Thursday, June 21, 2012

My Nest

It's been awhile since I posted last. Lots has happened in the interim. And I do mean A LOT. Hard things. Good things. Sad things. Exciting things. Things are changing. Things are beginning. Things are dying. Things are being birthed.

And I'm making my nest. In some ways I am making one for the first time in my life. The image of a "nest" has been with me for almost exactly a year now. It has come to represent everything that I need and want in my life. It is a personal nest and it is one that I alone can build for myself. Each twig is something I have picked for myself because I know that it is something that I want and need to form my nest. The purpose of my nest is to support, shelter and nurture myself. And my babies. For me that nest needs to provide:

  • Health
  • Security
  • Safety
  • Wholeness
  • Sustenance
  • A place to grow things
  • Peace
  • Creativity
  • Sacred space

The interesting thing about a "personal nest," as I have dubbed these nests we build for ourselves (and our children) is that when we make a list of what we need and want in that nest, there can not be another human being's name on that list. If so, it isn't a strong nest.
Anything that is part of my personal nest being strong and supportive that means someone else has to behave a certain way or make me feel a certain way is just not going to work. If someone else is a piece of the foundation of my personal nest, the entire nest is compromised. I can not truly be authentic. My security and safety becomes linked to a certain person behaving a certain way, doing certain things, making me feel certain ways, etc. and therefore I have to do x, y and z to keep that part of my nest intact.
I think we DO, however, build "relationship nests" with other people. We co-create these relationship nests in a way that works for both people in the relationship. The error I have made in the past, over and over, was neglecting to build a "personal nest," first and foremost, and instead trying to make a "relationship nest" INTO my personal nest. And that is the fastest way for a relationship nest to fall apart. And when it does, if I did not have my own personal nest intact, I am nestless.

I don't know how to co-create relationship nests well. I am learning. But right now, in this season of my life, my focus is on creating my own PERSONAL NEST, first and foremost. And I'm doing it. Slowly but surely. Day by day. And it's incredible. The twigs and moss and other elements that I know I need and want in my nest are showing up in my path. I literally just have to bend and pick them up.

About a year ago I went to an "Art for Healing" class in Bakersfield. We made a collage in the class. The task was simple: collage what you want to manifest in your life. I didn't have a plan when I started going through magazines looking for things that caught my eye. I just started cutting. And before long what I had in front of me was something incredible: My Nest. I had collaged my personal nest. The nest I wanted but did not yet have. Here's the finished collage:

A year later I am stunned and delighted to see that I am creating my own little nest that has everything in that collage, either intact or in process. I am on my way to taking care of myself and my "chicks," as my friend, Wendy, would say. I am in the process of finding a "community." There are red chinese lanterns, a studio in my dining room, candles, a backyard that I am excited to create into sacred space, photos everywhere and even a truly "magic occupancy" of my new nest.

The way I got here is not how I would have planned it. There has been and is so much heartache on the road that I traveled to get here. I wish I could heal the hearts of those I've hurt. But I KNOW, with everything in me, that the only thing for me to do right now is to be 100%, unequivocally, unhesitatingly honest and authentic. That means I say I'm sorry to those I've hurt. It means I tell the truth about my feelings. It means I say what I want and need. It means I take responsibility for my own happiness and healing. It means I follow my heart today, tomorrow and every day from now on.

I'm excited. I feel peace like I never have. I have no idea what the future holds. I am not afraid.


I'm lonely sometimes. I wonder how I got here. If there was another way. I mourn the losses of what was. I feel remorse for the pain I've caused others. I wonder why I couldn't have gotten HERE another way.


I am here now. I don't have to do, be, feel, believe or think anything. There is no relationship nest that I must keep intact in order to feel taken care of, provided for, safe and secure. I had no idea how much of my almost constant anxiety was connected to my lack of a personal nest. I didn't know I could feel so much peace. So much hope. I didn't REALLY understand Julian of Norwich's "All will be well, and all manner of things will be well" until now. I get it. I do. I have never felt so "well."

I have no clue what tomorrow will bring. I don't even know what I will do with the rest of today. I know it will involve reading, eating healthy food, relaxing (I already ran today), writing a little, watching a movie perhaps, watering the grass, sitting outdoors with a glass of wine once it cools off, chatting with friends on the phone, and continuing to, little by little make my little nest more and more of a "home." And that's enough.


1 comment:

Kelly Eveleth said...

Cheryl, You have spoken here in a beautiful metaphor. I too am on the journey of creating my "personal nest" verses trying to make a "relationship nest" a personal one. And I totally agree with the idea that we cannot include a person other than the self in creating or supporting that nest. KJ

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