Ordinarily I would feel great guilt in abandoning my blog for over a month. I’ve not done that since I started it almost 6 years ago. But the truth is, I granted myself the time and space to acclimate to a “new normal” and gave myself permission to let some things go.
In doing so, here’s what I’m learning now: to receive.
Receiving is the hardest damn thing for me. Since moving out of my house and into a home with two amazing roommates, I have been surrounded (literally surrounded) by people who want to give to me and do for me. Fixing problems with the house, cooking me dinner, listening to me complain, doing my dishes, paying the rent. I have suddenly been given the chance to sit back and let people take care of me when I need it, and I find myself resisting it everyday.
I should cook them dinner.
I should clean up so they aren’t burdened with my son’s mess. I should light incense so they can’t smell the sausage that I cooked this morning. I should do their laundry.
I’ve acknowledge the urge each time it comes and breathe, reminding myself that people giving to me unconditionally is not just a gift to me. They love me, and they feel good when they can do things that bring me joy, peace, or just a chuckle. This learning of how to receive love is so necessary to my ability to create miracles in my own life that when I don’t do it, I hit rock bottom. And I did.
About 2 months ago, I woke up with an impending sense of doom that didn’t go away. I got up and did and did and did for other people, never getting filled up and never feeling safe. I continued trying, giving away what I didn’t have, saying “yes” and then not following through, emptying myself completely so that everyone knew I was worthy of love and receiving. Instead of life getting better, it got worse. Much worse. I hit a bottom and then I started digging. I went into a near fugue state, lifelessly walking around unsure of what to do until it was time to pick up Abe from school and then wondering what I did all day. Paralyzed.
There were and still are days when my friends knock on my door and peel me out of bed, usually luring me with chocolate or coffee. And when they do, I am grateful and weak, but the difference is that now I allow myself to be just that: grateful and weak. I’m letting people in, letting them hug me, letting them feed me, letting them care for my son on the days I’m not sure that I can. When they catch me apologizing, they tell me to shut my mouth and eat my pot roast or drink my wine. The sense of foreboding doom still lingers everyday, but it does get a percentage lighter each day as I learn to fill the space with receiving love.
It seems so simple, accepting help, but this is the hardest work I’ve done in my life to date. Admitting that I’m not perfect and I can’t fly through divorce with a beaming smile and a superman cape is the most humiliating thing I can imagine, but it’s the truth.
Where are you resisting the opportunity to receive? Do you push away compliments or refuse help when you know deep down you really need it? Try letting someone help you, and don’t hold the expectation that everyone can. They can’t. But those who can deserve the opportunity to give to you. Let them.