I had another one of those knocks from the universe yesterday. By the way, the universe is being much kinder to me these days. The knocks are gentle. I’m able to keep my balance. I’m able to see the wisdom pretty quickly and I’m immediately grateful. Not like last year. Last year was the land on my ass and wallow kind of year. Last year was the can I really take one more thing kind of year. Last year was too much to bear. I have happily said goodbye to 2013.
You’re thinking the year is only 21 days old, right? I know, but I’m hopeful. And don’t get me wrong, I learned a lot last year. I learned that I’m a hell of a lot stronger than I would have guessed. I can take a lot. I also learned that sometimes just giving up isn’t such a bad answer, that lying down and letting it wash over you is sometimes as effective as fighting. I learned that I don’t have to take all the crap that comes my way. I learned to stop giving away my heart and hoping that everyone else will treat it better that I treat it myself. I learned to manage. I don’t have to bounce from wave to wave, I can manage my own movement and momentum.
So yesterday I had a gentle knock from the universe. I texted a friend that I talk or text almost every day. I didn’t hear back. My mind went into a tailspin. Now, to clarify and continue showing how much more mature I am than last year, I didn’t go into a full whirling dervish spin thinking everyone hates me and no one ever calls me or texts me. I didn’t check my phone incessantly. But after a few hours I started to wonder if I’d offended in some way. I started to question my ability to be around other people without obsessing. I started to doubt crazy, unrelated parts of my life. Then I phoned a friend. A different friend. I left a message, telling her I was thinking of breaking off this new friendship, that i was too crazy and in my head. I told her I’d had a fight with my ex-husband the night before and I was now in the crazy place where I was starting to believe the nasty things he can say to me. I said it all in humor and with lightness to my voice. And because she’s a friend she knew that there was truth and hurt and pain beneath my flippancy.
And then the first friend called. He’d texted, but I’d never received it. And the sun shone again and I was smiling and it was all good.
I can slip into my toddler self so easily, can’t I?.
And then the second friend phoned. And we laughed. But here’s what she reminded me and this is why I love her, she always celebrates the small victories and is quick to point out what I can’t see.
She reminded me that I didn’t go into full-tilt whirling dervish. I had a few moments of uncertainty, a vast improvement over last year. I took responsibility for myself and my emotions. Not once did I call my non-responsive friend an ass or lay any blame. On the contrary, I knew I was being over-the-top, but I also didn’t invalidate my feelings. I gave them a voice in a safe place and at the end I came up with the conclusion that I have so many times before, but so much faster.
And I thought about all that and voiced my conclusion to her. When I think about my past and try to assign past hurts to a present situation, I drive myself crazy. When I’m in the future wondering what might happen, I drive myself crazy. For me, this is where self-sabotage comes in. I start to think that the job/friend/trip isn’t worth worrying about because it’s doomed. I convince myself I should just walk away and not worry about it. Now, in my head I say this is non-attachment, I’m surrendering. Actually, it’s the exact opposite. And then I’m not driving myself crazy, I’m there. I’m pulling into the parking space and getting ready to unload my luggage.
The solution? It’s what I teach, what I know and what I come back to again and again. A little faster this time, but so rarely while I’m flappable, vulnerable and needy. If I can just be quiet and let the present moment be, I am ALWAYS okay. Being present with what is and letting go of what I’d like it to be makes everything okay. Letting go of the ego’s need to say how things should be is truly surrendering, is true non-attachment.
I know it’s only three weeks into the new year. I know I will be hurt in 2014, I will feel pain and it might get hard. I will struggle as we all do. We’re human. I also have hopes that this is the year-not the year that I lose the weight, or make a million, or fall in love or finally work out every single day. I have hope that this is the year that I finally learn to get out of my own way.