Yesterday was the last day of summer and a beautiful one at that. I had very little sleep if any the previous night so I tried to manufacture a positive attitude that morning with two cups of the very worst coffee ever made. Tim Horton’s should hang their head in shame. What I produced was an annoying belly ache. However, at lunch I had a fantastic sandwich and I got a free slice of coconut cream pie that I ate at 3 am so I feel like the day somewhat swayed in my favor. I was mentally exhausted starting the day and at the end of the day I was physically spent as well. I was in bed and asleep by 8:45 p.m. and I woke up feeling angry at the world. Anger is a basic human emotion that helps defend us from attack and like pain it is a compelling warning that commands acknowledgement.
The last time I checked in here I had just read Glennon Doyle Melton’s Love Warrior and I had just started her course with the fabulous Brene Brown on the Wisdom of Story. I was listening to the intro of the course with Brene and Glennon (who by the way I have convinced myself are my friends) and they talk about wisdom, shame, pain and owning our stories so that we can write our own daring ending. I remember feeling so filled up with love and blessings. Thankful for the lessons that I had learned in my life and grateful that my story was a good one. Quite literally within 8 hours my life began to unravel. Everything that I believed my life to be was called into question. It is one of those moments where all of your fears and insecurities set in. You are momentarily enveloped in panic and you forget who you are, you forget that you are a warrior and that your spirit cannot be shattered.
In my last post I shared a quote about pain being a traveling professor. In our greatest moments of pain there is always a lesson. Sometimes our distress, our uneasiness and our misgivings are based on the unknown. The unknown creates a disquiet in our souls. We inch along suspiciously into the darkness where we would wade confidently in the light. There is a security in knowing what comes next. I have experienced pain before, I know that I cannot run from it because it will follow. As a society we use things like food, booze, drugs, shopping and sex to avoid feeling any real pain, even though we know from experience that pain is a prudent educator.
My friend has just recently embarked on a fabulous journey traveling to places all over the world that she has never been, she is doing a great deal of it solo and one of the things I said to her is that I hope she learns to find the comfort in discomfort. What I meant by that is that I hope she can learn to embrace the unknown, to find the beauty in it, to experience the lesson in things that may be hard and be better for it. I am at a place where I find myself struggling to yield my own advice. Often we cannot know what is going to happen next but we can take the lessons we have learned and recall that we have been here before and if we know anything we know that pain has a beginning, a middle and an end. It doesn’t last forever. We wage these huge battles with ourselves in attempt to avoid any sort of pain and in turn we can cause ourselves greater torment.
My whole purpose of the W.I.S.E. Project was to learn to live more mindfully, savoring the present moment without always thinking of the next one. Living in the past and stressing about the future was not helping me to create the joy that I wanted out of life. Crisis is a sign that change needs to happen and to facilitate change and growth I have to find some certainty in uncertainty. It is tough my friends.
Some time has passed and I am feeling clearer and stronger. Very rarely are we presented with a lemon that cannot produce some sort of lemonade.
I never look at feeling hurt and pain as a weakness, I know I am strong and I know I am enduring. I love fully and completely and though I may agonize and endure the scars that braving that type of loving can carry it is my tenacity and my courage that allows me to love fully in the face of fear.
Life is like a big road trip, sometimes you get a little lost, sometimes the road is a little bumpy, the best we can do is play good music and don’t carry to much baggage. Perhaps it is more about the story than the happy ending. Epic stories are wrought with pain, struggle, survival and love. Do your best, create a good story.
Maybe we like the pain. Maybe we’re wired that way. Because without it, I don’t know; maybe we just wouldn’t feel real. What’s that saying? Why do I keep hitting myself with a hammer? Because it feels so good when I stop.” ~Meridith Grey, Grey’s Anatomy
Happy first day of Fall W.I.S.E. friends. May we someday learn to find the comfort in discomfort.