The first step is always being in the stuff.
Right? And of course, not quite understanding it, even though I think I do. I always think I understand it, at first, because I can see quite easily what it’s made of.
This particularly potent brew of stuckness was made up of this kind of stuff: Holy crow, I have an intense and desperate need to change Thing A, Thing B, Thing C, and also Systems Q through S and shift Priorities VI through XVII and also stop drinking coffee.
And each of these things and priorities and coffee cups was connected to its own little spider web of stuff — peculiar reasons, histories, patterns, monsters, coping techniques — making those little spider webs quite gigantic, actually. A million tiny universes (universi?) and no simple answers, no easy choices or solutions.
In fact, it was clear to me that I could spend years on any particular one of these things, and the idea of it was massively, depressingly fatiguing.
Except then a kind of clue appeared, a foggy sort of awareness bubbling up to the surface, something more than the Gee this feels familiar feeling that always accompanies this kind of spelunking. After about twenty pages of mad journal scribblings, things started to coalesce around one word:
Scarcity of money, of sustenance both tangible and intangible, of time especially, of space, of the right things. Most especially: phantom scarcity, the kind where you are holding onto something you don’t want or need and in fact might actively cause you pain and it’s taking up space you’d rather devote to something else…but you can’t let it go.
Why did it stop me? Because of its shadow, overwhelm.
Scarcity drives the craving for change, but Overwhelm says, It’s All Too Much, Let’s Hide In The Closet Instead.
And together they whisper Don’t Forget To Keep Your Eye On All The Things Troubling You Because If You Relax And Stop Thinking About It All You Will Also Die.
Pretty dire stuff.
(And this is the part where I stop. Because I’m still not ready to talk to those monsters. Or figure out what I need to be safe or move forward or heal the fear of scarcity. But I thought you might like to know where I am.)