On Finding the Shift into Flow: A Path to Personal Recovery
I received a question the other day and I’ve been mulling it over: “What is the most difficult roadblock you’ve ever encountered and how did you deal with it?”
At first, my answers were trite: a test in high school I didn’t think I’d get through; a paper in university with a scope and deadline that defied me. A baby who wouldn’t come out when I pushed. Those seeming problems were all solved by one magical ingredient: time.
After thinking on it, I realized there was one truly massive roadblock in my life, and it’s one I never talk about, not anymore, and that suddenly, I am aware I am free of it. The roadblock in my life is no longer a roadblock. It’s not my problem, and perhaps, it never was. I can write it quite simply now: it was an ex-common-law partner who I was desperate to keep alive.
Oh, that sounds so dramatic. Really? Yes. Really.
And you’re really over it? Yes, really, or I wouldn’t be writing it.
How did that happen, how did you get over it?
By letting myself feel.
By letting myself feel ok again.
By letting myself have a glass of wine again (and letting myself enjoy it).
By letting myself breathe, deeply, knowing that I am responsible for me, and only me. Not that person I loved and wanted to so desperately keep alive.
Did time have something to do with it?
Maybe. Yes, in a subtle, underlying coloration of experience kind of a way. It had more to do with my mentality, my focus. My desire for change.
Two decades of dreams. Dreams of remembering, of forgetting and of finding myself in the same situation again. Dreams of love, dreams of entrapment. Dreams of finding pathways, and doorways. Dreams of partnership, and wellness. Dreams of togetherness. Dreams that overlapped my present marriage. Dreams that should have stopped, and didn’t. Dreams that, I now realize, have well and truly stopped.
Focus had the most to do with it. Focus toward that which was desired, that which was wanted: shedding light on new love, new life, new desire; that was what enabled me to turn a corner. To stop being an enabler (for I certainly was) and after years of defending myself with words of “I had to do ‘XYZ’ to keep him alive), one day, I stopped. Just stopped. No more defending. No more pleading with the dreams to stop. Just a quiet turning away, and a turning down the volume on those thoughts, as I turned up the volume on those that I preferred.
Meditation helped. I’m realizing this now: for the past three years I have meditated first thing in the morning, before everyone else in my household is awake. I grew up in a meditating household, so the practice was not a new one to me, and yet it was not one I’d put into the early mornings on a regular, daily, basis until I got so sick I had no choice but to adapt to a new routine, and one that put me, singularly, first.
I wasn’t looking to shift from the dreams, or the memories. I was simply looking to feel better, for me. And in the process of feeling better, for me, the memories faded, the dreams shifted, and I felt quite simply, well.
Did time have something to do with it? Yes, probably. But not in the “time heals all wounds” way we talk about. It was more like, “Now. Now, I’m ready.” And in that respect, time is the aspect that matters, because time is what defines Now.
The time is now. It’s time to gravitate to the practices that support, the traditions that work, the habits that train in the direction of flow; it’s time to let go of the practices that hinder, the traditions that stifle, and the habits that denigrate. The best way I found to do this, was to focus on myself. Selfish, yes, and selfish, out of a passionate desire for wellness. Selfishness breeds wellness, and wellness is good for everyone.