I hate it when I fall into a slump after riding a wave of writing that takes me deep into my own heart forces me to excavate my deepest thoughts. But I must admit that it is only natural for me to feel emotionally exhausted after I have dug deep within, stirred up the dregs, pulled it to the surface and scrutinized them - some in my journal and some infused in my published work.
And that's how I have been feeling since last week - hence no posts before today.
So, I engaged in some serious self-talk. This is my life. This is my work. I write from my life.
I can do this. That's what I do. I dig up my life and my emotions. I spread them out on paper like a CSI and examine them. I question them - their origin, their significance to the well-ordered, well-balanced life I try to life, their relevance to the people to whom and for whom I write.
And I do so knowing that it drains me and leaves me feeling vulnerable and sometimes even sore from a bruised ego or a heart that was put through the ringer once more by an old pain.
It's natural for me to want to lay down, rest, recuperate.
That's what it is I think. I'm not in a slump. My mind and my heart are resting, recuperating. And I shouldn't demand that they get out of "bed" when they are exhausted and force them to work.
Just as I discipline myself to write, I must discipline myself to step back and let the process of emotional and creative recuperation take place at its own pace. I must subject myself without complaint to the mental and emotional need to lay low and refuel in the same way that I take time to refuel myself physically.
To balance that I must also determine when enough is enough. There can be too much rest. Too-long periods of rest and inactivity render my creative muscles weak and lazy.
As a weekly columnist, I need to recuperate quickly, pinpoint my discoveries about myself and find a way to include them in my writing so that I can impart advice and encouragement to my readers. Maybe they too will be encouraged to share their own discoveries, which could inspire me to go further, dig deeper, live more simply and more fully.
I look forward to hearing from readers of my column. Their words are as much an encouragement to my heart as they say my words have been to them.
In the midst for the life's cycles, we discover that we are share common bonds. The willingness the share our challenges strengthens our connection, our faith and our determination to keep hanging on, hoping, loving and pursuing our dreams.