Working Through: Directing Energy

Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Tilt.

Thursday, lunchtime,  walking  between  buildings  to  yet another meeting.

The Long-Awaited Honest-to-God Secret to Being Happy

Scientifically, I must decide where to allocate my energy. That’s what my current dilemma boils down to.

I have a lot of personal power, a lot of energy…even

when I’m fatigued from overwork, like now. Not the kind of ADHD energy that leaves one bouncy but that internal energy, the passion, that feeds work projects, art, relation- ships, sex, creativity,  athletics,. It’s my  fire. Passion. Intensity.

Over the years, I’ve had a lot of fire and a lot of people wanting to use or control my fire. Not enough people who wanted to burn with me but instead wanted to borrow or even steal my fire.\

For a long time,  I thought that  because  people— often business-related—wanted  my  fire  for  free  that  it wasn’t valuable. In looking at a couple of decades, I see now that the fire was valuable enough that it was important to takers to have me believe no one else wanted it so that I would devote it to their causes.  Because they felt my fire was valuable in certain areas, so did I. Validation for the otherwise unworthy. It’s all a form of abuse.

And now that I’ve taken back my fire, taken back my power, where do I aim it?

No matter  how strong,  there’s  only so much to go around, so I have to decide which direction to let the rivers of energy flow. Wherever I focus will get a lot of juice!

I can focus on my day job, my house renovations, my kids (probably more than they’d want), my creative projects, social gatherings,  spiritual  lessons, finding a mate, preparing for the future, having a child, etc.

When I was going through a divorce, that’s where my energy went. All of it.

When  my   dad  was   ill,  that’s  where   the   energy went…into propping up both him and my mom and then to a lesser but competing extent, keeping my boss happy and taking care of the kids and trying to be a wife at the same time.

When I was under deadline, that’s where it went. When I was grieving, that’s where my energy went.

But now, where do I direct it?

With all these changes  coming in the next year—or even over the summer— is it better to build a foundation for my new future or just live each day to indulge the desires of the moment?

I can focus a little attention on creative projects, a little on socializing  with friends,  a little  on meeting  new men,  a  little   on  promoting   and  publicizing   current works. There’s  balance  in  that—but  it’s  more  of a reprieve. It doesn’t  go anywhere  because  the  momentum isn’t forward, just spinning pleasantly.

Or I can use a fire hose approach and allocate most of my energy  to  building something  long-lasting  so that I can have a better-balanced life full of the things I want.

Both have  their merits  and lead me to believe  that maybe life really is one great big science experiment.