“It is important to remember that at first flush, going sane feels just like going crazy.” ~Julia Cameron
When life is turning my point of view upside down, how do I tell the difference between going sane and going crazy? Are the old paradigms that are melting away the ones that kept me sane, or the ones the kept me crazy?
As Julia points out, in this stage of the game, they feel pretty much the same. Either way, the foundational beliefs, motivations, and goals on which I have based my life are being destroyed, and I am still in that gap waiting to see what new things will take their place. It could be a long while yet until I know whether what is to come is saner or crazier than what has gone before.
So in this middle ground when I’m letting go of what was and waiting for what is yet to be, how do I know what to hold onto and what to let in when it arrives? For not everything new that comes will be things that help me to go sane.
For instance, the following quote describes a way in which a craziness that I am trying to let go of could manipulate me into accepting things in my future that are not helpful.
“Guilt (you know, the kind that makes you feel like crap, not the kind that guides you to do right next time) is sometimes just ‘the withdrawal symptom of codependence’ (Ann Wilson Schaef).” ~Robin Rice
If I give into this withdrawal symptom of guilt, I am likely to wind up on the road to going crazy rather than going sane, but this would be such an easy trap to fall into because guilt can be such an overwhelming manipulator (at least for me). The problem is that I have not learned to tell the difference between the withdrawal symptom kind of guilt
If I have to go through this much change and loss, I want it to transform me. I want it to help make the person I am meant to be. I want to actively do what I can to keep the process headed in the right direction. But as all of my known guideposts turn to dust, I cannot tell from day to day the difference between going crazy and going sane anymore. Most days I don’t even know what to think, much less what to aim for.
I guess this is where trust might come in handy. Trust that the universe knows what it is doing. Trust even in the journey itself. Is that sane?