I woke this morning, as I do every morning, filled with the pleasant feeling of wholeness. My mind full of intention and purpose. My body at ease, reveling in the peace of a good night’s sleep. I wake every day with the sense that I could conquer the world. There is a moment, a second or two, as my eyes are opening, and my senses are waking, that I forget who I am. Not who I’ve been, or who I’m meant to be, but who I am in this season of my life.
It’s the strangest thing, there’s been a mix-up along the way. A child trapped in a child’s body, fully immersed in the mind of an adult. Now the adult, who so desperately needs to be able to adult, is lost in a sense of the child she was meant to be. The little girl she had every right to be. A middle-aged woman, with adult problems, and a child-like avoidance and fear of it all. I don’t want to grow up – there’s been some mix-up.
These seasons, they come and go, they ebb and flow – leaving me wounded, exhausted, and incapable. Incapacitated. Unable to function as a grown woman should. At least that’s what shame tells me – the ugliness deep down, – the unwanted and unwelcome darkness of unworthiness. That’s what happened this morning. I woke up feeling whole – bursting with good intentions. Let the dogs out. Pray. Meditate. Always doing what needs to be done; praying the momentum of strong beginnings will carry me through the day.
I never know when it’s going to happen; the mix-up in my brain, or maybe it’s my body. I’m certain it’s both – triggering and firing off one another – torturing my soul in the process. Some days it happens in the shower. Routine leads to focus and focus to momentum, but some days, all is lost in the shower. Pain and exhaustion holding me back from the simplest of tasks. These are the days, I thank God for the strength and energy to get out of bed. In my mind, whatever happens after that, is a bonus.
As bonuses go – waking, breathing, sensing, and feeling are on the top of the list. But if I’m being honest, some days feel heavier than others. Today is one of those days. I can’t pinpoint the mix-up, but I felt it early in my morning meditation. Surrender meditation; my first, and favorite. Yet, there I sat with the sense that my mind was alert on the breath in, but wholly shattered on my breath out. My ever-obsessive mind, whatever part of the brain that may be, anxiously seeking an answer to the problem. Why the obvious difference of awareness… alertness? Let go and breathe…. And I did. Finally, and fully falling into a state of relaxation and foundation. I was ready.
Then there was a moment. There’s always a moment – too many damn moments! I could hear my husband rumbling around, and my heart anticipated the moment he would walk into my office and hug me “good morning.” That didn’t happen, not in this moment, no instead I was inundated by a sound I could not comprehend, but it was annoying me just the same. A-ha, another example of the malfunctions of my brain – repetitive or incessant noises trigger something in me. They always have. I don’t know the source. I just know that noise, too much, too loud, or even slightly monotonous, creates chaos in my mind. An explosion of sparks, triggered by an unwarranted misfiring.
I had to know the source of the noise – anxiously itching to seek and destroy whatever it may be. To my surprise, I found my husband standing in the kitchen, graciously expending half a tape roll onto a box he is shipping to a friend in Kansas. Why? Why the noise? Why so much tape? Why so wasteful? Why so loud? This is what my mind does to me. Stop it! I should be happy to see him, eager to reach out and hold him, but instead I feel sad and angry. Why? This makes no sense. What did he do wrong? I bet he’s asking himself the same thing. His eagerness to help, clashing with my need to control – leaving us both in a fog of confusion. I don’t want to control. I don’t want to care. But there it is, always sitting there, holding its breath and waiting it’s turn.
Holding me hostage. Thoughts and words, muddled and warped, chasing and trapping me in a world of bedlam. What words do I say? Which do I choose? But I have no choice, they all come tumbling out, without invitation or order. I’m upset he used so much tape. I’m wounded that he didn’t come say “good morning.” I’m irritated because he’s finishing something I started. He knows better – he’s the one who pointed it out a year or so ago, “you know Aubrey, it’s simple, you need a beginning, a middle, and an end to everything.” He’s right. But it’s all so petty. He didn’t come see me this morning, because he didn’t want to interrupt my writing. And he finished taping the package, because that’s what he does, he picks up the slack, where I leave it.
I see it now, but the little girl lying on the stairs, she couldn’t see it. Mind and body triggering responses and setting unwanted intentions. A mix-up. A misunderstanding. A miscalculation. My mind tangled with feelings of confusion – a cluster of sadness and anger. For who? For him? Maybe. In the tiniest and most fleeting of moments, I may have felt all of this for him. But honestly, it’s all about me. My inability to do the right thing, to be consistent, and good. To be consistently good.
To love, and not wound. To care, and not control. I don’t know how to shed myself of the confusion and lies. My mind and body occupied by enemy forces. Nature coursing uncontrolled for all to see. My damn lizard brain controlling me, alongside his friends, fear and shame. Leaving me numb to everything but the pain. I could have crawled into bed to hide. I could have stayed there all day, but I didn’t. I found the space and time to sit with my monkeys, to discuss what was wrong. Once again, seeing the misunderstanding started with us, we are the source. So, I picked up my phone, and sent my husband an apology, and an explanation – “I’m sorry – hormones.”
Just another mix-up, a relentless malfunction – mother nature attacking me through my flow. Hormones joining forces with my antagonistic foes.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10
Photo by Joel Filipe