After all of my unpacking and reflecting, I wonder if I have ever not been in fight or flight? I have also had periods of freeze. I have become hypersensitive, hypervigilant, hyperactive, hyper-dis-trustful….I am a child of distrust, as so many my age are.
As a very young child I was trusted with my own well-being, but as an adult, every decision is criticised and questioned.
As a mother I was trusted with two children, but as a parent the system ignores or questions my intuition and connection with them.
As a professional I was trusted with responsibility and reputation, but as an employee I am too much and out of place.
I am a child of paradox.
Some people wonder why I am complex and weird.
My life programmed me to be.
I have become this way from adapting to the environment I have been growing within.
I have become this way because I have a desire within me to live an authentic life, whatever that turns out to be and regardless of who it offends, apparently… a life many can’t trust. Can’t fathom for themselves.
If you drop out, how will you succeed? I was even told ‘what a waste’. What a waste to go and live my life? What a waste to be outside and free?
How will I succeed?
How can I not?
It all starts with asking the question that is right for me:
What is possible if a conscious, intentional being is allowed to just be?
Given the space and resources to thrive…
Given the time to heal.
What potential arises?
Years of chronic stress have a huge impact on the body and mind. Some of us experience physical pain and ailments, others of us experience psychological distress, most of us experience both at some point or another.
Times when we can’t sleep.
When our heads wont switch off.
Times when it feels like the whole world hates you.
Times when you fight the feelings of shame and guilt.
Times when you are overcome with white hot rage.
The lower back ache.
Another tension headache.
Just fucking exhausted.
At a semi-educated guess…it takes about three times as long to recover from periods of intense stress than it does to be hurt by it. So if you were in a shitty work situation for say 9 months, it will probably take you at least 2 years to fully recover and feel free of the weight of the experience.
Or say you have a month of intense work stress, long hours, tight deadlines, high pressure…you’ll need three months of a much slower pace to fully recharge and be ready to do it again. Managers need to learn how to triage their teams.
Parents need to look at their children’s schedules.
We all need to revisit the value in the gap year and apply it across all stages of life, not just that one year out of high school.
Maybe you need a gap three years.
A gap life.
Sign me up.
And so as I wind down, and come back into my body.
As I ground my self and take a long, slow, deep breath.
My mind releases notions of stress and success.
The build up of tension.
My body purges toxins.
The adrenaline, the cortisol.
My body chemistry changes.
My mind changes in response.
My body chemistry changes…
My mind changes in response…
I am grateful to have lived a life that has provided me lessons of paradox and complexity, of transition and transformation.
But fuck, I’m done!
Next lesson please.
As if life came flat packed, ready to be assembled. And we buy it, even though we all know about the unhelpful instructions and the misplaced tools. And so despite our best efforts, we’re still confronted with the awkward messiness of it all. ~ Simone B’Free.
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