It's been a while. 20 days in fact, since my last entry.
I have sat down so many times and tried to "blog".... and ended up staring at an empty computer screen... or staring at words... that meant NOTHING. Why frivolously use up space and waste your time....I have no desire to fill this site with cliche's and talk about what's already talked about...So I stayed quiet.... and I guess you could say I've been wandering a bit.
I've been thinking a lot about creating more space in my life... and I've went so far as to actually DO IT.... I've created space... to wander.
About a month ago I found myself staring at the ocean. I had escaped my world for several days and participated in a therapy intensive retreat. I will eventually tackle that and share what I learned... but honestly... I am still unpacking it... so we will save that for another time.
While I was there... I had every intention of facing the hardened places inside this skin I live in. The plan was to make difficult decisions and work to let go of things I can no longer control... escape the places that are not good for me and learn how to create boundaries in my life.... so I can heal and function like a "normal" person. I thought it would be a step by step program of sorts... with a beginning and an end....instead I found myself in the middle of this giant empty space. I wasn't allowed to have a computer or a cell phone. I had little to no contact with the world I left behind... just a whole lotta days with me, myself, and I.... and a therapist.... my Godsend.
The time away was confusing. I wandered back into the past... spent time in my childhood... my teenage years...my early adult years... I faced the person I was then and the person I am today...and it was freakin hard. It was all space I had refused to sit in... I suppose because it's hard settling into pain. Pain makes us feel empty and broken... and who wants to feel like that?
When we were not deep diving.... as I like to call it... I was alone. I would sit down by the ocean and not quite know what to fill the time with. I couldn't scroll social media. I had no idea what was happening at home. I couldn't work. I couldn't connect with anyone else. All I had was space.... and time.
So I wandered. I walked the beach and I sat on park benches. I took the corner table at the coffee shop and read books. I would reach for my phone out of habit... and then I would actually breathe a sigh of relief when it wasn't there. I started to like it.... the space and the empty moments with no plan in place.
You see there was a time I used to wish for a roadmap.
Wouldn't it be nice to actually know the plan? If we could only see a clear path- a sure way to get from point A to point B.
I used to think this would solve everything. After all there is nothing worse than walking blind. Making decisions you are not quite entirely sure of. I can remember times when I found myself feeling "lost' and on unstable ground... wishing for clear answers. You see I am the master at making plans... and NONE of them ever seem to work out like I hope... so much for my systematic approach to life.
I would talk to others about my need for a plan....I would talk about this desire for a roadmap with clear directions...and I would hear...
"The best thing you can do is pray. Let God guide you."
That sounds good and sounds easy right? But what if....
(The church doesn't often mention that God's people went hundreds of years without hearing his voice... without hearing a word about the direction or "plan". So if the church ever makes you feel like your faith is slipping or your footing is on unstable ground...because you can't hear God.... ignore them. God's silence has NOTHING to do with your faith. Just needed to say that out loud.)
So... what if you don't hear God like the rest of the world says they do... What if it feels like your prayers sit outside a gate where they just continue to add up.....one on top of the other.... and the God you're praying to never opens the door.
I used to feel like this space... wishing for a roadmap... was dark, lonely, and isolating. I used to feel like it was confusing and loaded down with desperation. I hated it. I hated being in a place where I didn't know what to do next. It made me crazy... that space in time that made me wander... I've never been a fan of the wilderness.
I didn't want to wander... I didn't want to find myself alone... making decisions I wasn't sure of... feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders. I wanted answers. I NEEDED a roadmap. I needed a hard core YES or NO... a sure way... either UP or DOWN... I needed to know the RIGHT way and the WRONG way... Give me the FREAKIN ROADMAP for the LOVE!
I didn't get one.
We never get one though do we?
Instead we all wander.
I realized while I was away that the wandering isn't all that bad. Solitude forces us to rumble with the fact that life happens... and nomatter what we do... there will be roads we walk that we wish we hadn't... journeys we take that don't turn out like we expect... and paths that lead us into seasons we were never quite ready for.
We learn when we wander. We come face to face with ourselves when we sit in the quiet space where answers are hard to come by. We do the best we can.. and we find sometimes... that was all that was required in the first place.
We are supposed to show up. That's it.
We will get it wrong sometimes... and then there will be days we will get it right.
The unknown.... it's beautiful if we choose to just accept it. It's better if we stop trying to fight it.
There will never be a roadmap for life. There is no secret recipe or ingredient for an easy trip.
It will be what it will be. Your journey will tether you to a road that winds and turns with the times and you will learn to navigate the uphill climbs and the slippery slopes.
Stop trying to fill it up with meaningless chatter, and non-stop commotion. No one can make decisions for you... they do not live in your shoes. Stop the reel. Disconnect from the scrolling and the life comparison. Embrace what you have, stop wishing for what you don't. Make the changes necessary so you can hear the stirrings in your own heart....
THAT is the road map... it lies inside YOU. It's the heartbeat in your core...
Where is your core? It's that quiet space in the very center of your being... where your soul sits. The space that rarely finds connection with the rest of you... your world is so loud you can't hear it. It's the place that ignites your bones.... It's NOT the voice in your head, the one that never stops talking... that voice... it lies to you. You need to learn the difference between the two. One will destroy you... the other will help you rise up again and find peace.
The REAL roadmap... it's in there... you just need to quiet the rest of the world... the other voices... long enough to take it all in...
You need to get to know HER again... the person you buried deep beneath expectations and daily tasks... SHE is the roadmap... YOU my friend... are the roadmap.
You already know what to do next...
So do it.
Be brave and take the next step... even if your legs are shaking and it could all turn to crap... courage comes from your core... listen to it... wander... create a new path... it's okay if you have to take it alone.
In the aloneness.... you just might find YOU.