Finding the Light After the Solstice

I am not in the same headspace as I was when I wrote yesterday.  Something shifted yesterday evening, and Light started to break through my wrestling with the Shadow.

I figured out the biggest issue at the root of my recent funk.  (Yes, I’ve been in a Bah-Humbug Funk.)

I have been feeling like such a failure, with the end of 2009 practically here, and others around me reminiscing about all they accomplished.  I didn’t live up to my original intentions for this year.   I was not as courageous as I wanted to be, nor did I entirely trust that what I needed would come my way.  I did not quit my job, it did not end, and it won’t end before this year does.  I did not move out of my parents’ house or out of my hometown.  (Too busy saving money and continually adjusting the savings nest-egg for the state of my finances and the recession.)    I did not build that dream life this year.  As for other goals, other than the eros part of love, I met them in a sporadic fashion.  They were not consistently employed, but were undertaken in fits and starts.  I would go along well for a while, then life would through me a curveball (or a few) and I’d drop them, then start again.

In writing yesterday, and thinking yesterday and today, I realized that the ideas I had for 2009 and the ideas 2009 had for me were very different things. 

I wanted to dive headlong into the life of my dreams without doing any of the necessary renovation of my life or psyche.  Guess what?  2009 said that would not fly!  2009 said that this year I would have to really take a good, hard look at myself, at my beliefs, at the people that surround me here and to whose counsel I listen, and so on.  2009 demanded that I take meticulously detailed notes on what was not working in my life in all areas, and just the process of that inventory was no picnic.  As I said, this year involved tearing down and taking apart the bits that weren’t working, then they can be rebuilt into something that works better.  (I’m still working on that, in fact.)  I wouldn’t remodel a kitchen without taking out all the old dishes, pots and pans, food, appliances, cabinets, etc.  Why would remodeling my life be any different?  I wouldn’t try to build a palace on top of a dilapidated fishing shack without taking down the shack first.  Why would building a new life for myself be any different?

2009 demanded I stop hiding my head in the sand.  Sadly, that took a whole lot of being stuck, feeling stuck, flailing about uselessly, cursing, raging, and slogging through apathy…All while being AFRAID.  Yes, 2009 has been one long, protracted, stalemated duel between Fear and Me.  Fear has been at the root of everything.

Fear of failure.
Fear of disappointing others.
Fear of not being enough, not having enough, not doing enough.
Fear that I would be stuck forever.
Fear that the money I had saved, even the money I could potentially save, would never be enough to move on.
Fear that everything–plans, finances, sanity–would cave in around my ears, or pull the rug out from under me.
Fear that I’d never gather the courage to do anything.
Fear that I was all wrong, and perhaps I really am meant to spend my whole life in an often crazy-making job and taking on the Sisyphean task of trying to please everyone.

Fear, fear, fear!

That is, chiefly, what is in my life that is not working.  Dissecting Fear is quite the messy, difficult job.  For instance, I’ve had to figure out if a particular fear is one that is mine, one that I am authentically fearful of, or if it is a fear that I adopted because someone who is close to me is afraid of it.  (Separating my fears from my mother’s fears, for example, which has been a rocky and irritating ride.)  If I’m not authentically afraid of it myself, if it is one of someone else’s I’ve adopted, then I have to summon the courage to let it go.  Sometimes that is easier than others.

Now that 2009’s lessons have been delivered, and I’ve figured out that they were lessons and am actively working on applying them properly…Now that I’ve figured out I’m not a failure, that I just wanted to skip the process and was respectfully told “no”…2010 looks like it might be brighter.

Something else…I am ready now to reclaim my creativity and embrace it, whatever form it takes in a more consistent manner than I did during much of 2009.  Though, I have to say, the latter half of 2009 was good for my foray into photography, and my August solitary retreat was good for putting me in touch with myself. 

To that end, I plan on ending 2009 and kicking off 2010 by working through Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, which I plan to start this Sunday, the 27th.   At some point, I am going to break out those canvases and paints I bought in September, which have been collecting dust in my closet due to the combination of the Inner Critic/Saboteur’s opinions and Procrastination.  I’m also going to take a few photo expeditions.  Those will be my first few Artist’s Dates.

In January I’m planning to join in with others in working through Jen Lee’s Take Me With You: A Journal for the Journey.  I’d been mulling over buying the journal and working through it at some point, but I told myself, “Oh, you don’t need another journal.   You won’t really do it.”  You know, the usual things our Inner Saboteur says to keep us from doing things, especially things we really want to do.  But, when she announced that she would be leading a group of people in working through the journal via her blog, I knew I had to do it!  I ordered my copy yesterday evening and am eagerly awaiting its arrival…And January’s, of course.

Finally, yesterday evening, I settled on my word for 2010.  (Haven’t heard of the concept of choosing a word for your year instead of making resolutions?  Check out Christine Kane’s post on the subject.)  I’ll unveil that next week.   It’s a good one!

These things, the creative projects and finally settling on my word for 2010 are the rays of light coming through the darkness I found myself in on the Solstice.  I feel better, knowing that these lights are there.

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