At the DMV this morning, I had some time to reflect on my musings and why I haven’t been able to write one recently. Last month, I didn’t turn one in for the first time and this month’s musing is already running late. Writer’s block? Burn out? Lack of inspiration?
The truth is, I’ve started many musings since July but I couldn’t maintain the momentum because I felt things were happening so fast and furious that when I had time to continue, edit or craft my writing, it no longer felt relevant. Big aha moments, deep reflections and urgent thoughts I wanted to share became stale and lifeless after only a few days as something new and more urgent came to the forefront. Things have been happening like this for many weeks and judging from what my patients have to tell me and what I am observing in the world, I’m not alone.
It feels we are collectively coming apart at the seams. As I pondered the ramifications of this, I realized that what is coming apart are the seams of the emperor’s new clothes. We can take this in a straightforward way, as in the emperor of our nation and his lies and false promises. But broader and deeper than that, our collective and personal garments, the ones we put on and rely for safety and protection, the ones that make us feel important or special, the ones that become our identity, are coming apart at the seams. We feel vulnerable and raw, unable to feel truly safe with our invisible garments.
Why is this happening? It happens when the core of who we are, our identity and what we love are threatened. It happens when we are forced to consider losing what we have. It happens in intense times, be it politically, environmentally, globally or personally. It’s happening on many fronts for most of us. The urgency of situations, as in war time, requires we live in the present moment and discard any notions superfluous to the moment and survival. Burnout is when all that feels overwhelming and the notion of so much sacrifice sends us into paralysis and hiding.
And that is why I have not been in the mood to muse. No time to craft and develop a thought to the expectation I have set for myself. Those expectations are parts of my invisible garment. And rather than showing up naked, I withheld. The interesting thing about an emperor’s garment coming apart at the seams is that it doesn’t really matter. The garment doesn’t exist.
At the DMV of all places -not Portugal or New Mexico- I became determined to show up just as I am. Today that is some amalgamation of so many things. A sudden gratitude for this unexpected gift of time for reflection, a feeling of joy and re-connection through words with you all - my community, gratitude for my eldest child (whose birthday is today!) who often points out my invisible garments, the acceptance of my humanness, a feeling of breakthrough, a stack of work and personal tasks piled up before me that are not invisible, and a true vulnerability where fear and aliveness and gratitude come together. What happens when we are naked. We are alive and innocent.
In Health and Community,