Learning To Breathe Again: Thoughts upon my return.

Hello Wonderfuls!

I thought I’d fill you all in on why I’ve been away. As most of you will have noticed by now, I’ve been away for some time and while gone, I have thought about what I ought to say upon my return.

First and foremost, let me just say, that in my many years of having this career as a writer, I have never been away for this long. Longest I’ve ever been away in the past was for two days. This time though, I was on the brink of total burnout. There are a lot of people on my Writer Page and I receive hundreds and hundreds of emails filled with life stories and the pouring out of hearts. When I’m on my page, I feel everything going on with all the people there. When I read emails from people, I feel their pain, happiness, sorrow, fear... I get lost inside the inner worlds of so many other individuals. And that is quite unfortunate on my part. Just for the record, my writings are not therapeutic for me. I know that many writers say they write in order to heal themselves and so on and so forth; but when I write, I am not putting myself through therapy. My writing isn’t a healing process for me. I’m not one of those writers. Nevertheless, my writings have become, for so very many— exactly that! Therapy. I have actual cases of people coming out of rehab thanks to the things that I have written! This always surprises me because the things that I write are simply my soul-stuff. We all have soul-stuff. I’m just different in that my soul-matter, evidently, happens to be made of ambrosia and honey? And apparently that’s something that the world needs? It also surprises me because I never began a career in writing with the intention of transforming lives! It just began to happen all on its own! It took on a life of its own!

Let me add to this by saying that, such has been the nature of my life, thus far. For some reason invisible to the naked eye, it seems like people are under the persuasion that I am responsible for being all the things that they can’t be, for their benefit. I can trace this back to my parents, relatives and everyone, really! I have had to put myself aside in order to accommodate the hearts of others. Of course, in the end they grow into something beautiful while I am left with all of their old wounds and without even a simple acknowledgment of my presence. As if my presence that I gave them in their lives was something they were entitled to have, as if I was a disposable commodity. I too often lost myself in the process of helping others find themselves and it is that exact feeling which I was beginning to have, all over again, with regards to my connections with the world, through what I do as an author.

I needed to step back and ask myself what I was doing. I was getting so caught up in everyone else, that I was beginning to lose sight of my core self. And that is always a “no, no.” Something negative starts happening inside you when you begin to breathe for everyone else and forget to breathe for yourself! Something wrong starts taking place when you begin to feel like all the things you learn and every single experience that you have is for the benefit of others and not yourself. You take on a lifestyle of breathing for other people, of experiencing and feeling and learning for other people rather than for yourself. I can imagine that many others would condone this or even praise this; but this just isn’t my path. I don’t believe in breathing and feeling for others. I believe I was born for myself. And then for a very few others who have played or who will play a big role in my life, my journey. I think that when you begin breathing for the rest of the world— your lungs are going to stop functioning all too soon. You lose your vision, your senses... they become others’ vision and others’ senses... others’ breathing patterns instead of your own! You can throw pieces of yourself out there so much and so often, that you begin to lose those pieces and forget what they look like. It becomes frightening.

I have been able to truly breathe for myself and enjoy myself while away. I’ve been listening to music and reading my work (because, believe it or not, I write so much that I fail to ever step back and actually read what it is that I write!) And I have been laughing harder than I have laughed in a long time. And I always laugh really hard, but while away, I have laughed like a wild, wild thing over the smallest details of life (which is just the way that I was born— seriously, as an infant I fell off of things like high chairs and tables from laughing so hard, then I would land on the floor still laughing so hard, it amazed my parents how I didn’t break my bones or break my head open or something) and it’s been good to “get back to me.” I’ve been playing with kids until my legs have gotten covered in dust and dragonfly wings (!), I’ve been having quiet times of solitude and contemplation out in nature, I’ve been spending a whole lot more time with great, great, great friends and I have been rediscovering the beauty of the glazed doughnut. Oh, and going to Holiday cocktail parties.

It’s good to be back (both back to me and back to my career). But I am back this time in a new way. I am hereafter, going to keep breathing for myself. It’s a joy to hear from you and to write to all of you. Thank you for your continued loyalty.

A viaxe continúa!

C. Bells

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