A spiral that listens.
Another helpful thing that came out of my 9 p.m. hotel lobby conversation with Kay was the idea that perhaps the timing for this “re-work” process is just right.
Or, rather, that perhaps I’m ready for it now, whereas before I wasn’t.
I was telling Kay how much I hate that all of this new stuff has come up for processing now, how much it feels like going back in time and starting over, how much I feel like it’s derailing my progress forward in areas I’ve been excited to pursue … how much I wish this new work had been incorporated into the process of formation and healing I took the first time around the formation spiral.
“I just wish this had been part of the original process,” I said.
She nodded. She knew.
Then, after a few moments, she said, “But maybe you’re more ready to look at this part of your story now than you were before.” Kay is one of the kindest people in my life, and she said these words quietly, with such gentleness.
I looked at her and held her gaze. I let her words sink in.
“I think you’re probably right,” I finally said.
Because this part of my story I’m processing now? It’s hard, and it’s dark. It’s something that, every time I have thought of it over the years, I have quickly averted my eyes and my mind from. It’s just one of those really hard and difficult things.
In truth, I’ve steeled myself against it all these years. That’s 19 years of white-knuckled steeling. You could say I’m quite the professional steeler — that my mind, heart, body, and soul are professional-level gatekeepers when it comes to that particular memory bank stored inside of me. I’ve built up quite the defense against it. I’m very good at squashing it.
And so maybe, in fact, it took that long journey around the formation spiral the first time to bring me to a place, now, that’s better equipped and able to handle this part of my story. On this side of that formation spiral, I’ve learned some things. I can help this new part of story surface in safety. I have some tools at my disposal.
Maybe it’s just like they say: When the student is ready, the teacher appears.
And so maybe I don’t have to feel so antagonistic toward the timing of all this. Maybe I don’t have to resent its emergence in my life. Maybe I don’t have to disdain the truth of its presence.
Maybe I can, instead, be thankful that those things long hidden count me safe enough to emerge, here and now. Maybe I can be thankful that my faithfulness to the process the first time around has made me someone now worthy of trust.
Are there ways in which you can see your readiness for the process of formation you’re experiencing right now — ways that the timing may, in fact, be just right?