This post is going to be a little all over the place. I haven’t slept in… some long amount of time. I stopped counting.
I have been through some harsh shit in my life, and a lot of it was invisible to those around me. Over time, wearing a mask became more difficult (a fact for which I am grateful, in the long term), and the process of removing it bit by bit, one person at a time, has been a painful one. It’s not complete, nor do I ever expect it to be. But I have striven for authenticity for most of my adult life, and at crossroads like these, it becomes all the more important to figure out what I am fighting to become.
I got sucked into watching these motivational videos on YouTube earlier tonight, amid the chaos. It was surprisingly helpful, and is why I am writing this post instead of laying in bed staring at the wall (yes, for the uninitiated, that can be chaos).
I built myself. So much of who I was was splintered into pieces by the time I was old enough to mold myself. Being an antique and metaphor lover, I guess I am building and restoring myself simultaneously, and have been my whole life.
I read once in a novel about zero points. It was in reference to a support group for those who had lost loved ones, and how losing them resets your internal clock to zero. Everything from then on is counted by “How long it’s been since…”, until a new zero point takes it’s place. In my experience not all zero points are negative (I consider my son’s birth as an example of a zero point, for instance). But they are points where everything has changed and nothing will be the same ever again, where you set your internal clock back to zero.
My Dad’s death was a zero point. Opening my business became another. And now, I stumble upon the unlucky coincidence of the anniversary of my Dad’s death coinciding with discovering/deciding, abruptly, that I have to close my business. As someone who suffers from a buffet style combination of psychiatric diagnoses, I go into all major emotional and life changing events with a disadvantage, and frankly, I think if I were in perfect mental health, the combination of all this would still be too much to bear.
I read a great article about The Pope, today, and two years he spent, basically in exile, in meditation and writing and prayer. Growing. Learning. It spoke to me strongly enough that if I were not so tired, I would have devoted an entire entry to it. So I will simply share the line that shook me to my core when I read it. There will be a link to the article it was posted in at the end of the post.
“You must live your exile,” ~ Pope Francis
In many ways, my losing the business feels like an exile. Even though I made this choice, it feels like being forcibly exiled out of a place that I loved, that I called home.
A trusted friend of mine did a Tarot reading for me the other day (I knew I was too emotional to do my own reading, as I usually would have done), and I had her do a completely blind read. Everything fit perfectly (as I’ve found it usually does, if I give myself over to the process fully), including the cards that I didn’t like but that still clearly fit the situation. The one that bothered me lingeringly was the Hermit, as he came out in regards to the consequences of one of the two options I had before me (he was essentially representative of the consequences of choosing to close my business), and I felt like I knew what he meant.
Despite being comfortable with Tarot and solid on my definitions, I found myself only imagining the negative qualities of the Hermit. I’m agoraphobic, and having to work outside the house 3 days a week had forced me to go out into the world. Seeing that card in that place, all I could think of was how much it harder it would be to get out of this bed, this room, this house, this yard, and into the wider world, without something pushing me, relying on me to do so. All I could see in him were the negatives (which is why sometimes you need someone else to do your reading for you).
After reading about Pope Francis experience in Exile, and the wheels that it began turning in my head, it made me re-examine The Hermit. He has so many positive qualities, particularly regarding self improvement and inner growth.
Leaving the business might be it’s own kind of exile. But I think exile just might be underrated.