week for me- moving into our first home- and yet, its been anything but inside.
Sending you faith and patience and love as you work your way through to the other end...

7:01 AM  
Anonymous autum said...

Your self awareness and your ability to express your feelings in such an eloquent way is such a gift. So many times it is only in hindsight we are able to come to this kind of awareness. Probably due to rushing around and not taking the time to be quiet, to listen and to wait. Thanks for always giving me something to think about. Where am I?

7:15 AM  
Blogger Living Part Deux said...

For me, that period of agitation is often followed by revelation to my soul. I think you are doing just the right thing. Holding yourself lovingly and accepting the silence is the step just before receiving. I think it is a good sign, and I love that you chronicle every step in your journey. It forms a critical map for becoming. But, also in my experience, the map continues to unfold, endlessly.

Where am I? Finally accepting the fact that I am not FINISHED (as in a finished product). And rather than being embarrassed to admit that at this age (that I don't have all the answers), I am coming to love the fact that I'm still part of the journey, that I'm not sedentary, that I still have questions to pursue and anxiety to work through in the quiet of my night.

9:49 AM  
Blogger GreenishLady said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:25 AM  
Blogger GreenishLady said...

I have been there. I will be there again. I think there is a cycle of emergence, retreat, protection, incubation, emergence. I wrote about it last week in this post:
http://greenishlady.blogspot.com/2006/02/more-on-germination-and-gardens-and.html
I like that you are so in touch that you know exactly where you are, and that you are giving yourself the time to sit with this feeling. Trust. It's there in everything you are saying. Lovely. I hope wonderful things are being readied for birth.

I deleted the above (above) because I wanted to add in my attempt to answer your question. Where am I? Right now, I am aware of calls I need to make, pulled towards the living-room fire, alone and content in it, feeling a little tired and winterish, but energised by reading your blog also. Thank you.

10:35 AM  
Blogger megg said...

Where am I? well, I think I am feeling quite fragile today because I read your post this morning and still, 10 hours later I can't respond to it. I am so proud of you for sitting with how you feel and allowing it. Your amazing words brought so much to my surface, I'm going to have to wait and see what's going on myself. thank you. (i think!)

11:51 AM  
Anonymous irene said...

your writing is amazing. again, a beautiful, inspiring post. thanks for sharing your insight.

2:08 PM  
Blogger Maggie said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:06 PM  
Blogger Maggie said...

i cannot even describe to you how much your words mean on a daily basis. you have such a gift, michelle. today's post was especially poignant. right now i am struggling with a year away from my family, trying to find what i should be doing, feeling vulnerable and uncertain for the first time in a long time, trying to find my voice in a place in which i am very far outside my comfort zone, and reconciling my fantasies with my reality. i love how your posts make me think, discover things, and confront my inner being. thank you, thank you, thank you.

3:08 PM  
Blogger Server Girl said...

maybe all this emotional woe came because of stupid valentines day! It always makes me feel like crap even when i tell myself that i won't be upset by it. Hope things look up :)

4:02 PM  
Blogger Trish said...

Your awareness of what's going on is a good thing and you'll see where your headed very soon I think...and it will be a great direction!

Where am I? Spinning like a leaf on the wind. Too much going in my head to land in one direction right now...but I think the wind will slow down soon

4:57 PM  
Blogger tara dawn said...

How wonderful that you are so aware...allowing your soul to guide your body and your body to guide your soul. Sometimes we all need the quiet, the darkness...it prepares us for the noise and light.
I hope that this time proves to be a wonderful process of growth for you. I'm sending you warm wishes and lots of love!!
And as for where I am at...I don't have a clue at the moment. I will think more on this later, but at the moment I am content with not knowing...

5:33 PM  
Blogger Frankie said...

What a great question, so simple and yet so complex. I love that you are so self aware, even if you can't exactly define the problem. The idea that your soul is trying to work something out and you're just allowing it to is fantastic and a true testament to the wonderful person you are. There's so much beauty in the waiting...

8:17 PM  

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