"Clearing out" has become the theme for this quarter of the year, and it turned out to be a much bigger project than I originally thought it would be. (See earlier posts here and here.) Two months after I started, I am still putting things on Craigslist and bringing donations to Goodwill. Lest you think I must be a hoarder, far from it - a number of friends have responded to my quest with a quizzical look and "But Faith, your house is never cluttered!"
"Excess," "clutter," and "too much," I am realizing, are relative concepts.
Clearing out my physical belongings brought up deeper questions about how I want to live my life. The number of unfinished projects and under- or un-used items I discovered has led me to look deeply at my expectations of myself and what I can reasonably accomplish with my time.
And as part of this process I realized that I want to give this blog a rest.
More than one insightful person in my life has gently told me that just because I spent over a decade fighting v pain doesn't mean it has to take over my life. The thing is, I don't know what it means to be an adult without v pain. And yet here I am, unmedicated and virtually pain-free all the time...and still thinking and talking and writing about it.
I have had this idea in my head for years that somehow the misery would be worth it if I in turn helped other women. That I could redeem the experience somehow. It somehow seemed selfish or bad to simply do the work of healing and then move on with my life. As a result, so much of my self-worth is tied up in this blog that I do as a hobby.
Healing myself wasn't enough, oh no - I want my healing to multi-task! I want the effort I put into myself and my own journey to apply to other people or situations, too. Sadly, on some level I didn't think that I as an individual was worth all the time and effort I put into my healing. I rationalized the time and money I spent on myself by reminding myself that I am not alone, and that what I learned would help others too.
But you know what? I want to be someone who loves herself enough to do her own healing work for no reason other than my own benefit. That's enough. I'm enough.
Along this descent into confronting pain, other parts of myself have fallen by the wayside. What happened to the young woman who wanted to go to design school, who wanted to be an urban planner or a product designer or an architect, who wanted to become fluent in another language? Not all of those dreams tug at me as they once did, but I still feel compelled to test my devotion to this blog.
My last class of the Yoga for V Pain series will be done in a few days. Without teaching that, and without writing, and without having symptoms...my mind and body could be v pain free for the first time in my adult life. That's a crazy thought.
In this moment, it's hard for me to believe that I will ever completely walk away from this blog and topic. After all, the knowledge I have gained about freeing oneself from v pain was pretty hard fought, and I do wish to pass on what I have learned to anyone who will benefit.
On the other hand, I think of all the years that I wished my v pain would go away so I could get on with my life, do anything other than experience and think about and learn about pain. And now it's like, whoa, wait a second, that time has arrived and I'm still hanging on.
It's possible that my time away from this blog will result in me permanently closing it so I can focus on other things. (Ah! Scary thought! Self-worth threatened!) It's also possible that the blog will remain, but my approach will change. ("Faith," they say, "you don't have to make your life about pain." "But my blog and yoga classes aren't about pain," I protest, "they are about loving yourself and valuing yourself and being who you want to be and overcoming trauma and cultivating pleasure and safety in your body!" So maybe the focus needs to change, but there is some thread that will continue?)
Anyways...it is the day before Thanksgiving. My love has just arrived home, and there are hugs to be made, and dinner to make, and dishes to prepare for tomorrow's feast. My life is waiting.
Winter solstice and Christmas are just around the corner, and here in the Northern Hemisphere we are coming into the darkest time of the year. I plan to spend the next few weeks doing one last purge, enjoying the loved ones in my life, going to and throwing holiday parties, and then... I have planned an afternoon of making vision boards with a couple girlfriends.
I am looking forward to the letting go, and the celebration, and sitting around the fire with two other incredible women who are also going through big transitions and want to dream big.
I wish you all a wonderful holiday season. May you enjoy the long dark nights this time brings. I will post an update in January...