A LAGNIAPPE

... a little something extra thrown in

Gabby Abby

Gabby Abby
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Florida, USA
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December 31
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I've had most of the jobs ~ daughter, student, wife, parent, employee, business owner and now once again, job seeker ~ but I'm still looking forward to lottery winner, retiree and regular blogger. Email welcome at gabbyabby.jax@gmail.com

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MARCH 28, 2011 1:52PM

Face to Face

Rate: 24 Flag

 

Photo - Vanya

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then, face to face. Now I know in part, but then shall I know, even as also I am known.

~ 1 Corinthians 13:12

 

The simple recognition that there's life after worst-case marked the beginning of a transformation. I told myself, You just can't catastrophize this. It can't just be over. Your life isn't over.

Once I landed smack in the middle of my own worst-case scenario I had to ask, what's the most awful feeling I'm going to have to endure here?  There wasn't just one to choose from. I had fear, failure, loss, shame, rejection, and my gut hurt. I wanted to run.

That was the clue, right there - if I wanted to, I could.  No one would stop me.  For me, running involves climbing between the sheets and letting the world go on without me. I recognized the moment when ordinarily I would check out, go numb, and sink into a "What's the use?" depression.

This time, after running a bit, I took a more measured approach and although the bed and the covers have played a significant role on the path toward understanding and a little bit of recovery, I've been able to shuck them off in an effort to feel what I'd been resisting, perhaps for most of my life.

I didn't have to imagine what it would be like if the worst had come to pass. I'd blown up my life in a spectacular way - financially, professionally, personally, emotionally, spiritually - and there was nothing recognizable left.  Not even a few shreds of what had been there before were left behind. Nothing to scrape up and piece together in any pointless effort to cover myself.

I gave myself over completely to torment, staying connected to its symptoms. Heartburn and stomach upset, unable to eat, wide eyed insomnia for days and days. Night terrors stemming from unaddressed fear and the fear itself which made me walk the floors imagining all of the other horrible things that may still happen. There's also some weight gain, along with a general downshifting in my over-all appearance. 

I looked in the mirror, not at myself but beyond myself. That visage in the glass is older and heavier. The dull face and flat joyless eyes remind me of no one I know.  Sharp emptiness reflects back. 

Whenever I lost the focus I was holding on the horror of my life, I'd reclaim my sunken spot in the bed and patiently bring it back. My awareness remained steady, and still. Freed up in this way, emotions shifted and changed like the weather outside the closed and curtained bedroom window opposite my safe space under the duvet. 

The emotions I thought would be intolerable actually weren't. I'm bent, deeply bowed to the ground by my life and my choices. I accept this, and do not run and hide from the awarenesses that flow through me, yet do not shift me from my bed. My rock in the river.

I don't have to deny the feelings, and I don't have to react to them either.  There they lie.

Depleted. Impotent. Stunted. Incapable. Insufficient. Unhealthy. Poor in spirit. Doubting. I am a bona fide thesaurus of in- and un- words, yet a life-long resistance to being overwhelmed by that seems to have washed down the river.  I feel cleansed of... something, nothing specific though.

Standing naked, clothed in what feels like authenticity. Looking through the darkened glass, I wish to know myself as I am known on some great empyrean plane where the glass is crystalline, and it rings purely into the air when touched with another.

I think I may have set myself free.  I want to remember how it happened as surely I will need to do it again, only faster. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

