I have lived on the lip
Of insanity, wanting to know the reasons,
Knocking on a door. It opens.
I’ve been knocking from the inside!
I have spent this week thinking way too hard about something. Well, to be clear, I’ve been thinking way to hard about some things. Life has called me into an unofficial quasi-leadership role, in a tricky, slippery-slope arena. I’m old enough to have a voice that can speak truth to power, yet, because there are many complicated, moving pieces and many diverse people involved, it occurs as a murky mess to me right now.
I don’t do murky messes all that well.
This blog is not about murky messes nor is it about speaking truth to power. It is about considering; might over- thinking be a habitual, massive smokescreen for us, one that cuts us off from our feelings? Here is a tiny peak into my brain. Do you identify?
I want to understand. I want to understand every single potential thing, before it begins. Before it begins, before I allow myself to feel anything, I want to understand:
- What might happen?
- Examining every possible iteration, nook and cranny of any, every and all possible twists of discussion of next week’s meeting
- So now what?
- Creating responses to every possible turn of events that might possibly emerge, my anticipatory anxiety outsmarting reality
- Will you like me?
- Ah, the truth emerges—so it is all about me after all
- Can I save the day, forever elevated into hero status, by my mere presence?
- Ahhh, more embarrassing truth.
Suffice to say, friends, I have been one uncomfortable camper this week. I know, I know—how many times have I said it to you: Figuring it out is not a spiritual practice. I know, but…… I run to my mind to dissect what MIGHT be coming up ahead, shielding myself from the wisdom and inevitable integration of my own, brilliant feelings.
What’s the but here, Aruni? What’s the smokescreen, the diversion? What am I not willing to feel? Why am I creating such an effort to avoid just being with my feelings?
I was convinced as a kid, as a bigger kid and younger adult, that I wasn’t smart. My life’s focus was to pretend I was and to hope-beyond-hopes that You (whoever you were) didn’t notice my failings. In groups I would listen to the last person who spoke and try to reframe and repeat that as my contribution. Being stoned did not help clarify my own perspective. (That is the biggest understatement I have ever spoken.)
Passing time has helped. Not being stoned has also helped, another gigantic understatement. Holding a microphone in my work, having the illusion of control, has really helped, too. Yet deep inside of me, (not so deep?) there lives a little girl who is afraid to say her name, because she might stutter. And what would happen then? And then? Then, as the childhood feeling-narrative goes, I would die.
Chances are, I will outlive this meeting next week. Chances are, as I breathe and move, as I pray and relax, I can befriend that little girl, I can love her. I can appreciate her pain and, as the adult, hold her close as I move forward toward this process.
I can trust my own experience.
I can trust my own feelings.
I can trust my own heart.
Just get there, Aruni.
Just show up.
More will be revealed.
As Rumi says, we are on the inside.
We’re knocking from the inside, out.
We are already there.
I can surely struggle less and savor more.
And to this, I am committed.
Dear friends, to what are you committed today? In what direction this week do you lean, as you move a bit away from struggling, a bit toward savoring? Please keep me posted—firstname.lastname@example.org. And please check out my new program, “Simple Strategies to Struggle Less and Savor More” on my website. Life does not have to be as hard as we make it.