I traveled back in time yesterday. I visited a friend I have not seen in almost ten years, the only person I continue to talk to that is a part of a group I used to meet before I became myself. It is absolutely fascinating to me, how tough this was, and how much not just my mind but my body felt this like a tremendous effort.
Driving to meet my friend I had to talk to myself like I talk to a friend – “you’re ok, it is normal that you are nervous, you are being vulnerable, you are going towards a pain point, there is no courage without fear.” I must have really squeezed the steering wheel because my arms felt stiff. I had set and written my intention in the morning that, while I keep my mind open, I won’t compromise on my values.
Stepping into my friend’s apartment was like stepping back in time. Not a lot was changed, while we talked and she caught me up, my mind kept reminding myself of meetings, discussions, kept playing the “what if” game and it took a lot to stay present. To me it is absolutely fascinating how we almost become someone else in such meetings (kind of like I am always 10ish when I visit my parents … ). Staying the course of my set intention was an up and down process and the pull to conform and agree and compromise on what I believe to be liked was so great because I was in my twenties again, feeling dumb and less and inadequate. And there was absolutely nothing my friend was doing wrong, this was all me.
I drove home like I raced back to mother ship. I texted my partner that I need a triple dose of her, stat, to remind myself that my life is different now, that I am real, that I have moved on. I got back, walked the dogs and for the rest of the afternoon I dragged myself. Physically and mentally I was in recovery, it had almost been like I had just suffered some sort of short circuit and my systems were all now resetting.
One of the nightmares I still have, ten years after my parting with a life I acted to join a life I am living, is that everything was a dream and in fact I am still back there. Yesterday was a tiny conscious step into that dream. And I know I need to do that more of this to show my mind that I am ok. Shutting parts of ourselves and our lives out only exaggerates their pull; hiding what scares us behind the door only gives it power. I realised that what I actually need is more travel into the past with my present self, more intention to stay my course while I look at what was and understand how far I have come.
Photo by Debbie Pan on Unsplash