"Opportunities to find deeper power within ourselves come when life seems most challenging." – Joseph Campbell
"All great changes are preceded by chaos." - Deepak Chopra
“Bloom where you are planted.” - Mary Engelbreit
"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
"We were made to cooperate and connect, not to compete." – Lynne McTaggart
I recently read a Facebook post by Danielle LaPorte titled, 'The royal practice of overcoming distraction.' It really hit home for me. What she says so often does, but this particular message resonated big time. It was exactly what I needed to hear at the right time. As I’ve come to know, that’s the way things work when we’re paying attention.
I’d just been talking (well maybe more like venting) to my husband about how frustrated I’m feeling with being pulled in every damn direction this year. Despite my honed ability to say no, there still never seems to be enough hours in a day to do all the things that need and want doing.
The past several months, I feel like there are just too few of me. I swear if I could, I’d clone myself like Michael Keaton did in that old movie, Multiplicity. But as I recall, that didn't turn out so well. So, on second thought, maybe not the best solution.
You’re a few spots ahead of us in line. My son points you out. Thankfully he’s past that age where he just blurts out whatever’s in his head, in public at least. Instead, he tugs on my arm so I’ll lean down and he whispers in my ear, “Mom, I get the feeling that lady doesn’t like herself very much.”
I squeeze his shoulder and silently agree.
See, I'd already noticed you, but I kept my thoughts to myself. The very exact thoughts he's having. I would never say what I was thinking to him, or anyone else out loud. But he brought it up and it’s clear, we're seeing and intuiting the same thing.
Today, like many of you, I’m feeling all the feelings. Usually, words come easy to me, at least the ones I write down, but today the feelings are coming fast and furious and leaving little room for the words. Today, the day after the U.S. election, the day after the majority (well, not REALLY the majority) of our closest neighbours chose to elect Donald Trump to lead their country, I can’t stop feeling all the feelings. I know eventually, this too shall pass because it always does, and so today, all I can do, is feel all the feelings.
This morning sucked. Well actually, it started last night and continued this morning. I’ll spare you the details but suffice it to say that ‘shit’ occurred. Shit that I clearly saw coming but that I’ve learned from experience, could not be stopped no matter how much I didn’t want it to happen.
Anyhow, point is, I slept like crap because even though I’m approaching ninja level boundary setting capability these days, the aforementioned shit really, really got to me. It got to me bad.
See, boundary setting doesn’t mean you’re a selfish, cold, compassionless human. In fact, it usually means that you care and feel everything so damn much, that you’ve learned if you don’t set boundaries, you will be sucked into a vortex of pain and turmoil so powerful, that it will render you completely non-functioning, incapable of rational thought or action, and basically of zero use to anyone.
Learning to set boundaries was born out of pure self preservation for me, and for many other people who would rather be alive, mostly sane and productive than, well, the opposite of that.
So, despite the boundary setting, the shit got to me so much this morning that I started to feel the symptoms of a panic attack coming on.
Ever find yourself on a roll? Walking around head high, feeling pretty confident that you’ve got this whole work, parenting, relationship, healthy living (insert life area of your choice) thing mastered? Like, “Huh, look at me over here. Doing pretty damn good. Got my ducks in a row. Got my shit figured out. Yep, really liking the direction things are going” and then BAM! You wake up one day and feel like your ass has been kicked right back to square one.
After 6 months of eating healthy, you’re suddenly sneaking your kids’ Halloween candy every night after they go to sleep.
You’ve been killing it at the new job all year but today, a project lands on your desk that leaves you feeling completely overwhelmed and wondering why these people were stupid enough to hire you. Don’t they know you’re incompetent, dammit?
You have skillfully avoided the family melodrama machine for ages, and then cousin Fred sends you an email about how he got left out of Grandma’s will and now he can’t get those hair plugs, so you spend the next week embroiled in a real life episode of Coronation Street.
You’ve been feeling like parent of the year lately. You haven’t lost it on your kids for a whole two weeks, and then someone leaves their toothpaste spit in the sink again and without warning, you’re pulling a Linda Blair on everyone in the house.
Lately, I’ve been contemplating my own mortality a lot. Yeah, I know. That’s a little heavy right? If that makes you uncomfortable, I personally think that’s a good sign. But if you don’t want to ‘go there’, then feel free to stop reading right now, because ladies and gents, it’s gonna get a little real up in here for this one. So you know, your choice.
Still with me? Awesome. I knew you were one of the brave ones.
So yeah, contemplating my own mortality. This is not something I’ve ever really done before, unless you count the obsession I had with death for a short time when I was a kid. Don’t judge, I hear that’s normal. Even if it’s not. Have you met me?
Mostly, I’ve walked through life with a, perhaps irrational at times, sense of immortality. See, me and Noel Gallager (and I'm pretty sure Keith Richards) all had the same plan, to ‘Live Forever’.