November 29, 2016

In-Between Days

For the past few mornings. I’ve had the same reoccurring semi-dream-state thought as I lay in bed only barely awake. It goes like this…

This is an In-Between Day. A day that exists in a space-time that is not today or yesterday but between the two. I’m alone here. There’s no one to impress or let down here. There’s no where to be or nothing to do because this exists outside of responsibilities, expectations, or the pressing anxiety of moments wasted. I don’t have to get up. I could just lay here until “today” comes and it will be OK.

It seems so real. Like lucid dream. Even the swoosh and hum of traffic on the busy street that borders our house becomes silent and disappears. It feels like truth.

I told my wife Bethany about this the first day it happened. And I somewhat remember telling her I had it again this morning too. I’ve been trying to figure out what this means. Why I keep having this thought/dream. Why I keep thinking — longing — for it throughout the day.

I mentioned it to a friend, who has background training as a therapist, that I thought maybe I keep having this dream because I long for a retreat. A day or two of complete solitude like I spent at Pacem in Terris a little over a year ago. A break from life’s small ups and massive downs I’ve had as of late… The election, the situation with my oldest son, the handful of client issues I’m completely stumped on… All of it. A time in which I can regroup and return to my life the better for it.

“Perhaps, it’s that you feel all alone in all of this,” she countered. “That you’re facing the hardships and heartaches alone. And, even though you aren’t — you have plenty of people around you supporting you with love and standing by your side — they can’t be in your shoes, where you stand, in your exact same time and space so, you feel alone.”

I hadn’t even considered this possibility or thinking of it in this way. And, my immediate reaction was to reject it outright — no, that can’t be it… Can it?

If there’s one bit of wisdom that I’ve learned in my almost 50 years it’s that those things one rejects most immediately and forcefully are likely because they touch a soft bruise too close to the core truth. These are the things you should take back in, embrace, and hold for a while. Sit with these things. There’s a there there.

So, when we confront something difficult to hear, don’t push it away. Because, sometimes the hardest thing to face is truth.