Finding Center

Photo by Alex Conchillos on

Evanna Lynch shared her aerial practice the other day and mentioned that one of her mentors had said something to her while learning how to spin on the hoop.  He said, “You don’t force your way to the center, you have to let your body find it.”   It struck me because I immediately knew the visceral feeling described without having felt it for a long time.  It’s the discussion of flow.  I’ve been privileged to have moments of it, but it’s something I’m shooting for long term.  My problem is always falling back to fear and trying to control the situation.  I’m trying to force my flow.  I’m trying to force a specific outcome.  The reality is, when we flow, we are free.  We aren’t holding onto anything.  The reason we are able to survive and move in flow is because our center guides us to keep upright even when we are getting swirled or pulled by the current. 

A few months ago, my husband told me he wasn’t sure he loved me anymore.  At the time my world was completely rocked.  I had known for a while that we were having issues, that something was bothering him.  But I had NO idea it was that deep to the point of him not even wanting to be in my presence or continue working on us.  When he said those words, my heart went through my stomach as all of the fears I’d had of him leaving me seemed to be coming true.  I really had to process what he said and what it meant.  I knew the trigger moment of that fight, but, as we all know, it wasn’t just one thing that led to that pivotal confession.  Now, anyone who has been with someone for more than a decade or two knows these things sometimes happen.  They also know when it means something different.  I knew this wasn’t a normal fight.  This was no longer about being annoyed with each other’s habits or frustrated about not getting our way.  This was a life-changing confession about the core of who I am. 

I couldn’t catch my breath and the entire world literally spiraled.  I didn’t know how to behave around him.  I didn’t know how to feel about him or about myself.  He told me the next day he was glad he said it.  Instead of that feeling like another gut punch, it sparked something in me.  I’d been feeling awful long prior to him uttering those words.  I’d been rushing through life, trying to achieve major goals all at the same time.  I’d been trying to create an entirely new life without reconciling the old one—some of it without consulting him.  I don’t regret doing those things because some of that has become the foundation for me to move forward.  But that was the pattern I’ve always had: I want to get through it all so that it can be done and it won’t feel overwhelming.  But there is always something else to be done.  And if we continue to rush through it all, soon life will be that check-list and we will be at the end of it.

So, I started seeing a therapist.  I know much of my behavior is a control response out of fear.  For so long I’ve been pulled by the current of others that I started putting stakes in the ground at every opportunity.  Everything that didn’t go my way was an insult to me.  My husband hadn’t been very attentive to me so I started lashing out.  He was becoming an anchor for some of my projects and my fear of never achieving my goals seemed real.  The truth is, he doesn’t have to have the same goals as me.  I need to be centered in myself and know which way I’m going.  Whether or not he comes along is his choice.  I was trying to force him to my center without really knowing my center because I was too busy doing all the things, living that check list. 

While things have changed significantly in the last few months, I’m finding it’s less about his actions and more about mine.  I don’t want to be the person I was, rushing through the day with no clear focus, but filled with activity thinking I was pushing something forward.  I don’t want to miss the now thinking I’m doing something for the future when all I’m doing is widening the circle.  The actions need to be meaningful.  And that means being centered in myself.  So letting go of controlling others and simply choosing a new course of action if needed.  It means knowing who I am and allowing others to go if they feel the need—even if we’ve been together forever.  Who they were may not be who they are—and the same goes for me.  I’m feeling my way into who I am, and I’m learning to understand what I like and what I don’t like in a new way.  I’m working on not anticipating the worst, I’m just trying to feel my way to good.  I’m working on breathing, on keeping myself upright no matter what happens.  Knowing I’ll be ok no matter what.  At my core, I am ok.  I know that.  I’m done forcing myself to center—all it’s done is make me dizzy.

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