Stream of Consciousness

I’ve felt the intense pull to write lately, but haven’t been able to do it. I don’t know why, perhaps because I have so many different things going on in my life right now that it is hard to narrow my focus and write about one particular one to the justice it deserves. But as usual, if I go for too long without purging my thoughts I start to get cluttered and my thoughts jumble. I need to write.

So since it’s difficult to streamline my thoughts these days, how about a stream of consciousness? I’m setting a timer for 10 minutes. Whatever comes out, comes out. No stopping, no editing. Annnnnd, go:

It’s been an interesting season inside this heart. I’ve felt more alone in the past few months than ever, yet at the same time closer to discovery and realization than ever. Life has been busy. Graduate school is intense right now, it really takes up a lot more of my time than I realized it would. I spent some time traveling recently and while parts of it were relaxing, they were emotional. Emotional because they weren’t emotional. Let me explain… I ran my first race, a 10k, in honor of The Hubs. I finished in a horrible time (too embarrassing to admit) but I am proud I did it. On that race, for the first time in longer than I care to admit, I felt myself tearing up. As I ran past Arlington National Cemetery and caught my first glimpse of those white stones, nearing the end of the course and feeling tired and in pain from my injured leg, it’s like the numbness lifted for a moment and I realized exactly what I was doing and why. I felt the loss again, and I talked to him. I encouraged the tears, I wanted them to flow, I wanted to break down and feel. But the tears didn’t fall, and I chugged along. Quite the metaphor. And while I left DC after the race with a sense of accomplishment, at the same time I felt like I’d missed it altogether. Missed the meaning. Missed the emotion. Hard to explain, hard to admit. But it taught me something. It’s just another example of how I’ve allowed my reaction to grief squash me. I’ve allowed the emotion of life to be sucked right out of me in the past year or so. While I am glad I have finally leveled out, I am not glad I have lost touch so much. I don’t feel extremes, just middle of the road all the time. And I want more than that. God has been working on my heart lately. This experience coupled with some others in my life to include relationships, finances, friendships, stress, parenting, and just an aching, longing, lonely sense of discontent have all brought me to my knees humbly before Him asking for guidance. Asking for truth. Asking him to strip me bare, of all of my pretenses and preconceived notions and expectations, and fill me with His love. Fill me with the desire to know Him more, to become the woman He has designed me to be. Guide me to the right church, the loving mentors I so need to help shape me and mold me and teach me about this life. To open my eyes to the opportunities around me to experience this world, touch lives, and give of my WHOLE heart. And most importantly, to not let those opportunities slip past out of fear. So much of post-loss life is guided by fear. Fear of further hurt,fear of loneliness, fear of the unknown. And at this point of life, I myself am part of the unknown. I am reaching for identity, to know who I am aside from the title of ‘widow’. And God is gently whispering in my ear, using so many avenues, that I am His.

Wow. What 10 minutes of not allowing yourself to think or censor your fingers can do. SO much to explore in that paragraph… I am really kind of speechless. I’ll have to return to expound on some of these things. But that purge felt good.

There is a lot happening in me and my life right now. And subsequently, not much on the blog as I grasp for something tangible. But there are grand things in store… a big change is coming soon for the blog, and I am involved in the beginning stages of an awesome project (I will update as I can!) And all along, I am trying to keep my focus on living life Unleashed. If you are tackling Project:Unleashed, what is happening in your life? Have you been met with struggles too? Have any successes to share? xoxo

So good, Erin. I love this! We still MUST get together stat. And side note, you are such a gifted writer. This is so beautifully written.

aimee

Ahhh…you wrote exactly how I’ve been feeling! Almost word for word! Hugs to you!!!

Iris

I can really relate to the ‘not feeling extremes’ feeling. It’s not a good comparison but when I left country, away from my family and the first couple deployments by myself in a foreign country I felt so much pain in my chest that it sort of messed me up for a while and I couldn’t really feel anything. It’s really frustrating because it makes you sort of feel different from others and really lonely. I felt so numb sometimes that i’d google sad, angering or funny stuff hoping I’d react to it! There isn’t a specific timeframe in which this will go away but if you can allow yourself to be that way for a while there will be a day when you feel again. You’re on a good path. I’m super proud of you and impressed for the 10K. Don’t ever be ashamed of an effort you put into something just because it’s not as good as other people’s (I’ve never done anything more than 5K). It’s an effort and you did it, regardless of the fear. You’re doing everything right, even by the standard of a person who hasn’t exactly been through what you have. I learn so much from you every time you write. Keep going! Something great is waiting for you. :)

Beautiful.

