I feel a bit like I’m underwater at the moment. Sounds are muffled, objects ahead look blurry, normal sensations are heightened by the experience of being surrounded by a massive body of water. I’m trying to swim to the surface, trying to inhale some fresh air, but each time I get close I’m pushed back under again. Interestingly enough, I’m not alone. I see friends, family, acquaintances, all in the same undertow. Some of us are at the bottom of a wave, some are at the top. But we’re all here, rolling with the punches, just trying to catch our breath, to catch a break, to ride the wave instead of being pummeled by it.
It’s tempting to want to “figure out” what’s going on. As a child of the Information Age, I’ve often sought out new information as the way to solve life’s challenges. What I’ve learned over the years is that more “knowing in the head” doesn’t seem to give me what I’m looking for. Cerebral intelligence can be a helpful place to start, but gut or intuitive intelligence is where I really find peace and understanding.
For me, writing can be a way to access my intuitive side. When thoughts pop into my head and just won’t leave me alone, I know it’s time to sit down and see what flows out. Some people use meditation, exercise, painting, listening to music, being in nature…whatever it is that connects each of us to our bodies and gets us out of our heads. Sometimes I sit down and write and I get some answers. I come to the conclusion of an issue that’s been plaguing me, and the piece of writing I have to show for it is complete and concise and pours onto the page with ease. Sometimes I write and it’s a struggle. There is no answer, at least not yet. But for me, the writing is part of the process, it’s part of how I will get to the answer, and although I would love to be there now, I’m just not. It’s tempting to save the struggle for my eyes only, to not reveal the man behind the green curtain. So often we hear about people only when they’ve “made it”–they’ve won the game or defeated the illness or made the best seller list. Most of the time though, we are in process. We’re battling our demons, doing the best we can every day, and we’re overwhelmed, under rested, over caffeinated, and just trying to catch our breath.
If you’re one of the folks who’s struggling in the same wave I am right now, know that you aren’t alone. Breathe deeply. Give yourself a break. Reach out for support, and trust that the laws of physics are alive and well…what goes down must also go up.