Hiding in the basement
sitting in front of a space heater, wearing a toque
Baby, it’s cold outside.
The last few days have been stacked. Activities, expectations, traditions and celebrations, all with a muted toot of festive flatulence.
There was visiting. Rapid tests were going off like fireworks.
Any one of us could distinguish a solid line emerging from a cloudy ooze from a mile away.
So yeah, we’ve done some visiting.
I’m hiding in the basement. Whittling, sweeping up, and whittling some more.
The children have fled to their rooms.
We are all in withdrawal mode.
It’s nice when it happens to all of us at the same time.
Withdrawal is an essential part of satisfaction.
It’s that moment when we’re full. Satisfied. Had enough - either good or bad. Full. It’s the time where I might want to put my hand back into the cookie jar of life, but my stomach lets me know better.
In the Gestalt cycle of experience, withdrawal happens after contact and connection. It has to, otherwise we become fused. Could you imagine having your sense of self fused to every moment you’ve ever existed? My impression is one of feeling weighty and stiff.
Either way, withdrawal is a healthy and essential part of the cycle of getting our needs and desires met or frustrated.
Withdrawal is that moment where we can take stock on what’s happening with us. It’s where we can really clarify what we’re learning. It’s where we rest. The issue with withdrawal happens when people have a needs / satisfaction / withdrawal cycle that are out of sync with each other.
It’s painful for everyone when one person needs to go inward while another wants contact and connection. It’s difficult for both when one person is excited and exuberant and another is in pain. People are in different places in a cycle. Because of that, they miss each other.
And that pain? That gentle little pang or wanting to rest or to show up and connect? That’s the price we pay for loving each other.
It’s like the old saying:
Never play cribbage with a cabbage.