Each departure in my life has been the catalyst for an evolution of myself. Each seeming failure or minor setback has always revealed a deeper knowledge or opportunity that I wasn’t seeing when I initially made my glorious plans.
I have learned to find new paths forward from the inevitable detours.
Carol Dweck calls this Growth Mindset: daring to venture to places unknown and allow the setbacks to be learnings that guide you forward.
As you progress through life with this orientation you allow a sloughing of yourself, an exfoliation as it were - ridding yourself of all the dead cells and pieces of you that don’t work. Yesterday sucked, what could today be?
It can be incredibly challenging and confronting as you sit in a pile of nothingness, confronted with the things that haven’t worked. Giving yourself the permission to be anyone, and anything, that you want to be in the world often leaves you feeling small.
Sitting in stillness makes the noises in your head very loud.
I’m not going to pretend I like the process all that much. But that said, I love the process.
Like is for ice-cream and television and freshly ironed linens - they feel great in the moment but they don’t have any long-term deep and lasting effects. Like is a frivolity, a thumbs up emoji you click to validate someone else’s life - hoping they reciprocate and validate yours. Fun but empty calories that don’t move you forward.
Where is the love button?
Love is for that view at the end of a 5 mile uphill hike. Love is for seeing your best friend for the first time since she told you of her cancer diagnosis - holding her tight, feeling full of a strange mix of hope; sadness; and gratefulness.
Love is for the kid you’ve been hopeful for since they were a reckless 16 year old. Who had no reason to listen to you, but he did, who’s first solo art show sells-out and makes you so proud you want to burst.
Love is for the messy stuff. Love is for the stuff you work damn hard for: the relationships; the experiences; and the battles.
Love is for the things that feed your soul and that give you a glimpse of what the fuck-the-possible-meaning there could be that we are even born on this earth. To deal with all the shit we deal with, to then die.
There are days where all I want is like. I want it a little easy, I’d like the outcome to be predictable. I’d like my flight to take off on time and not be 6.5 hours delayed. I’d like to be able to get up in a yoga handstand and hold the pose in the middle of the room. Damn, some days I’d just like to wake up fresh and renewed and bounce out of bed like I am the boss of the day.
It’s the stuff we don’t like that brings the greatest rewards. Sometimes the rewards are hidden, sometimes they reveal themselves years later. We resist the challenge but the challenge is what separates you from everyone else. It’s the challenges in your life that make you who you are. The challenges test you, form you and define you.
Learn to love what you don’t like. Embrace the messy; the chaotic; and the unpredictable. It’s not easy but it will be glorious.