Have you ever carried a really heavy burden for so long that when it was gone you had to sort of relearn how to be and act without the weight bearing down on you? I’m going through that right now.
Having finally come to the end of an extremely painful and stressful 2½ year ordeal didn’t feel like I expected it would. It wasn’t immediately celebratory. Instead it was just wildly emotional tinged with disbelief that it was finally over.
It took several days to let the waves of “goodness” of it wash in. I felt like a totally dried out, hardened sponge that only gradually was soaking in the fact that the trauma had passed and I had been rebirthed on the other side.
I’ve heard that fish who are kept in small enclosures within bigger tanks or ponds for a long time will keep swimming in small circles for a long time after the walls of their prison are removed. I’ve seen something similar in horses and dogs that I’ve helped rescue from terribly confined and chained situations.
A Course in Miracles notes that often when people have been kept imprisoned, in chains, they don’t immediately stand up straight and celebrate — it takes a while to shake off the limiting conditioning. That’s true whether it’s physical shackles or the emotional and psychological bondage that comes from dealing with prolonged challenges, especially those that are largely out of our control.
I now have a whole new appreciation for this phenomenon and it is delicious to feel the shackles falling away. That is the place to put the focus!
To all of you who have been strong enough to survive through big challenges and long, ongoing uncertainty and demands, I encourage you to take a breath, dive deep and swim a victory lap way outside your own small circle.
Reclaim your place in the big, big pond! Remember WHO YOU ARE!