You know what’s exhausting?
Trying to fix everything about yourself.
When I say it out loud (type it into a blog post, same thing) it sounds dumb. Like, dear god, woman, what are you doing? If that’s how you’re spending your time of course you’re drained.
But this fixing of the self situation is insidious.
We’re hardwired to believe that if we don’t enjoy how we currently feel or don’t have something we want, that means we need to fix something about ourselves or our life. Because if I had just done it right, been more successful, healed faster…I wouldn’t feel this way. I would have what I want.
Again, when you type it out loud (go with me here) it really does sound kinda stupid.
Which isn’t to say that I am stupid or that you are stupid, if any of this resonates with you.
It’s more of a “Hey, this pervasive societal plague of “Must Be Better” is stupid.” We’ve been trained to switch automatically into the Fix It gear when we aren’t enjoying something, be it a feeling or a life situation. If we don’t enjoy, we must require healing or our life must require a big change.
It’s a rather extraordinary act of rebellion is to say “You know what? I don’t have to fix anything about myself. I don’t have to get a job, start a business, get married, have a child, pay my bills, run a marathon, lose ten pounds, write a book, make a certain amount of money, or start meditating in order to be a worthy human being. I already am worthy. So are you. So are we all. I can just be in my experience from moment to moment, however it feels. I don’t have to do anything about it.”
But oh my god it’s hard.
Because we’re trained to jump. Trained to jump out of our bodies, out of our feelings, out of our experience and into something that feels better, whether it’s ice cream, a new sweater, red wine, a new job, a new project, a new relationship.
Because being where we are right now is hard.
But I’m finding that it doesn’t have to be hard. Who knew?
It can be incredibly easy to just take things moment by moment. To just notice and be curious about the thoughts and sensations that are happening right now. Without worrying about what’s happened before or what might happen later, because none of that matters even a little bit. Because nothing but the present moment exists.
I’m even going to put that sentence in a different font, that’s how much I want to visually represent the brain popping that happens whenever I remember it.
Nothing but the present moment exists.
Because I am the kind of person who wants exactly what she wants and wants it yesterday, it’s taken me a very long time to get to the edge of this. To get to the place where I don’t want to fix myself or my life any more.
Mostly because I simply don’t have the energy. I don’t have the energy to want anything I don’t have, I don’t have the energy to move anything around, I don’t have the energy to heal any more of the many things my brain tells me I need to heal.
It required complete burn out to get me here, possibly because I am wildly stubborn and will ignore nudges and signs until the proverbial cows come home to take off their boots and turn on the TV.
Frankly, I am thoroughly sick of moving energy around. I just can’t do any more shifting, processing, clearing, calling in, manifesting, transforming, healing or quantum leaping. It’s too exhausting to try to fix all the energy everywhere.
I’m too tired to do anything but be.
Be present with my current experience of my thoughts and physical sensations for a few seconds before going back to the (truly delicious) truffle potato chips.
($3 at Trader Joe’s, guys.)
“Hold not heal” is something Jeff Foster says, and I’m really happy I happened to hear him say that. Because I kept getting the “we are already whole and healed’ message, but I couldn’t quite figure out how to integrate that into the human experience of … everything.
Labels like healing and anxiety and emotional neglect and depression and codependency and all those oh-so-loaded concepts drag me down every time they float across my brain. So I’m done with those too.
It’s okay if my head is pounding, my brain is spinning, my body is shaking, my emotions are careening wildly. It’s okay. It doesn’t mean anything at all, except that I’m human.
Maybe anxiety is sacred. Maybe depression is sacred. Maybe all those other “you should probably medicate that and go to therapy” experiences are no better or worse than any other experience.
Maybe we can just let it all be okay. Let it all be safe. Maybe we can experience all of ourselves in each moment, and take a breath with it, without carrying it into the next moment. Unless we do, and that’s okay too.
My favorite way to return to the moment from wherever I happened to be - floating somewhere in the future or the past or the ether or in some precarious state of disembodied overwhelm - is to notice what’s around me. The leaves on the trees, the smell of star jasmine, the squirrel dive bombing my roof, the steam swirling up from my coffee, my butt in the chair, my feet on the ground, my hair touching my collar bone.
Just noticing these things grounds me in this moment.
When I’m actually in, I can notice what’s rising up in me.
Then I can hold it, be curious about it, love it. Or just fall into it. Fall into being held. Like when your muscles just give up after you’ve run twenty miles and you have to crash into the grass.
I give up on trying to ascend to some level of peace where there are no triggers.
Because - apparently - the universe just laughs at me when I try.
So I’m just going to exist in the triggers. While still doing things, because I’m tired of letting the triggers take me out.
When he was full of fear and anxiety about taking over The Late Show, Stephen Colbert said, “It was my job to calm the fuck down and go back to work tomorrow.”
I love that. I feel like that’s my job. Notice what’s happening in whatever trigger shows up - or not, no big - and then calm the fuck down and go back to work. Every single day. Even though what my work actually is feels very vague right now.
(All my info points away from channeling and energy healing and toward writing again, but the kind of writing that shares my experience (rather than sells anything for anyone) and I’m not 100% sure how a person gets paid for that, and burn-out or no, I still have bills to pay. So that may mean a job? And blogging when I have time and energy? No idea, but I’m open to anything.)
In this moment, I fully absolve myself of having to change anything, fix anything, heal anything, do anything.