For quite some time now, I’ve been feeling like I’m in a long, dark hallway, not knowing what my next steps are personally or professionally, and feeling directionless, with no doors in view. I’ve been sitting with it and sitting with it, praying on it, meditating on it, bringing it to my spiritual advisors, bringing it to therapy, bringing it to Spirit directly, and yet things have still been foggy, and so I’ve continued to sit and wait for answers.
This is all very unlike me – at least the me I used to be. I have been that woman that pushes through, works hard and makes things happen. So to sit is growth, albeit very, very, very uncomfortable growth. Did I mention how f-ing uncomforable this growth thing is?
Last fall, after speaking with a number of colleagues, friends and advisors, I decided that it was time to pursue a PhD. And so I completed the application (with the help of two wonderful people who were kind enough to write me letters of recommendation), submitted it, got accepted into a program and started my first class. And within 3 weeks, I hated it. The reading assignements felt like a chore, the written assignments annoyed me, my self care started to seriously slip because of the time commitment required and I kept thinking, “Why the heck am I doing this?”
It was only when I was traveling a few weeks ago that it all finally made sense – I was seeking ground.
Every time I have to fly somewhere, I bring the Pema Chodron book, The Places That Scare You. It feels appropriate, as I’m not the biggest fan of flying. I do it, but it’s uncomfortable, and so that appropriately titled book serves as a talisman for me to read before take-off. And in reading her chapter entitled, “Groundlessness,” I came across the following…
“…nothing – including ourselves – is solid or predictable…our tendency to seek solid ground is deeply rooted. Ego can use anything to maintain the illusion of security…holding on to anything blocks wisdom…”
And that’s when I realized that in the midst of that hallway, I was grasping for “ground” – for something to hold onto; something to lower my sense of directionlessness. And so I smiled at Spirit’s sense of humor, remembered what a dear friend told me she did when she was in a similar place, and re-committed to just being in acceptance of where I am. In an odd kind of way, that acceptance has allowed me to feel grounded again. As vulnerable as it feels (and believe you me, it feels freakin’ vulnerable), I’m willing to just sit in it and wait for clarity and direction.
Sitting there on the tarmac, I had an action insight – a psychodramatic “aha” moment that can happen as a result of concretization. Only through the action of starting the PhD and realizing just what a toll it was taking on my life, was I able to realize that it’s not the ground I want to stand on. I still don’t know where I’m headed, but if you need to find me, I’ll be hanging out in the hallway…waiting.