I have a habit of looking straight up after I park my car. I like to look out my sun roof for a few seconds before I close it just to see what I can see up there. Quite often it is only blue sky, sometimes a lonely bird will soar over head, or white wispy clouds. Once, on a blustery day, the moment I looked up, a small clear plastic bag floated above me and then disappeared from my sight. On one rare occasion when I parked and looked up, I saw a tree. I noticed it was perfectly centered in my open sunroof as if I was looking through a giant square camera lens. This time I did not hop out and dash to get to my next destination. Tilting my car seat back just an inch or two, I took a moment to observe my perfectly centered tall and green tree that was above me. Time for a nice deep breath. A nanosecond later, a thick hot breeze entered my car from the open square space above me and it touched my face. I didn’t like it. Not at all. The hot breeze was an intruder as I quickly grew warm and uncomfortable. A hint of claustrophobia swooped down on me and tried to pick me up and take me with it. I didn’t allow it as I grasped the steering wheel. What used to catch me off guard and leave me in debilitating discomfort years ago, I instinctively now know, the “why” of it, plus how to handle it, today. It was because of my behavior the day before. Soon after I said those in-the-moment-justified unkind words, I had apologized. Nonetheless, the second I slowed down for a moment, I felt the after-burn of the feelings again. My own voice ringing in my ears. I felt uncomfortable in my own skin. It was all me. Mine. Me. Myself. I was so unhappy with myself. Me. If I had taken proper care of myself – me – to begin with, the unkind words would not have come out of my mouth. It’s possible to say the same thing with love in my words – but I did not. I spoke from an old haunted place of fear, resentment, exhaustion and suspicion, which equals, anger – justified anger. The worst kind – at least for hugely sensitive me anyway. Yep, it was the old me. Geeze. Like a dam breaking, but then instantly sealing itself back up. Wait – what was that just now?! Dear oh dear, please tell me I “thought” that and did not “say” that out loud. Too late. One just can not seal a dam back up quite that quickly.
Once more, it starts with me. It’s all up to me. Why should it be up to anyone else? Or worse why would I allow it to be up to anyone else? No. No. No. . . Sometimes I wish many people did not know I have long term sobriety. I can hear them all talking while I am thinking and thinking, “Shouldn’t she be better by now? Sheesh!” But the thing is – I am better by now. Much, much better. But, unfortunately, God isn’t finished with me yet. And it looks like I still have a little dust way down in the corners. But I have done a lot of heavy lifting and tossing out. But there will always be a little work to be done. I will always hear the squeak in my baby carriage. Some days I’ve nicely oiled my squeaks, other days, gosh darn it, I’ve missed a spot! Sadly, I do have moments. But I used to have days or weeks! Now, I can get back on track – where before I used to get completely derailed and take out all the cars along with me. In my discomfort as I sat and looked out my sun roof – longing to get out – I remind myself that I did try to repair the dam immediately. Yes, the dam is repaired but unfortunately a dear loved one, a friend that I admire deeply, is perhaps standing there slightly drenched in water from this dam. And for that, I am terribly and uncomfortably sorry.
The balance of the physical and spiritual is delicate – yet nothing is stronger when we find it. And I am grateful for my long term sobriety, so I am able to see clearly when my dam walls are in dire need of an instant repair.