“You can outdistance that which is running after you, but you cannot outdistance that which is running inside you.” -African Proverb
My soul thirsted for down time, as if it was parched for the very fundamental nature of itself. Two weeks off from all that was my daily life and practice. Read. Write. Rest. Heal. Yet, as my soul and body thirsted for it, my ego struggled with the decision. My mind knew that I needed the time away to recover from a medical procedure. Not a big deal; it knew all of the valid reasons for it. I couldn’t imagine that my ego would argue with me. But, it did. And it yelled loudly.
When is the last time that you focused on really, truly, not “doing” anything? My ego wanted me to stay busy, do usual activities, drive forward, and, ultimately, keep things the same. It was becoming agitated by the very stillness that the absence of those activities would create. Yet, my soul knew that the calmness was exactly what was necessary. And, by wanting to keep things the same, my ego wanted to distract me from whatever it was that I could not outdistance. Oscar Wilde once said, “Nothing is so aggravating than calmness.” For the first few days of my down time, I agreed with him.
I knew that I was in this place of anxiety because I had chosen to be. I was becoming agitated, not because of the change of pace, but because I knew something was just waiting to be “looked at.” There was something there that I could not outdistance. The more I avoided it, the more I “danced around it,” the stronger and more emphatic my ego’s energy became. It whirled around me as if a ferocious hurricane hovering over the horizon.
So often, we don’t want to “look” at what is right in front of us. The ego helps us to make a “story,” a “reason,” a “distraction,” for things to appear as they are. Ironically, we all have different stories. But, whatever the reality is, once the ego can’t do its frantic “hurricane like” job anymore, what is inside, sits waiting to be acknowledged. It sits in the eye of the storm.
For me, it was accepting a significant loss in my life. A dear friend’s path was taking her on a separate one to mine. Distance. Time. Events. Whatever it was, it wasn’t malicious. It was just unfolding. Nevertheless, whatever the “story” my ego wanted to create, the reality is that I had to say goodbye, and acknowledge what was already gone, my control over it. The irony is that I had to allow my soul to let the grief in, rather than allow the hurricane of activity to distract me from it. Being in the eye of the hurricane, looking out from the inside, eventually became more calming, than trying to hold on to its stormy edges, for dear life. I had to dive into the hurricane, feel it, and let go of my ego’s illusion of control over it.
Perhaps you have had the awareness that you are holding onto something, staying distracted, or running from whatever it is on the “inside.” The ego wants to keep you away from the eye of the hurricane; the soul just wants you to be authentic, feel it, process it, and release the energy’s hold over you. I knew that I had to, and maybe you do too.
I looked at it, not only because I needed to, but also because I believe wholeheartedly, that we have a responsibility to heal ourselves. What ever your story, or whatever it is that you are being asked to look at, maybe you can relate to this point. We are put on this earth to “do our work” as it were. And, because the universe is a stubborn but loving one, if we don’t, it just shows up again and again to send the message home.
It is my opinion that you, as I have, chose this path, or it chose us. Whatever the case may be, we cannot ask our clients, friends, loved ones to tread into the deepest, darkest places of their souls, without having the courage, tenacity, and compassion for ourselves, to do the same.
It is an energetic contract. To be allowed to do this work with my clients requires my continued willingness to accept and look at opportunities for growth. I was being asked to grow, and I had been blind sided by it, as if the hurricane tossed my body aside like a rag doll. But, I knew that the only choice to make was to look at it. Perhaps you too, will leap into the eye of your hurricane. Maybe we can all meet there, in stillness, even if Oscar Wilde disagrees.
© Copyright 2008 by Sarah Jenkins. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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