Trudging? Happy Destiny? WTF?
I chose to write about this topic this week because, friends, I am seriously trudging. I mean, Trudging. Does anybody out there identify with the vibration of trudge? Oye (Ancient Sanskrit chant). Sometimes it is hard to just keep the keeping on—moving on. Let’s look to this quote, to see how it might support us on our journey.
This is a well-repeated reference to page 164 in The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. It speaks well to the inherent contradictions in, not just sober living, but the realities of living a mindful, spiritually-focused life. Check out these definitions:
- Trudge—to walk with slow, heavy, weary, effortful steps
- Happy—feeling or showing pleasure, contentment or joy
- Destiny—the apparently predetermined and inevitable series of events that happen to someone
What a crazy combination of energies. Bill Wilson, AA’s co-founder, along with his co-authors, didn’t say, “Skip merrily through your life, free of the substance that almost killed you, and live happily ever after.” The teachings of the 12 Step Fellowships, as I understand them, invite us into real life, “life on life’s terms”, not unlike the yogic invitation into the practice of being present in the moment as it is. And, what a surprise: sometimes the moment is difficult.
My life is asking me to let go of so many things, things that have profoundly defined me to me. I find myself trudging up the hill to work these days, with such profound effort. Professionally, personally, relationally—the ground is shifting and changing beneath me. Of course I am trudging—the earth feels different under my feet and my balance, literally and figuratively, is compromised.
Let’s not forget about the word “happy” in this quote. Can we be happy enough in the midst of the trudging? Rumi says, “This being human is a guest house. Every day a new arrival. Meet it at the door laughing”. Well, if we’re not able to laugh, can we relax with the trudge? Okay, if we are not able to relax, can we just breathe into the trudge moment? The more I fight against these tired difficulties, the more I try to change it, the more intensely—I trudge.
And please note the preposition used here—it says the Road OF Happy Destiny. Wilson did not say the Road TO happy destiny. This is it. We are on the road. This moment is all we have. Trudging or merrily skipping—whatever is happening for you on your road—this is the road.
When you notice personal trudging—here are some suggestions:
- Take a breath. Can you breathe and trudge simultaneously?
- Look for the humor in it. What’s funny around you in this moment?
- Find something to be grateful for, while trudging. What opens your heart?
Look for it—I dare you.
- Repeat this sentence to yourself: “I am trudging and ________________.”
After the “and”, add a wonderful phrase about something positive. “I am trudging now and I will take a delicious bath tonight”.
Chill out. We just can’t have the merry skipping without the trudge. Both are sacred and inevitable. It will pass. It always does.