Breaking the story to become whole.
I’m sitting in my cozy home, a cup of peppermint tea in hand, essential oils diffusing, light jazz afloat in the background. It’s my best chance to set the day up for success. But sometimes I realize that no matter what I do to build in peace and stillness, the day will be what it will be and my efforts to control it are not to be taken too seriously. I love Pema Chodron’s sentiment that we are the sky and ‘everything else is the weather’.
Moment of realness: I've spent many days, weeks, even months getting down on myself for mistakes I’ve made in my past. Things I’ve had to face head on, no matter how hard it was stomach, because I knew it was the right thing to do in order to heal and become better. Every now and again, hints of these struggles resurface and I’m forced to confront them again. We are often our own worst critic, but I also think it’s quite easy to drown out reality with our own story and version of the truth. And instead of confronting issues and faults that need to be corrected, we push them to the side and hope they go away, or blame everyone else for the things we don’t like about our lives. I did this.
But then I could feel that it wasn’t authentic.
Facing the ugly truth of our mistakes doesn’t have to bring us further down into despair. Instead, it’s an invitation to step into the person we want to be with the character we want to have -- the purity that is already a part of our nature. But there is pain involved. And a reaping. And yet another realization that you will never be what you were, but you will instead become something new.
We are human and our humanity is beautiful -- not one of us is exempt or bulletproof. When I’m in a state of fear and uncertainty, I’m tempted to back off from my relationships and pull inward, push away, stop looking people in the eyes and close my heart off.
But Pema Chodron says:
“The only reason we don't open our hearts and minds to other people is that they trigger confusion in us that we don't feel brave enough or sane enough to deal with. To the degree that we look clearly and compassionately at ourselves, we feel confident and fearless about looking into someone else's eyes. ”
Whatever feelings well up -- hurt, shame, jealousy, anger or fear -- they are teachers for the soul showing us where we must have the courage to lean in and inspect a little further. These are moments, in fact, of pure clarity. Can you believe it?? And in that clarity and leaning, there resides a harbor of peace and safety. But not the kind of safety you’ve come to know. It’s the safety of knowing that nothing is guaranteed, that life isn’t always predictable and in fact -- isn’t always safe, that you will make mistakes -- no matter how hard you try to be perfect. You are doing yourself a disservice if you sweep everything under the rug rather than viewing trials as a nudge to step into your true self a little more fully.
I just find the idea of this to be breathtaking. It’s a lot to think about -- it’s messy business becoming whole.