A year ago, I was still living “in relation to” Bahrain. Life was still happening in reaction to that time and that experience and the transition we were still very much in the midst of. I wanted our equilibrium, wanted to feel settled, but we just weren’t to that point yet. We were recovering. I wrote this post then: 10 things our re-entry from the Middle East is teaching me.
Today, I can say that we feel much more here and much less there, if that makes sense. But it’s taken time. I’m reminded that transition takes longer than we think it’s going to and longer than we’d prefer.
The squeeze is never fun. It doesn’t feel good when it’s happening and we surely aren’t inviting it to stay for any longer than necessary. But as I look back at that list of 10 things our re-entry taught me, I consider each and every one of those things to be invaluable bits of wisdom, bread crumbs that have led me since. And I’m not sure I would have stumbled upon those truths any other way.
Our tour in Bahrain and our resulting relocation back to the States has been a defining few years in our family and in my life. Elle will turn three this Saturday, and her birth in Bahrain will always be a part of her story and ours.
The single most important learning I have had through this experience is the reality that I must be a companion to myself, be on my own team. I am learning the practice of being the strong mother who fights for myself, stands up for myself, takes care of myself.
Sometimes it takes a giant transition, a major disorientation, in order to bring us home to ourselves.
While I’ll never choose the Come Apart, I see that sometimes our constructs and our assumptions and our ways of doing things need to come apart so that they can be put back together in a way that is healthier, more soulful, truer. We are led to greater freedom, but we have to fight some battles along the way.
I was rereading bits of The Alchemist the other day. I love this line:
Here I am between my flock and my treasure, the boy thought. He had to choose between something he had become accustomed to and something he wanted to have.
Man, I so relate to this. And isn’t this one of our great human dilemmas: we often have to give up comfort in order to gain wisdom.
Many of us are in the midst of our version of transition or upheaval or disorientation and we must continue. Because we don’t arrive. We just choose to practice what’s been revealed to us.
I’ll leave you with the final paragraph from Breathing Room:
Show up and participate in what life has in front of you, in what God is doing in your life. Continue to lean in. Continue to open your eyes. Continue to scout the beauty. Continue to create. Continue to love. Continue to get well. Continue to breathe.