Hello Erin
Really honest and touching text you wrote. All the feelings and states you are going through are probably the work of time passing and changing you and who you are. There is no constant and immutable states. While the river goes down to the ocean, it always holds the same name and always appears to be the same long and blue ribbon. But its water, its soul and body, is never the same as it goes from the source to the sea. We are probably a little bit like that. don’t’ you think?

Dave

Erin,
Just saw your FB post about the newer article above this one and decided to keep reading the next post. Glad I did. Excellent writing as always and of course touching as it is genuine. Keep sharing. In fact, I think Tristan has a great point above in that there is no completely stable state in this life long term, so it is normal to have ups and downs. I have experienced this so far all my life as well even with my best efforts to minimize and maintain the optimal times. So rest assured that it is part of the deal. You and I have idealistic expectations it seems from whatever source in the past. Perhaps we just had great childhoods that we compare against, or our own hopeful desires to make it as fantastic as it can be. I don’t know for sure, but I do know that it varies and it is not always as fabulous as we wish it to be. Perhaps that is part of our learning journey in this lifetime. Perhaps its part of what we need to experience in order to re-calibrate how we work with and accept the world; not to diminish our hopes or expectations, but in how we accept and roll with the punches in our everyday path — in how we set up our daily viewpoint and how we integrate input and change over time. Sometimes we have events and obligations that keep us locked in a space we don’t wish to be in any longer because of societal norms and expectations. Yet it is us that keeps us there, not external pressures past a certain point. And we do so because of our own idealized images of ourselves. I know that to be the case for me oftentimes. We decide to pay a high price for our current place of emotion and limit, for not fully understood, idealized reasons from long ago — old teachings that no longer serve us personally and yet may actually be followed we think for our benefit, yet can only be reflected back to us via how others’ judge it; judge us. Instead of honoring our own self judgement thereby allowing us to move on. It’s the long way around. And probably not necessary past a certain point. We even know they’d agree, and yet habituation keeps us stuck. It’s our current identity. It’s our leash.

More on this in a minute.

So I see also that you’ve given yourself permission to write unfiltered for 10 minutes. And it’s brought you in touch with your truth. Unfiltered, unfettered, unabashed truth. …The truth will set you free. Yes! Not the expectations and filters of your conditioning or society. Only 10 minutes!!!??? I want you to open up that to 10 hours, then 10 days, then 10 months and then 10 years sister!!! God wants you to open that up. He never came here and said “The filters will set you free!” ;-) Haha. And humbly I speak as much about myself in this statement above as I do you, for I am also bound by the very same things. We care, and therefore put others ahead of ourselves. But it’s a painful place to be. And not where we nor He want’s us to be.

So, with that understanding, let’s discuss what’s in a name: Project “Unleashed”. Love, love, love the intent and name. But it does mean un~”leashing” from something in the past. Un “tethering”. Or letting that go. It’s a hard thing to do though because of societies’ potential judgments about us and how we handle it. Will they think us mean, or selfish, or some other such thing if we finally feel the need to move on for our own needs, desires, want’s for fulfillment, etc.? It’s a tough place to be, for we wish to honor the past, honor ourselves, and honor all things that were, yet we still live, have needs and desires for further fulfillment.

I don’t know how much others talk about this with you, if I’m assuming too much in saying it outright here publicly, or if this has already been covered by all your friends and you’ve already moved some or all the way past this, — but it’s time. You’ve done the honorable thing and will always continue to do so. No one will fault you now for you’ve gone through your time of mourning. It’s time to let go and move on. It’s time to admit that some good ol’ God given honorable selfishness is in order for you to reset your focus and yes, even identity on the future and un-tether the past more and more each week.

It is said that where two ask it shall be given. So with that intent, as a brother to you in this life, and for myself and others reading this as well, If no one has given you permission to do so, let it be known now today that I give you permission henceforth to unleash.

God Bless you Erin. Enjoy your life.
Dave

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