When Things Fall Apart

“Rather than letting our negativity get the better of us, we could acknowledge that right now we feel like a piece of shit and not be squeamish about taking a good look.” ~ Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times Right now, I feel like a piece of shit.

Now, I don't admit this easily. It has been a week of challenges, a month of struggles, a year of hard work and mislaid plans and back-firing engines. I am not a person who openly admits when I am struggling. If I do say anything, it is in that matter-of-fact, completely blank tone that leaves a person wondering if I actually said what I just said without breaking down completely. I get that look of incredulity often.

So when I say to you, "I feel like shit," believe me. I'm not interested in someone coming along and making everything perfect. If I was, I would have stayed with an abusive {but financially secure} partner a long time ago. I would have succumbed to the machine. I would have successfully played the game, stayed in retail, and not be here now. I wouldn't have created A Forest of Stories, at least not right now. I wouldn't be fighting against the demons in my heart every.single.day to get the work done. I wouldn't be constantly thinking, constantly innovating, constantly changing my approach and my plans to hone in on my true passion.

I'd probably be a moderately-happy, moderately-successful, moderately-fulfilled woman.

And I'd likely be boring as hell.

I recognize that every struggle, every challenge, continues to make me the strong and resilient woman I am. Some days, it's a challenge to lumber from the covers and across the room to my desk. I sit here, in front of this leaking window, and use the chill that seeps into my bones as inspiration to keep creating.

I give my all, in everything I do, not knowing if it will bring me any financial reward. I give my all, because not doing so would be false, would be vacant, would be a lie.

I don't play the capitalist game because I'm unwilling to barter my integrity for a paycheck. Sometimes this means I eat one meal a day. Sometimes, this means I can buy my girlfriend a nice dinner out on the town. Whatever happens, I know that it is a direct result of my actions, my inaction, my choices, my thoughts.

So when I recognize that I feel like shit, I can move blindly through it, begging the feeling to leave, the stench to dissipate. Or I can finally look at myself, square in the eye, and say: I feel like shit because I have made choices that brought me to this place. Only I can make the choices to begin feeling better.

The first step to making those choices is, for me, fairly simple. It's acknowledgement. If I'm not willing to stop and recognize that I'm feeling like shit and I know that I can change it, I'd still be blogging at blogger and not be creating content for writing workshops and writing workbooks and writing coaching on this piece of the sacred virtual landscape. It's not easy, and trust me -- I haven't a fucking clue the next step -- but just saying it, even in my heart, makes all the difference.

Today, I shifted something. Something I thought was a boulder, but is in fact a pebble. A very stuck pebble. But nothing is too big for me to move, because I know that I have people, just an arm's length away, who will help me push and pull and move that pebble from it's stuck-ness.

Moving just that one pebble will let in the light. The light follows the path of least resistance. The light shines on in Resilient Brilliance, and I keep moving forward, out of the darkness, and into my true self.