EMOTIONAL DISTANCING: SEPARATING MYSELF FROM WHO I USED TO BE
Amid all this social distancing, (which really should be called physically distancing) I can’t help but think about something that has been transforming in me and created some emotional distancing on my part, from myself…and the effect it has had on the progress of my writing…
Can I be transparent?
Throughout my years, I generally responded to life based on my emotions.
I’ve never been one of those people led strictly by logic. The idea of trusting logic over my own emotion has always been foreign to me.
If I am to take any action based solely on the constructed logic of something or someone else, or the emotions within my spirit, I’m generally taking action based on my emotions.
If I wanted to do something, I did it. If I want to go somewhere, I went. If I want to say something, I said it.
Now…in my mid-twenties, some of that evolved. I spent a lot of time on a yoga mat. I studied my body and mind. I began the reflective journey that I did not always have to react based on my emotions. I could stop, weigh out the balance and make a decision accordingly…or simply make no decision at all and allow life to gently show me the way.
That would then become my path. I would trust the Universe to show me my way.
I studied and read and followed paths as they unfolded before me. Some consciously and some unconsciously but always with bigger visions in mind.
Now…as I’ve generally allowed life to show me my path while trusting the balance of my gut reaction, those internal emotions and the logic surrounding me – I quickly interpret when to follow, take the lead, when to hang back, and when to break free to go on my own…
Consequently, I have maintained a pretty simple, unencumbered yet full and robust life!
I’ve always thought that’s what made my writing so strong, the freedom to allow my life to guide my work.
And for the most part, it has.
A common sentiment I get from people who read my work is that it’s refreshingly vulnerable, raw, and transparent. That I use my stories and feelings to inspire…to discover hope and the bigger picture in our existence.
I write what I know about in life, my experiences, I write what I feel, or more so I allow my focus on some aspect of my life or my feelings for it dictate what I write and the stories I tell.
It also means I must truly CONNECT with all of life, and the people along the way, in order to create new experiences and feelings that I can focus in on.
After all, if I lived very dully and monotonously what would I have to write about?
So as you can probably guess, logically speaking, I have a hard time disconnecting from my emotions and therefore – my writing…because I do get so connected.
I get very emotionally tied to my work and I end up having a hard time letting things go.
Thankfully I have been blessed to have some wonderful mentors, family and loved ones who have also taught me that while our feelings are always valid, it doesn’t make them fact and we must also keep our faith.
This was a concept that was easy for me to accept, actually liberating…only it was harder in application.
Because what happens when your emotions keep repeating? What happens when you’re stuck in the same emotional loop? What happens when your emotions won’t allow you to move forward?
You have to move past the feelings, look at the facts and take leaps of faith!
Facts, faith, feelings…they all intertwine and balance each other out, when allowed!
I look at the works, individually and collectively that I’ve created for the past two years, and I still feel an emotional attachment to most pieces!
I feel so much about the work I created, the lessons I have learned, and ultimately the woman I was and have been evolving in to.
Yet I realized, I feel so much about very specific points in time, and so I keep writing about the emotions from that time. It’s almost as if I’m trapped in a time bubble.
I want to move on to what’s next, and yet am I telling similar stories over and over and over again…?
I look at my work and in an attempt to recapture those same emotions, those same experiences, those same moments – I look to feel the same feelings, and so I repeat the same actions, and ultimately end up writing the same stories.
It’s made me stagnant; stuck in a chapter that I have long since been promoted out of…and I know it. I emotionally feel it and logically know it.
The fact is, many of those experiences are no longer my story to tell. Those feelings are no longer mine to explore…
At a time when life is handing me a dance card…it is time to move forward in faith.
It is time…
And yet I’m met with this burden that emotional distancing often causes – separating myself from old work also means separating myself from who I used to be. And as someone who deals with an exorbitant amount of nostalgia, that’s a tall order.
I loved those chapters, and while some were very painful and deep, there were also huge leaps and awakenings in who I was as a person and there’s a part of me that keeps trying to tap into that, again; to feel those emotions again. Not to relive the pain but to stay so very awake and aware!
Yet, emotions aside I had to ask myself, “Why do I want to keep telling stories I’ve already told? Why do I keep wanting to live lives I’ve already lived?”
Maybe it’s been a fear of the future?
The uncertainty of what comes next.
Maybe it’s been the irrational thought that the next chapters won’t be as good as the last…or that in letting go, I am somehow letting go of the people who were a part of those paths with me. People who are no longer tangibly here, or are a part of my life, that somehow my emotions connecting me to them make them tangible to me still?
I’ve had all those thoughts, and I’m thankful life has given me space, the time, and grace to work through each of them because in doing so I’ve been able to finally accept the closing of those chapters.
I’ve learned that although my emotions sometime says otherwise, logic also tells me, I am not tied to that chapter, to that story, or to that version of myself.
Yes, it is all still a part of me, in that it is woven into the fabric of my being but it does not singularly define me.
I have to keep moving forward because not every chapter is meant to last forever.
So it’s time for the next stories. And while I still have so much nostalgia for my last chapters, while I still have so many thoughts to dissect, so many emotions tugging at me, it’s time to distance myself from them.
After all, part of every journey has an end…
With that end, comes a start. A start where I’ll begin to see something different or fresh and new.
Because with new experiences will come new connections, new words, new stories, new divine euphemism, and new chapters.
I look forward to this future…a future full of news and firsts and unknowns and I hope you will continue to join me!
And I hope to still dance…regardless of what my knees tell me!
As always…Go in love,