Walking the Walk

Taking Steps on the Path to Compassionate Living

Haven't Quite

I begin to write on a night I had planned to go to bed at a reasonable hour. I know now that I won’t. I begin to write without knowing exactly what I have to say, except that, having not written in nearly a month, a very full month personally, nationally, and globally, I know there is much that needs to be expressed.

Over that month I’ve been observing the world as new cracks form, fracturing relationships, and old cracks deepen and widen.

I feel cracked open myself. Last night the drawing that moved from my hands onto paper was a heart cracked open, loosely tied back together with strings. That’s how I’ve been feeling lately. My life is unfolding just as it is meant to; I know that. I left a job at the end of last year to pursue new work that beckons me. I know I am on the right path as I transition to different ways of working and being. Yet I feel the growing pains as the shell of What Was breaks open so that What Will Be may emerge. I feel those pains as I try to figure out my new place, experimenting with new work and new rhythms for my days.

Thus far I haven’t quite learned how to put the exercise that used to be part of my regular routine into my days...perhaps because I haven’t quite got a new routine yet. I haven’t quite given my body the attention it deserves and needs. I haven’t quite mastered fitting everything from my to-do list into a day. I haven’t quite gotten myself to the level of de-clutter and organization that I’d like (I’m actually not even close yet). I haven’t quite figured out how to create balance between the time I am now working alone and the time I need to soak in the presence of others. I haven’t quite found the right mix between spending time with people dear to me and meeting new people who, even if wonderful, take a lot of energy from this introvert soul; the mix has been especially off in the last few days. I haven’t quite listened to the voice that tells me that, even in a time when there is so much work to do, it’s OK to rest. I haven’t quite figured out how to ask for what I need and trust that I will receive it. I haven’t quite… I haven’t quite… I haven’t quite…

Last year I wrote about the process of re-membering:

"Re-membering.

Bringing ourselves back to fuller embodiment, finer manifestation, deeper knowledge of Who We Are.

As we remember ourselves, as we see ourselves, we reclaim our gifts and share them more generously; we claim and accept our shadow. As we remember, we root ourselves more deeply in abundance and stretch towards the Light of Being, allowing the Light to flow through us and grow through us."

I have a lot of re-membering to do. At this particular moment I haven’t quite figured out how to do it. And so in my haven’t-quite-ing, I'm trying to express my need for some help.

Over the last couple of days I shared with someone I’d call a friend a struggle that has plagued me over many years. An interaction between us triggered the pain, a pain I don’t voice too often for fear that even if I express the need, it will not be met. When I have taken the risk of telling trusted friends about this tender spot, the response has been mixed. Some people have been able to offer the care I’ve asked for; others have not. This time, thus far, the response has been silence. I try to tell myself that this is OK, but I haven’t quite believed that yet. Another friend emailed me today and, without knowing about my present ache, helped to alleviate some of the discomfort. I am grateful.

As I write, it seems clear that my haven’t-quites are doing a number on me. Recently as I was talking to a class about major social change, I reminded my students that change takes time. I asked them to think about the arc of their own personal evolution. That seemed to resonate. Deep change, whether personal or societal, takes time. 

Currently, I am in the midst of significant life changes. Perhaps I need to heed my own words about the slow work of growth. Perhaps I need to be patient with myself and my litany of haven’t-quites. Haven’t-quites  are not the same as failure. Haven't-quites, if handled with care, are opportunities to learn. 

Just today I reminded a friend to be gentle with herself. Perhaps I and my haven’t-quites also deserve gentleness. And perhaps I can be understanding of others who have their own haven’t-quites to deal with, even if I don’t know what they are.

So tonight I go to bed hours later than planned, ready to snuggle up to my haven’t-quites, to love and care for them while they live with me, to patiently nurture them through their own transformation as they slowly become haves.

Powered by Squarespace. Background image by Cory Lockhart.