When You Don't Know What's Next
But you do know what's over.
I find myself in a place I think a lot of people fantasize about being. About to leave a relationship that has been a huge influence on the definition I had of myself - who I was and who I was allowed to be in this world - for a long, long time. Twenty one and a half years, to be exact. And while just now I am not at liberty to get into the details about this relationship because the other party has not yet found out I am leaving them, it is still my life and in my life, now more than ever before, I know that I get to tell the story the way I want, whenever and wherever I want, first. That’s what freedom is. And I’m claiming mine now. In full clarity, strength, and certainty. Not certainty of what comes next. Certainty of who I am now. A grown woman under no influence but her own. Aligned in soul and spirit and grace.
It took me many years to get to this place which exists not in the physical world - not inside a marriage or family or career or house or church or material construct - but in the realm of the unseen, where all dreams come from, where all desire and vision starts, inside of the Infinite, the Ultimate, the Endless, the Beginningless. It took almost a full decade of very confused, disoriented years. Years made up of months which were made up of days and nights spent knowing my truth but only faintly, only dimly, and then running like hell from it at the kind of warp speed only addiction and denial could provide. But over the past five intense weeks of soul searching, journaling, meditating, sleeping, praying, crying, and therapy, I have been on a focused quest to do one thing: heal. Heal in the name of learning to live in alignment with my own integrity. To recover from all the ways I denied myself, abused myself, lied to myself. Denied the truth of who I was and cowered from developing the strength I now, mercifully, humbly possess. The clarity is very real now and I know it’s time to walk away from what is dead already. Not dead because it was bad, but just because its time is up. Our time is up.
I think a lot of people fantasize about being in this place because they think it’s the circumstances that will set them free, finally, from the excruciating pain of staying in the same place that has hurt so badly for so long. I know because I believed that for as long as I can remember. I thought I wanted to leave the relationship, and I did and I do and I will, but what I really wanted even more so was to be here in the “just about to leave” place inside where I know what needs to be done and even though it’s a little (a lot) scary I also know it’s only scary because the next thing, the “what will happen after” is unknown. That is the darkness we avoid. Sometimes at all costs. Sometimes for our whole lives.
What I wish I could have told myself long ago, as soon as I started to hear that voice that was whispering “time to go, go, go,” was that it wasn’t an outside circumstance I was looking for to be right, like lining up a next job or a next partner or a next place of residence, but rather it was a deep knowing feeling inside that I would be okay no matter what the next thing was. And the only way to get to that place is by doing the work of walking into the darkness and navigating only by your soul light. That light that was placed inside you long before you were born, long before you knew who you were or would become, as a little human being, a tiny creature at the mercy of your surroundings, upbringing, and the belief systems within which you would be raised.
There is a strange mysterious suspension of time and space in this place. The amount of immense gratitude I have for being able to be here and experience it is profound, deep, and transformative in the grandest most intense spirit of that concept. It is the impossibly wild possibility of absolutely all things. Undefined. Unlimited. Unfamiliar. Unrestricted access to feeling, exploring, and developing what could be; what otherworldly desire is capable of manifesting into form. It is the gestation of an unfathomable thing. The seed of the dare. The secret of all life, the end of all judgment and the beginning of all faith: that there is only ever the unknown. And it beckons, and beckons, until you dare allow it to make itself known.