Restoration from the Place of Unknowing

“There’s freedom in hitting bottom. In seeing you won’t be able to save your daughter, her spouse, his parents, or your career, relief in admitting you reached the place of great unknowing. This is where restoration can begin, because when you’re still in the state of trying to fix the unfixable, everything bad is engaged: the chatter of your mind, the tension of your physiology, all the trunks and wheel-ons you carry from the past. It’s exhausting.”  ~ Ann Lamott, Help Thanks Wow: The Three Essential Prayers

Last year contained a series of surprises and physical injuries, which are still healing and nearly healed, assuming there aren’t any setbacks. I was hit head-on. Two months later my daughter was rear-ended by a drunk driver. My mother and brother were hospitalized far away shortly afterward and it was my job to get on a plane and take care of matters. I could go on and on about the heroic tasks required of me.

This is how Fixer and Rescuer identities got the toe-hold once again. Then a strangle-hold. What began as an innocent response to urgent and real needs turned into a (false) belief that I COULD fix whatever is broken. For everybody. Now. Or (better yet) yesterday.

In the middle of this relapse, I got very busy reacting and managing things. Important things.

But I forgot a lot of things, too: to listen to that still, small voice that asked what was truly mine to do, for instance. I also missed big signs, like the tension in my body while I was managing all the heavy “wheel-ons and trunks”  Lamott describes.

I missed the white flag of surrender that was the only reasonable response reality was offering me. Fighting reality is always exhausting. I had forgotten that.  Apparently I needed some real-life experience to remind me.

But now… ahhh… now.  From the bottom, there’s a certain peace. The view here in the unknowing is hazy, but it’s restful. I’m back home to my business. A place where I can ask for and see all the help that has always been around me.

A place of deep restoration.

One Response to “Restoration from the Place of Unknowing”

  1. Mari Ann Bihr

    Susan, Loved this blog. I’ve been where you have been and I too finally found that you can only do so much. Much of what you can do is keep yourself together and cheering on the other loved ones in your life in hopes that they find their inner strength to help themselves. I had my 65th in January and have found that I have accepted the fact that I have been blessed with a long life and things just naturally happen good and bad when you get to to this age. Best thing to do is take each day as it comes and only hold on to the lessons learned from the hard stuff. You write so beautifully, thanks for sharing and looking forward to May reunion.

    Reply

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