I am home from the gym, past breakfast, sitting with tea. It’s time to write.
I’ve been avoiding writing lately, which is not a great thing to admit. I’ve had good excuses in January and February–busy with several presentations and a family wedding–but the energy of avoidance made itself known nonetheless.
What does avoidance mean? What is my avoidance saying to me? This is the starting place for my writing today.
Sometimes avoidance is about perfectionism. I avoid doing something because I don’t think it will be good enough. Perfectionism kills action–that’s not news to anyone. And it’s a common malady, as evidence by the number of people who write about it. Nonetheless, my instincts tell me that’s not my barrier today.
Moving on, I come to fear. We avoid things if fear threatens us. Fear can be about any number of things (including perfectionism). It can be a biological response to a threat. It can be a legitimate anticipation of something painful or difficult. It can be the feeling of having one’s comfort zone invaded or security blanket ripped away. Is fear contributing to my avoidance? Perhaps…I find myself anticipating changes, and by definition change involves uncertainty. While it is possible to enter uncertainty without the heavy load of fear, I have some habituated fear responses that may be kicking into gear.
Next up is the idea of a resting space. Sometimes when we finish one set of tasks, we enter a lull before we are ready to move on. This would make good sense, except I took that rest last week! It was a natural time of recuperation and repair, much appreciated and enjoyed. Unlike this avoidance, which leaves me unsettled, the true resting space was comforting and restorative. So we’ll pass on the resting space for today.
As I write, there is one word coming to me that is begging for its turn. (A word begging to be written is a pretty straightforward indicator I should write it, right?) That word is transition.
I have hinted about changes in previous blogs, but I’m not trying to be coy by avoiding specifics. I’m just not sure what the specifics are!
But interestingly, there’s that word “avoiding”—avoiding specifics. Sometimes we avoid what we don’t know yet, when ideas are inchoate, not yet formed, not yet hardened into “things” that exist apart from the process going on inside us. Sometimes avoiding is akin to waiting, waiting to see what’s around the next inner bend. But just waiting might not be enough to get us to poke our head out farther, to peer ahead, to take the step that finally brings into focus the landscape we are seeking.
Waiting feels too passive, so I’m going to keep writing this week.
Same topic tomorrow, wherever it finds itself going…
(Turns out it went to chicken soup!)
Questions for Reflection: What does avoidance mean to you? How do you react to perfectionism, fear, and change? Does writing about your process feel passive or active?
Writing Prompts: “When I notice myself avoiding something, I know ______” (then keep writing); “Perfectionism to me means ______” (then keep writing); “I have learned that feeling fearful means ______” (then keep writing); “When I enter a transition, I usually ______” (then keep writing).