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I'll swim again, someday. I'm still fine here on my rock for now.
the rock is sturdy, your lines a drawn, part human and whole
You are a butterfly now! Nice writing, and and I can so relate.. I mean, from a manly perspective.
You awe here with the courage of your insight and the power of your expression. This is diamond-hard poetry, Abby. You sit on this rock and to swim or not to swim will be insignificant.
Add the 'non' word into your bona fide thesaurus, and you'll have even more company. Is there standing room for me on your rock?
Abby, this is good writing!
♥R
I'm glad you've come to this place of calm reflection. I also hope that rock will expand into a welcoming shore. I don't think any of us completely messes things up beyond repair in every way. There's a saying that I've come to believe: when God closes a door, he opens a window. I think it's just a matter of finding it. You will, when it's the right time. "Bon courage," with all my heart.
I like Trig's image of the rock sitting butterfly, who dips into the wetness for a drink, but prefers to sit on the warm stone in the sun.
Beautifully expressed. Love the image of the ringing glasses.
"I'm bent, deeply bowed to the ground by my life and my choices. I accept this, and do not run and hide from the awarenesses that flow through me, yet do not shift me from my bed. My rock in the river. " I love this line - going to keep it close to me. Thanks for sharing - courageous stuff
beautiful...you are truly gifted with the written word- thank you for sharing with us!
Oh, have I been there. It must be terrific writing, because for a moment I felt like I was back there myself, and I hate it there. Stay strong.
I so admire the way your write: Whenever I lost the focus I was holding on the horror of my life, I'd reclaim my sunken spot in the bed and patiently bring it back.

Lezlie
move over ...let's run away...straight out the door and all the way home to ourselves. R Wonderful writing...and transmission of all these feelings and emotions. Seriously, on your rock and in your boat. xo
Wow, Gabby. This is brutal and beautiful. I shivered at the last sentence "....only faster."
Someone on another blog has quoted Robert Pirsig, from his writings in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance:

Sometimes we just need to make the world small enough to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Ziiingg!! ::awh:: Caught that one. So true.
We die to the self to be reborn as ourself.
Wow Abby... I can relate to so much of this... sit as long you need to... swim... run... whatever. You're learning as you go. Wishing you strength and patience!!!
fine writing here, gabby. great insights.
"I am a bona fide thesaurus of in- and un- words, yet a life-long resistance to being overwhelmed seems to have washed down the river. I feel cleansed of... something."

Good kinda clean, you write of; good clean writing.
This is poetry, Abby. Poetry from the bowels of stark indifference and rank apathy. That you can write it tells me that there is so much more alive and thirsting than is dim and despairing in you. And as for that mirror gazing....try Windex. You are too stunning for that to be your true reflection and too brilliant to let that dull image become who you believe you are. It may be protracted agony, but it WILL pass. Oh, yes it will.
Susan, I think it already has. I meant to convey that, but will take another look at the tense of the writing. Thanks.
I looked in the mirror, not at myself but beyond myself. I saw nothing looking out...

that is a fine start!
nothing wrong with hanging on the rock for a while, as long as you need to, before setting off to swim again. excellent writing here, miss abby. i keep coming back to "clothed in what feels like authenticity." uh-huh. i think that's it, actually.
Well the writing is wonderful, the images clear and disturbing, also hopeful. You know I know whereof you speak. The story you tell makes me feel so many things...recognition, envy of your bravery and ability to figure out a way onto the rock, and, ultimately, hope that I can some day be as brave as you are and be present with the pain long enough to see that running isn't the only solution. I salute you, on your rock, high, dry and wise.
it makes me wonder what the actual "trauma" was. this is an approach to it, but not it. the less the "ratings" have to do with it, the better opportunity you're giving yourself.
Oh. Such perfect writing. A meditation for me, actually.
~r
that last was to Ben Sen, I don't follow...
I'd blown up my life in a spectacular way - financially, professionally, personally, emotionally...

sounds like a recipe for rebirth, to one who knows well.
beautiful. a rock can be a good resting place.
Move over. I want to share that rock with you.

Damn, I understood this piece all too well.

That fear of fear. That fear of sadness. That fear of feeling or not feeling. That horrible middle of the night feeling.

I'm with Gratuitous. This is a piece to return to.
I like your metaphor as your bed as the rock in the river, for the emotions, memories and realities to flow by, over and around.

"To feel what I'd been resisting, perhaps for most of my life" - I get this at a very core level. My spiritual mentor often tells me, "most people are walking around this planet ready to die than feel what they need to feel to move on." I find this to be true. The sheer dread of the things we don't want to feel. Put through is the freeing path, and I'm glad you've found it. Blessings, love and light to you!
Setting yourself free...enjoy. R