On becoming a self-stopper

blog imageI am a person who has never had trouble starting . . . anything. I can start a project, a relationship, a book, dinner for seven, all with that reckless beginner’s enthusiasm. But stop? Just stop? That is a challenge.

My sister Deirdre got me to thinking this week about how I hide in productivity. I work and work, write books, say “yes” to any request, and sometimes those yes’s are good and helpful to my family, and sometimes they are just to keep from feeling what I’m feeling.  Feel frightened? Start researching a new book or business relationship. Feel pain or regret? Clean the whole house, top to bottom, throw away everything that isn’t tied down. Feel guilt or shame?  Bake.  There’s always baking.

I find myself in a place now, a place that scares the hot chocolate out of me, where everything is stopping, and I have to feel. I may be breaking out in hives as I write these words –  it feels that uncomfortable. But I’m trying to stand in the fire and see what it has to teach me. I read this week that the answer to pain is in the pain. I’ve just never let myself feel it long enough to hear what it’s trying to tell me.

I feel like I have no tools for stopping. All my tools are for starting. Get up.  Get going. Get ‘er done.  I am a self-starter, not a self-stopper. But here I go anyway. Stopping.

The silence scares me. There’s no rush of wind passing. No applause for stopping, for not doing something. There is no newness, no boldness or adventure.

Or is there?

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3 comments on “On becoming a self-stopper
  1. Erica Villarreal says:

    Sometimes stopping is the hardest part. Learning to feel is uncomfortable because our society frowns upon feelings. Learning to feel although scary is a great benefit not only to you but to your family and to those you hold closest. Having my son with disabilities has taught me that to feel despite the pain and fear had made me a more effective parent and advocate. I can step away from the heated emotions of a situation and attack it with a clear head and clear intentions. SO you learn to stop learn to feel and know you are a good person and parent.

  2. Diane Walker says:

    pause listen to the silence as it envelopes you…whispers to you…embrace the newness, the boldness, the adventure of finding you

  3. Rebecca says:

    Once again, you have me thinking and rethinking. I bought a little sign for my kitchen that says “Just Be…” It reminded me of those old philosphers that said “I am..because I think.” or “I am…because I feel.”…maybe those of us who identify you in our own small way think “I am..because I do” instead of simply believing that “I am” is enough.

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