I woke up hurting today and that was pretty damn inconvenient to be honest with you. I would rather have popped awake with an enthusiastic Ra-Ra-Ra, feeling well rested and ready to conquer the world. I have shit to do, after all. I have important shit to do!
My neighbors had other ideas, however.
At about 3:30 AM they kicked on the stereo and commenced to shout. They didn’t let up until around 5 AM. I finally fell back asleep around 5:30.
Their little party (or whatever the hell that was) tripped a wire in me somewhere and when I finally peeled my eyes open again, I was lost in a feeling of horrific violation. I wasn’t thinking of an incident. I was thinking of my entire childhood. My parents never did anything spectacularly evil. They just didn't have a huge degree of regard for my experience. I often felt that I did not matter and that is how I felt again at 3:30 this morning.
Feeling like I don’t matter is one of the worst experiences I ever have. When I get to this place, I am in the trenches of my life!
In the trenches of feeling insignificant and powerless, my ability to thrive is in danger. If I am not careful, I will tumble back down the rabbit hole and into survival mode whether it’s warranted or not. I will stay there for a moment, a day, a week…
This morning, on the razor’s edge of my pain, I met the great DIVIDE between grace and my fight for survival. Again! My desires, my sense of abundance, possibilities and competence lie on one side and my sense of violation, victimization and impotence lie on the other. In these moments, I want to be committed to my desires and to my sense of abundance. I want to move with ease.
But I can’t get there.
I wind up in some sort of weird “love” triangle. I end up trying to be two different people for two different masters: the strong, powerful, mistress of manifestation and the weak, inessential, hapless victim of loud ass neighbors (among others). In this tension between worlds, I come face to face with the person I want to be and the person I fear I am. I also come face to face with the world I wish were possible and the one I think I am stuck with. I feel this terrible pressure to somehow disappear into a world that is safe, soft, sweet, forever yielding to my needs. I feel desperate to escape a world that is filled with mishaps and outright atrocities. In this world, my needs are but a footnote. Despite my crazed hunger to leave it, my feet feel anchored to this familiar ground.
I don’t want to admit this to you, by the way. I don’t want to tell the world that I get caught in this divide. I teach people to thrive for a living. But getting caught in this great chasm between hope and hopelessness is an inconvenient truth for so many people. If I don’t own it, who will?!
The real truth, however, isn’t about getting caught in the divide. It is about the divide being a lie.
When I dare to erase the line that seems to separate these two worlds and these two versions of me, I realize that the divide was always contained in my own bifurcated focus. When something delightful is happening, I find it easy to shift my gaze to abundance and to possibilities blossoming all around me. But as soon as something unpleasant enters my world, whether it be a minor inconvenience or a terrible loss, my eyes are drawn as a moth to the flame by the worst things in my life and by the worst things in this world.
My emotions follow along and before I know it, I am lost in fear, anguish, anger and some kind of desperate, yet hopeless resistance. By body goes stiff, my confidence takes a nose dive. I bow my shoulders and drop my head. That’s when I begin to cope. Suddenly I am accommodating and putting up with shit even when I could put an end to it.
By contrast, when I bring these two divergent, seemingly incompatible experiences into the same space, when I dare to look at them as one, contiguous whole, something amazing happens: I begin to feel nourished by my desires and my sense of abundance even in the face of loss and inconvenience.
I am suddenly able to breathe. I can see that something I do not want to experience is happening while also retaining my connection to my vision and my intentions, which are far larger than any one moment along the way.
A little spark of magic is born.
Deep breath in, deep breath out…The spark comes alive as the flame of my potential. I am not out of the woods yet. But I can see the moonlit path. Now I only have to ask myself if I am willing to take the first step. Where there is moonlight, the sunrise can’t be far away. Do I want to be standing in the clearing when it happens or do I want to stay here and hang my head in the face of so many shifting shadows?
Maybe all these questions just beg another question!
What is that first step? If I can’t answer that question, maybe I haven’t said anything at all.
One more deep breath in, one more deep breath out. I’ve got it. It’s just one thing (any one thing) that will take me closer to accomplishing my vision. It’s an act of faith, a deposit into my grace account, a grounding step that says to the world and to my own heart: