In A Perfect World
FROM JANUARY 15, 2022 (MOVING BLOG TO WEBSITE BLOG)
Have you ever received a message or a phone call that just felt heavy? I mean not in the sense that anything tragic happened - it just felt heavy. That's what happened for me the other day and it felt like the 50lbs of "weight" I'd been carrying and finally shed was starting to pile back on.
This past week was the best teaching week I have had since September. I laughed so much and I know there was some meaningful learning happening in the room. My heart was happy again after what felt like an eternity of sadness.
So to feel this heaviness again was kind of shaking me up. I was having a hard time "protecting" my energy. I don't know if protecting is the right word - it's just what comes to mind. I picture this energy shield that I build around myself so that I can keep my boundaries and what works for me. I started asking myself what would help. How could I get back to my happy and keep out what wasn't supposed to be in? A beautiful picture came to mind .... and it was incredibly comforting to visualize.
My picture started with the words "in a perfect world" - and in a perfect world, I would have been able to leave work, take the short walk home, walk in my door to a puppy excited to see me, be wrapped in a loving hug, curl up on the couch with my head on her lap and have her fingers run through my hair and across my cheeks and forehead, down my arm and back up again. I would lay like this for as long as she would let me and breathe deeply allowing the heavy to leave me and stay where it belongs. It truly was perfect.
The reality though is that this perfect world wasn't an option for me.
So what was I going to do to keep the heavy out and get back to my happy?
One of the things I have struggled with in the past is asking for physical contact. My biggest love language is physical touch and when it's not a possibility in the way one would like it to be, it's been a struggle to find other ways to get that need met. Over the past year or two, I have started asking for hugs from those I know I can lean on - a great co-worker, a friend to meet me for coffee, and even my kids. It's taught me a lot about how I can learn to meet my own needs. There have been many lonely weekends and evenings where this "labrador retriever would like nothing more than to be pet" - and yes, I laugh as I write this because my friend Allison always teased me that I was like a lab and you know what, I absolutely am!
It was interesting that day because even though I knew that my "in a perfect world" wasn't possible, it helped me stay grounded and present. I definitely felt more raw and vulnerable - like all of my feelings were right on the surface and someone could literally brush up against me scraping some of those feelings unintentionally; yet at the same time, I was still able to breathe and just be. I haven't had that experience before as in the past, I've always wound up feeling anxious and on the verge of tears.
I'm not sure if this is a revolutionary breakthrough 😉by any means but for me it felt incredibly powerful. For the first time that I am aware of, I was able to stay in my intensely raw feelings and also stay present and grounded in my life. Was I as perky and energetic as I was the day before? No. But I also wasn't distant, distracted and dreary, so perhaps for me this was a revolutionary breakthrough.
I know one thing for sure - the next time it feels like the heavy is knocking on my doors, I am 100% going to ask myself "in a perfect world, what would help you right now?" Who knows - maybe that perfect world is right around the corner? In the meantime, it definitely doesn't hurt to dream.