It’s Monday morning, and I’ll soon be getting ready to head out to begin another week at the office. You’d think that after spending most of last week at home in bed that I’d be happy that I feel well enough to get back to “normal”.
I do, but I don’t.
I do in the sense that feeling healthy is far preferable to feeling sick. For someone who is rarely ill, last week was an anomaly, and I’ve now used all but 1 of the 6 paid Sick Days I’m allotted for the year. It’s only March, so you do the math. My available “Mental Health” days have just been drastically reduced.
But the truth of the matter is, I really would rather not go to the office this morning. It’s not that I’m adverse to working, and it’s not because I don’t feel well enough. It’s something else. Something that being at home last week – mostly alone and mostly resting (which in and of itself is something I haven’t done in forever) – brought to the forefront of my awareness in a huge way.
Whether it was the bed rest, the Downton Abbey marathon (I consumed every episode of all 4 seasons within about 4 days), or the simple pleasure of being in my own home for more than a weekend at a time, I am going back to the office this morning different than I was last Monday. I am a relaxed woman (I don’t believe I’ve clenched my jaw in days, and those persistent knots in my shoulders are gone). A refreshed woman.
A released woman.
There’s a softness in my being. A lightness in my thoughts, my speech, and my attitude. My words are coming back, much to my delight, and I feel a fresh wave of compassion and patience and love for those around me.
I feel soft in my belly. Literally! My belly is soft, not all tucked in tight like I was waiting to be punched in the gut. It’s as if I’ve returned to a much beloved and welcoming place after a long arduous journey. A place where kindness and truth and grace abide.
Every now and then I wonder who I would be if I just had enough time to myself in the peaceful comfort of my own home. Time free from feeling driven by chores or tasks or projects. Free from my job.
I think I know now.
I would be ME. The “real” me, the ME that I am when my energy is free from the toxic environment I’ve been working in for 8 years now. And it is. Toxic and dysfunctional, like a whirling shit storm that’s always whizzing by my head. The Truth is: My job has been poisoning my soul, and harming my body, in ways that only became apparent after being in the still quiet, the comforting arms, of my home.
I read this poem yesterday, and it touched me to the quick. It blew on an ember that’s been lying in wait in my breast – a recognition in my spirit. I AM one of the heavy-breasted cauldron keepers, a shape shifter, an Earth keeper, a Wolf woman. And I want to weep this morning, and do even now as I write this, for the longing for a way to keep a hold of myself, to better protect myself, from the ugliness that wears away at my soulbeauty 5 days a week.
And I pray. I pray for Home.
I am dreaming back my sisters
Whisper-worn footfalls on the Temple steps
Heavy-breasted cauldron keepers
Gentle-handed womb sounders
Come home sisters, come home
~Marie Elena Gaspar