In November of 2018, I published an essay entitled The Importance of Taking a Pause (*), and I write: "By pausing, we become conscious and willing to be curious, so we can connect deeply to that moment in particular."
However, this time, I will write from a different angle.
The pause I am writing is the one that happens when we are forced to enter a place that seems to have little options, in which the assessments and commitments we hold with others and ourselves cause personal struggle.
When entering into this pause, we feel pressured and obligated. Furthermore, ones we are in it, we are confronted with our personal values, our deepest questions, and many times, our own identity.
What makes us plug into the pause? Well, ...life!
These are events that impact us in such of way that the only option is the transformation of ourselves.
When in this pause, the questions overwhelm us. We enter a profound and active reflection with no conclusions, just uncertainties. Meanwhile, we visit emotions we are not sure of what to do with them. Time stops due to the impact, but everything else moves as always.
Events like expected and unexpected births, the illness of others, our own illness, and the death of someone we love.
Births are always surprising, even if we are aware of the details, they will be an impact in our lives. These impacts will fulfill us with expectations and questions that we didn’t have before. Births take us to an imaginary place where tenderness and openness become the engine, on the other hand there is the responsibility of future decisions. This pause, welcome or not, will give us a new role in which a new being, that we still don’t know, will enter in our lives giving us opportunities and knowledge to treasure.
In some cases, other's illness is the cause of our pause. This situation gives us the chance to assess our own well-being. As we witness this insanity, we review our own sanity, our history, and our experiences. During this mental journey, our imagination takes us to the utopia that if we do this or that, we will avoid this event for us. This pause becomes an internal dialogue in which we believe we can change, and we hope we do.
On the other hand, our own illness forces us to enter into dependency, loss of control, and, many times, into the recognition of our ignorance. In this case, the pause shows us new limits, pressures, and abilities. This pause pushes us into uncertain territories teaching us new ways to understand life. During the pause, we will be transformed for sure; our bodies struggling with pain and lack of mobility will give our minds humility and gratitude.
Finally, the death of someone we love also plugs us into the pause, but from a different angle; a definitive one, one that doesn’t have turning back. Our feelings and emotions get altered, they turn to pain, loss, and, in some cases, resignation. This pause makes us feel cloudy, heavy, and finite. Plugging into this pause is to reflect on what we could have done differently, and what was it that we didn't do. It takes time to get out of the pause, and when we do, we are not the same beings as when we entered.
Part of life will be to plug into the pause. It is inevitable!
Questioning our beliefs and life philosophy can show us a path to plug into the pause; we can choose to be present, connected to our values, our questions, and even our own identity.
Pause ... here I go!