50 Roads #17 – SELF-RENEWAL
(Roads #11-17 are letters to myself for what I wanted to find in therapy – they are filled with questions that I invite you to ask yourself)
I know that at this stage in my life, when something needs renewal, it is usually because something has died or is living with the threat of death. I guess I fall into both of those categories.
I know that there are only a few choices left at this point. To die all the way to death, or to see all of this death and loss as an opportunity to grow a fresh new stalk of ME from what has been chopped down.
I want to live, and I know that in order to live, I’m going to have to let something new grow. I am going to have to choose new life sprouting from the remains of my old life and from the miracle of life itself.
I want to become someone new. I want to become who I need to be to be able to thrive at this time in my life. I want to become someone I enjoy being.
I know that as I watch every living thing and focus on what is true about renewal, I can trust that I will renew . . . that I am already renewing. I know that when things are in between where they were and where they are headed, it can look like a hopeless mess. I know a caterpillar turns to green slime in the weeks between being a caterpillar and becoming a butterfly.
I know what it feels like to be green slime.
I want to tell myself the truths that I know from experience — that everything alive, including me, is always on a progressive path of becoming the next version of itself. I know that this is true for me at this time.
I want to trust the wisdom that is contained in my DNA about how to renew. I want to trust my body, my spirit and my Creator that this is something that is already programmed into me and the timing is perfect for right now, even if it just feels like so much suffering and so much death and so much failure.
I want to remember that no matter how the death and destruction happened, my focus MUST remain on the becoming rather than the unbecoming. The unbecoming will happen as a by-product of the becoming. I am becoming and renewing and my life-force is building up again during this process. I am not just becoming, I am becoming more than I have ever been.
I know that because the cycles of renewal have their own timeline, I cannot rush my becoming. Just like it would kill a butterfly to cut it out of its chrysalis prematurely, I must allow the timing of my own renewal and becoming and not kill it by rushing it.
I know that the root of the word suffer is actually ALLOW. And I want to have the courage and strength to sit with and suffer the parts of the renewal and becoming that I wish I could stop or run away from.
I don’t want to be tempted to write a sad story about this that is incomplete,
Incomplete stories told as truth are actually lies. I know that this story is not over yet, so I want to trust this part in the middle and not call it the end. I want to be hopeful and excited about the incomplete parts, trusting that they are headed somewhere good for me.
I know that I don’t have to overthink this. I don’t have to try to figure out how it will happen. I know that this is more a continuation of who I have always been than a new creation of who I will be. It’s a becoming of continuation. It’s happening and it will continue to happen. I just have to trust the process.
I want to keep this quiet, sacred and opinion-free.
I know that sometimes renewal requires a forest fire, and sometimes renewal requires vigorous sanding down or stripping down. I know that renewal sometimes requires aggressive pruning, or a really hard scrub that bleeds . . .
and that all of it feels like suffering and death at times.
I also know that sometimes a living thing is simply starving or thirsty. And that a wilted plant sometimes just needs to be watered and a screaming baby sometimes just needs to be fed — and suddenly they are renewed.
Sometimes I am starved of things that sustain my life. Sometimes I am so thirsty for who I am that I think I am going to die. And sometimes those things just take a remembrance of what is needed and an action to deliver what is needed, and then I’m renewed.
But this feels different. So much of me has already died. It is gone. So much of what I thought would sustain me forever is gone now. This might be a long process of being green slime and trusting that it is going somewhere good.
I don’t want to be angry or bitter about this time in my life that has felt at times like such a cruel death. I want to trust it, welcome it and be grateful for it. I want to allow it. I want to let it take as long as it takes. I want it to be as complete and whole as possible.
I want to be new without crying about what is gone that felt so much an essential part of me. I want to be new without constantly apologizing and explaining that I no longer have parts of me that others used to enjoy. I want to trust that who I become will attract the ones who like what grew from the ashes of the old me.
I want to love what I was without clinging so tight to it that it becomes shackles that keep me from moving forward. I want to appreciate and enjoy the memories of what once was without feeling like what should have lasted forever got stolen from me. It was just time, that’s all.
I want to let myself grow older without feeling like I was more valuable when I was younger. I want to appreciate my youth but welcome my wisdom years with youthful enthusiasm.
Because I have been out of commission for a while, I don’t want to waste any more time feeling shame for this necessary period of being green slime. I want to be back in commission, but better than ever.
But also with better boundaries than ever. Because I have this opportunity to become new, I want to take better care of my life, my body and my spirit. I don’t ever want to participate in my own unnecessary destruction again. But I do want to allow my own natural decomposing when it’s time for a new part of me to be born.
I want to remember that at my age, when a new part of me is ready to be born, it’s usually because it’s time for an old part of me to die.
And I want to sacredly, honorably and patiently allow that death so that I can sacredly, honorable and patiently rejoice in the birth that is to come.
Because so much of me died, I am also being born.
I get to be new.
I am here for it.
With deep awe,
This wraps up the letters to myself for what I wanted/want to gain in therapy. In all honesty, it’s difficult and uncomfortable to read these letters, but also very empowering
On this Road to Self-Renewal, I started to reframe the losses and deaths in my life. I even started to reframe the betrayals and the bullies. I started to see that even though I don’t believe that everything is meant to be, I do have irrefutable proof that everything that happens in life can be raw material to build something new.
Thank you for being with me on these roads.
You’d think that after putting all of this time into defining what I wanted, it would be straight and simple road to get there. But no.
You’ll learn on the next road, The Road Around The Block, that I was certain that there would be a shortcut. But trying to find a shortcut only made me go in circles.
So, I will see you on the road that loops right back to where it started . . . tomorrow.
I love you and I hope that as parts of my road bring things to light for you, that you’ll have the courage to find the roads that your soul is ready to travel. I know you’ll always end up right where you need to be.
With great love,