What do you do when you don’t know?

Don’t know what? Well, don’t know anything about anything. Or perhaps you know but just won’t admit to it. Like when you get that horrid constricted feeling in your gut that it’s going to be one of “those” days. Gosh!

Aren’t there days when you wake up and go: “I wish I didn’t have to wake up and face today?”  Yeah, I know! Me too.

Today, I woke up pretty early as I’m wont to, 5.15 am is when my alarm shrilly rings in my ear, and I promptly slide it to ‘snooze’ (yes, slide it, this is the age of the smartphone remember? lol) and curl up and turn to the other side. But you know as well as I do that once the alarm goes off, consciousness has insidiously crept into your groggy sleep-infused brain like tea-bag that you dip into the cup of warm water, and it’s time for the quest of a great day to begin. Curtain rolls please!

I completed my walk listening to The Unmistakable Creative’s podcast and came home. I knew something was amiss because when my friend didn’t respond to the text, I sensed it, before I even knew it. I tried to take my mind off by checking on some app on my phone and then texted back saying, “I’m off to do my yoga, so hey, you take care and bye.” And I promptly set about my practice of yoga and meditation. The response didn’t come. It left me feeling very disturbed. I sensed it. I watched my favourite “The West Wing” (repeat telecast as I sometimes miss the night show as it’s too late and I’m busy yawning) and then showered. Now my bathroom is the one place where I get my ideas, where I have my chat, where I am myself really, literally and figuratively naked. I knew I was BSing with myself with some spiel that was really hard to swallow. I knew then that it was time to just stay with the feeling, recognise it for what it is and then move on. This wasn’t the first time I felt this way, and it certainly wasn’t going to be the last. I got out my journal and I started writing. And it helped me immensely. Journaling always does. It’s different from writing a blog. Let’s just say that these are 2 very different books authored by me shall we? :).

Anyway to get to the ‘what do you do when you don’t know?’ story. Tell me honestly, cross your heart, what and how do you feel when:

a) you’re getting ready for appraisal with the boss the night before or the morning of the appraisal? does the entire year flash before your eyes and you know where you’ve gone wrong but are determined to BS your way at the appraisal with sheer bravado and some convoluted justification?

b) you’re getting ready to receive a promotion at work and you go, “what did I do to deserve this?” or alternatively, “God, it’s come too late, but I’ll take it,” or “thank you for your blessings, this is fantastic?”

c) you’re getting ready to pop the question to the lovely woman you’ve been dating for months and she calls up apologising for being late, shows up in a foul mood and doesn’t really care how long you’ve been waiting (with bated breath and imagination)?

d) you get into your car after that last tequila on top of a Cosmo or a vodka or a shandy and a Black Russian and wave your hand in a “adios amigos” confident gesture and you turn on the ignition of your car? honestly, doesn’t it ever cross your mind that “what if…?”

e) you button up your shirt hastily the morning after, looking for your heels and bag, casting a furtive look at the man lying on his back, with his tousled hair and boyish charm, and pick up your cell phone to hear your husband’s voice apologising, “darling, I’m sorry, I had to stay for the signing of the deal, I’ll make it up to you promise, muah!”?

f) you wait for that text message in response to yours and you’re watching a rom com and want to fling something at somebody, anybody because you can’t bear the wretched don’t-know-what’s-going-on unsettling, all consuming need to find out?

g) you hold your parent’s hand and enter the cardiologist’s office, flash forwarding to scenarios which complete a cataclysmic cycle from death to life and beyond in that infinitesimal moment just before you raise your hand to knock at the door?

h) your best friend is constantly critical of your every choice of food, restaurant, book, and you can feel the bile rising up when she predictably makes a disparaging comment, yet you make-believe that you absolutely value everything she says because she’s so much better than you will ever be? (which is so-not-true, but you don’t have the heart and the courage to admit it, because the “IV” has us on a drip that goes, “you’re not good enough!”)

i) when your teenaged daughter/son, gulp their milk/tea/coffee, pretend to eat their breakfast, grab their backpack or knapsack, say a “bye” and you watch them get on their bike and head for…?

You know right? Your body doesn’t lie. You know when something is wrong, you can feel it. That feeling of un-ease. Something that makes you want to weep, scream, jump up and down like there were ants in your pants literally. That slightly faster beat of the heart, thudthudthudthudthud, not thud thud thud thud. The ADD when you’re watching a movie and everything’s a blur because you’re imagining what transpired just before any of the above scenarios (or a gazillion different more) played out right? You always know. Because when something is wrong, it’s a feeling you can’t discard, like a blood stain on a white shirt. You can talk yourself out of feeling it, but it’s there, and it won’t go away. What you don’t really know is how it’s all going to pan out, the next minute, hour, day, week, month, year or lifetime later? That’s the killer isn’t it? Knowing that life is going to change, just how and when and where is what you’re heart is itching to know. God!!

What do I do? I have a dialogue with myself. I recognise the feeling for what it is. I honour it. I let it be. I inhale. I exhale. I pray. I think of now. And I place my hand over my heart and say, “I love you, no matter what, because there’s no one like you and you are God’s child. He has your back.”

Ask yourself this:

Perhaps, it’d be good to feel what you feel. Touch it in your body. Breathe into it. Honour it. Remember that fear is a feeling like Terri Cole says. And feel the now. Because there’s no other way to be except present. This moment, right here, right now.



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