While I was deep in thought, breathing and paying attention to what was going on inside, I noticed that my car automatically tried to take the exit that I normally would take, which is the same way that I have been taking for years now.
In the past month or so, I have taken a new way that I found to be a lot easier; a quicker way. I have not taken the old way in over a month. As soon as I realized that I was going the wrong way; I swirved to not take that exit, but instead keep going the new way.
In that moment I realized that if I am not thinking, my ways are on ‘auto pilot”. In that moment I also realized that when you take a new path, your always internally wanting to go towards the familiar; the direction that is well known and feels more comfortable.
I have been taking this new route since the beginning of the new year, and for some reason, I always catch myself trying to go the old way if I am really not thinking or paying attention.
Today I really caught it, and it made me think of this new path in my healing, and how there will always be times that I try and go towards the familiar, and veer away from the unfamiliar.
There are alot of things that are unfamiliar in this new path I am on, and alot of the times, internally I am veering off towards what I know, and what feels more comfortable. I think alot of us like to stay with the familiar, and lately, for me, the unfamiliar is very scary and unknown.
Having the childhood I had, I lived with rituals and routines. I am the type of person that will do the same routine every day. I will go the same way, stop at the same racetrac and get the same coffee. I will leave the house at the same exact time I leave everyday. So taking this new path, it was certainly unfamiliar, and the same goes with this healing journey. I am learning new paths all the time, and it’s very scary, but it’s also healing, and I see the goodness in taking a new direction.
Today, I struggled with the unfamiliar. I went back to my old ways when I was being asked “so tell me, what would support and connection look like over the weekend?” “how can I help?” – I kept thinking to myself “eh, I will be fine” or “I can do this, I am used to doing the hard work internally” “I dont need anything”, well there you go, the old ways were coming back in wanting to take care of myself, even though deep inside, I wanted that support.
The thing is, even though internally it’s an automatic pilot to keep wanting to go in the old direction, I am finding that I want the new path more and more. I am finding that the new way is not so bad, and the new way is not so alone. The new way is not so exhausting in trying to always do it by myself.
SO instead of giving into the “comfortable familiar”, I gave in when being asked that question, and said “you know what? yes actually, I do need support, Im having a hard time today, this is hard, and yes I do need connection and support, I dont want to do it alone, and let me think about how that would look” – WOW! yes I said that!! Just like I did today in the car when realizing I was going the old way, and had to veer hard to stay on the new path towards me.
It’s amazing what “autopilot” will do. It not only happens when we are driving, but also internally with our emotions and thoughts. The moment I start feeling the need to go in my old direction, that is when all the old stuff tries to come back and tug at me. I need to keep that wheel straight, keep going towards me, and know that someday, the unfamiliar will soon be the familiar.
Half the battle of healing is about staying on your path that you are working on. I think half the battle of healing is maintaining going towards the unfamiliar. The unfamiliar is scary, it’s a hard road, but I am learning that road, and I am feeling more and more comfortable each time I take it.
I am going to try and stay in the unfamiliar.. stay connected and not try and do it all on my own, reach out when I need to, make it OK to be on this new path. I will focus on working internally, but yet giving myself gentle care that this is now for me; my path.
I will say to myself “I am worthy of connection, and I am loved and supported” and “I WILL get through this, because the new path is less traveled, and in a way safer.
So today, I feel God was with me in the car, I felt he had his hand on the wheel too, to say “Karen, that was the old way, stay on the new path, towards the unfamilar, but the good unfamiliar”.