What if you knew your life was changing because you’d been in the process for a couple of years now but suddenly you felt like that change shifted into high gear? Like you notice you’re doing more of something good like working out and less of something bad like negative thinking. You’re consciously choosing happiness and letting yourself be in anger, sadness or whatever emotion comes up, then letting it go, knowing you’re just growing and going through a process. A little like driving through a rain storm, having looked at a map and realizing that you’ve got a few miles to drive in it then you’ll drive out of and away from the storm. Only you’re without a map.
The only thing you have is hope and faith. No, really. I mean, you have your friends and family who, thankfully, don’t think you’re crazy. They know this to be a fact and they love you anyway. You knew this was coming, you just had no idea when and now it feels like it’s on top of you and your job, your privilege, is to glean everything you can from it, knowing it’s going to move on once you’ve learned all you can. But the trick is, you have to face this by yourself. Because it’s inside of you. You don’t know what’s there but you know you must face it in order to get through it and move forward.
I ran my first Spartan Race on Saturday, July 26th. It’s triggered a tremendous amount of change in a weeks’ time, with more to go. This past week has been one of the toughest of my life. When your go-to’s are wiped away, when your world is turned upside down, when the things you thought you knew aren’t so, when giving up is NOT an option, the only option is to face your fears and keep moving forward.
I realized on Sunday driving back from DC that one of my Inner Mean Girls (aka my ego) was trying to sabotage a friendship of mine that I value. I said nothing to my friend (still haven’t) but started working on obliterating the fear that’s provoking my ego to send out a message that is motivated by fear, never mind that it isn’t true!
I’ve said what if? so many times this week. And not how you think. It’s not “what if I’d _____?” It’s what if all of my passions are fueled by anger and not by a joy passion? And there’s no anger left to fuel them? Then what? What if the stories in my mind aren’t me, they’re just stones in my path, learning opportunities?
What if I can–? What if I must let go of everything in order to move on, trusting that whatever and whoever is meant to come with me will be there when I’m on the other side?
Honestly, this last week has been one of the scariest of my life and I’ve shared it with very few people. From the outside, I’m sure it would look scary and sad, and downright painful. I’m not going to lie, it was and it still is.
My team, the Red Sox, was always my go-to when things got crappy. 9 innings, 3 up, 3 down, same pl-. And then it happened. The trading deadline came and suddenly my team, like my internal life, was coming apart, being ripped to shreds before my eyes…are you kidding me?! Honestly, I wasn’t even angry. Just dismayed and disappointed. I let go of it.
I was dying inside and I was finally just letting it hurt, letting things go, releasing things, ideas, beliefs, people I once had a death grip on. I was letting go of control. Amid the tears and the pain, the hurricane that was going on within me, trying to let myself scream (I still have issues with being vocal in my pain), my Inner Wisdom/God was reminding me that it was going to be OK, which somehow amid the chaos, I knew and know. It’s going to be OK.
Granted, I have no idea what OK looks like. I am just having faith that I’m either going to land on solid ground…or I’m going to learn to fly.
In the meantime, I realized that my passion for politics, my ability to write, my love of sports all seem to be fueled by an angry passion that’s now nearly gone. Part of my caterpillar life that’s now gone. (I’ll talk about that in an upcoming post.)
So, alas, while things were falling apart, and I realized I couldn’t even get angry about my team’s disintegration, and ownership’s seeming to not care one iota about the fans or the current season, because I realized that I had no control over it.
Now, I’m in a strange place. Letting go of the stories, my stories, my stuff, things I’ve trusted and known my whole life and I’m suddenly asking “What if that’s not so?” “What if I have to give this up in order to make room for something new?” “What if I’m no longer going to be passionate about sports or politics because the passion was anger fueled and the anger is gone?”
So many “what ifs”. I don’t know what’s next or what will be left when it’s all said and done. I feel like I’m going to a great place, to great things and great people. In the meantime it’s scary and sad and I’m mourning the death of my old self and pondering the birth of my new self.
It’s not about “going back to” anything because there’s nothing left to go back to. I’m looking forward to being a baby again, in a manner of speaking. A clean, empty vessel full of possibilities, ready for as much joy as another person can handle. It’s time…it’s just about time!
And in the midst of waiting, I’m wondering, “What if-?”