I’m a reasonably smart woman, and I tend to be rather more self-aware than average. But I am still very good at using that intelligence to fool myself and can get myself so focused on one thing that I remain completely oblivious to other things going on in my life of which I really should be aware.
But no matter how good I can be at fooling myself or at ignoring important input, my body always knows what my conscious mind is ignoring. And my body will continue communicating more and more loudly until it gets my attention.
I have a situation going on right now where I committed to something several months ago without thoroughly thinking it through. I was flattered to be asked and it all sounded so promising at the start. As the time to fulfill that commitment has gotten closer, my unease has grown. I’ve been aware of the growing internal resistance, but it seemed out of place. The opportunity makes a lot of sense for me … and besides, people are counting on me now.
The strength of my unease has grown to such discomfort that I have really been wrestling with how to fulfill my commitment in a way that honors it without extending it past the very minimum that I need to do. I thought I had several good possibilities for ways to do this.
And then I woke this morning with my jaw muscles so tight that I can’t open my mouth all the way without a painful pop in the joint. It hurts to open my mouth very wide. It hurts to chew anything substantial. And nothing seems to be easing it at all.
Tight jaw muscles like this are (for me) a classic sign of stress. As I sit with the stress and the jaw pain, the thing that keeps rising to the surface is this commitment that is causing such discomfort for me. My body is telling me that my solutions of “minimizing” the commitment is clearly not enough.
The problem is that there really are people counting on me now, so if I cannot fulfill this commitment, then I need to find someone else who can do it in my place. And I need to find that someone fast! (Both because the deadline is rapidly approaching AND because I want to get back to being able to eat normally.)
My body is simply not going to let me move forward into something that is not right for me no matter how logical it is and no matter who might be disappointed.
I’m not exactly sure how I will get out of this mess that I’ve created for myself, but my focus has shifted now from feeling stuck to actively trying to find a solution that will work for everyone involved (including me). It would be easier if I’d listened sooner to that unease that kept plaguing me, but hindsight is always 20/20, isn’t it?
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