"If I leave now, it's only ten hours. I can be there by 6. I can stay tomorrow and Sunday, and drive back Monday. I can do this. No big deal. My car almost knows the way itself. I'm going home."
And then I heard, "But you are home. This is your home. Where are you running to? Why are you running? What are you running from?" And as the questions formed in my mind, I felt my eyes tearing up, and then the tears were slipping down my cheeks. "Homesick, I'm homesick. I want to go home."
Before I knew it, I was cleaning up the breakfast dishes and heading for the closet, pulling out my suitcase, opening drawers, picking out clothes...and then I stopped, and sat on the edge of the bed, and asked myself, "What the hell are you doing?"
As I thought about it, I realized it wasn't really Pittsburgh and my home there that I was missing. It was the way things were before I knew Hayden was coming, before I decided to move to Nashville, before I closed my office and took the trip to Alaska. I wanted things back the way they used to be, back when I knew what each day held, how each day was going to play out. I wanted my old schedule back. I wanted my full calendar of clients and classes. I wanted Wednesday night groups and Saturday workshops, and Sunday and Monday off. I wanted my old routine, my old friends, my old way of being. I wanted safety, security, stability. I didn't want to be in this new place trying to figure out what to do with all the stuff in the boxes that were still unpacked and waiting for me in my office. I didn't want to think about what's next with my work or where this new relationship is heading. I wanted to run away and leave it all behind.
But the thing about running away, about resisting what I was feeling, is that when I came back, it would all be here waiting for me. And pushing it away wasn't going to make it any easier to deal with. As I thought that, I remembered that God had said something similar in a message that came through during one of the workshops I did when I was in Pittsburgh in October. I dug it out and read it. This is what God said,
"So oftentimes, you resist the pain, and what you really need to do is embrace it. “What you resist, persists.” How many times have you heard that? So every time you resist the pain, it persists. Embrace it! Whatever the pain is - physical, mental, emotional, spiritual - embrace the pain! Pull it towards you! Wrap your arms around it! Love it! Hold it close! Offer your gratitude! Tell it how grateful you are that it has come to serve you, and to teach you.
You might be amazed at what happens when you do that. Suddenly the flood gates will open, and you will be sobbing tears. But not tears of pain, simply tears of healing. Sometimes even tears of joy, and you think to yourself, “This is so strange! I was in so much pain! And now I’m joyfully crying?? This makes no sense!”
Ah, but your pain was a symptom. And when you pulled it in, when you held it close, when you hugged it and embraced it and owned it? You broke it open and freed yourself! And so you cry tears of joy because you realize that you are free. That no longer do you have to carry that which you were carrying.
Pain is a very uncomfortable teacher. But a very powerful one. And whether that pain is spiritual or physical or emotional or mental, it doesn’t matter. It’s come to teach you something. It’s come to teach you what you asked it to teach you."
I'm not sure what this experience is teaching me. Maybe it's just a reminder that change can be uncomfortable, but it's part of the process, and it's okay to be uncomfortable as long as I don't let it stop me from moving forward. So I didn't run away today. I stayed at home and forced myself to unpack the rest of the boxes. I went to Staples and priced a desk and chair for my office, and I went to Kohl's and bought the towels and rugs for the bathroom that I've been putting off buying.
That uncomfortable feeling is still there, but the desire to run away has abated. And I noticed that once I recognized what the feeling of homesickness was all about, it was easier to understand why I was feeling the way that I was. Everything is different. It makes sense that I'd want to have it all back the way it was, because I know how to be that person, to do that job. I knew how to live my life as that Bonnie. I'm still trying to figure out how to live my life as this Bonnie.