day 4 my senses are uncomfortable

Gabe and I have been in a relationship for nearly 13 years. We have never spent so much consecutive time together as we have the last 8 weeks of the stay at home order. I’ve seen memes and tiktoks of wives joking about burying their husbands in the garden by the end of this quarantine. I laugh, but that’s not my story or my narrative.

We talked last night for a solid and uninterrupted time. Talked about the weight I feel trying to treat my body right, when the wrong things are so much easier at times. I brought to light some fears, he brought to light his too. We talked about our kids and our life. We don’t always hold space for this kind of talking. We don’t always hold intentional space for each other to just be and to breathe.

It’s easy to lose awareness of the other, even in close proximity at all times. Easier, maybe, to lose awareness when technically – you have no distance at all.

I have not had a break from being aware of what needs changing in my life for a solid 5 years. Getting pregnant with Jemma (now 4) was some form of unexplainable enlightenment for me in which I viewed my body differently and I viewed my soul differently. And I haven’t stopped being enlightened since.

I have done the hard work of cutting and adding and doing it over and over again. Of pulling up weeds only to find them twofold days later and start again. Of carefully crafting new narratives, to shred them to pieces with a new lens, another shift in perspective.

In this quarantine it has been the food that has been brought back to the forefront. Headaches and stomach pain have become my normal again. This wasn’t the case when I wasn’t eating sugar, when dairy was minimal if any, when I held firm on what I knew I needed. When I didn’t edit my soul.

Don’t bend, don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion.

Franz Kafka (Encountered first for me in {Chasing Slow – by Erin Loechner})

I know what needs to be done, and it feels so frustrating that the answer is the same as it was… shouldn’t I be able to do the hard work once, and call it good?

I know this not to be the way. Not the way of being physically fit, not the way of being nutritionally balanced, not the way of spiritual health. The way is to make the next right choice over and over, and never stop.

It’s the same with relationships. From 15 years old to nearly 28, we have made choice after choice to be where we are now. Each choice mattered. Each choice matters now.

A choice I am more aware of right now is my choice to be on my phone when laying in bed. To be on my phone when the grandparents or Gabe are playing with kids. To tell myself I deserved that time. I work hard, therefore I deserve my vegged out screen time while others are on duty.

I’m not wrong. I work hard and I deserve down time. I deserve better, though, than what I have been settling for.

I deserve focused conversations with Gabe. I deserve the sun on my neck while I read a good book and listen to my kids playing with their loved ones. I deserve the time to move my body intentionally. I deserve time creating music and art and culinary delights. I deserve my best and my best is not found in the social media platforms that I have given so much time and energy the last few years.

Enlightenment feels awful sometimes. It feels like cutting an addiction cold turkey or walking away from comfort into unknowns. It feels like allowing all synapses to fire, all senses to operate fully, all urges to numb must be squelched over and over, leaving a path for the next right thing.

Beautifully, though at times frustrating, the enlightenment of one is not the enlightenment of another. We become and we tell our story when we are able and we invite others into their own version of this.

Day 4 of this next right thing choice to stay off social media, and I am feeling the weight of enlightenment all over again. Feeling the senses screaming at me that they are not comfortable – to which I reply: good. This discomfort brings us forward.

On to day 5.