“Everything I ever let go of has claw marks on it” -David Foster Wallace.
So, it’s a few days before my NINTH session with Rachael, and the reality is hitting me; we only have three sessions left. THREE. As in; six short weeks of reiki flow (we meet every other week) and blogging and new energies… six weeks until I have to look back on all of the stuff I’ve learned about who I am and what I want NOW and what I now understand myself to be capable of, and an old thought keeps dawning on me:
I am never going to be ready! …scratch that… I am never going to FEEL ready…
Ready to trust that I can do everything that I want to do. Ready to trust my instincts without Rachael’s support- just as she has taught me to do. Ready to move on from everything that is no longer serving me or my soul’s mission. I’m never going to feel ready to leave behind the dreams that I had as an 18 year old. I’m never going to feel ready to leave behind the potential for opportunity (that I can’t see), for the potential of opportunity that I think I can. I’m never going to feel ready to leave New York ‘fully confident that there is nothing left for me here’ or certain that I will never return. (…which is actually good seeing as how I want to be bi-coastal.) What's more, I’m never going to feel ready to say good-bye to my parents for the last time, or to have a baby, or to jump out of a plane or off of a cliff or to walk up to a total stranger and start a conversation with him because some part of me is telling me that I absolutely must.
Odds are very, very good that at the moment of impact, I am never going to feel completely ready... for any of it.
It doesn’t mean that these things won’t happen, and it doesn’t mean that I am not going to face them head on as they do, but it does mean that if I wait until I am super jazzed to charge fearlessly ahead into the great unknown, odds are good that it might not happen...at least, not this week. Or next. Because odds are good that if it is new or scary or different or anything that is remotely uncomfortable or relatively inconvenient or just doesn't sound like any fun, then I probably justwon’tfeel like it.
I’ve been thinking about all of this a lot over the past week.
All of the Feelings –my feelings- and all of the ways in which they have influenced my life; talking me into and out of things or situations, leading me to make decisions that were not always in alignment with my highest self.
Now, while I do believe that it is important to know how/what it is that you desire to feel on a daily basis;
I want to feel strong
I want to feel at ease
I want to feel love
I want to feel powerful
... I also believe that it is essential to not let one’s feelings about those feelings drive the boat.
Perhaps you wish to feel stronger...
-BUT- You never really feel like working out...
Or perhaps you wish to feel financially abundant, but you also don’t feel like cooking dinner (saving money) after a long day at work... ...when I say I will never feel ready, those are the kind of feelings I am talking about; the feelings about the feelings.
Luckily, you don’t have to wait until you feelready to do the things that you know you need to do.
It is entirely possible that someday, you will wake up at 5:30 am feelingsuper psyched about going to the gym to work out, and, it is equally as possible that to get to that point, (the point at which you are super psyched about working out at 5:30am) you are going to have to wake up at 5:30 am on ALL OF THE MORNINGS BEFORE THAT (the ones where you aren’t super psyched and you definitely don’t feel like it) to go to the gym, and work out.
When you start to examine feelings from this perspective, the differences between 'what you feel capable of ' -and- 'what is true in reality' are staggering.
The truth is; we really are the only ones who stop ourselves from doing, being or becoming anything that we might choose to be…which kind of sucks...but is also totally liberating...depending on how you choose to feel about it. :-)
We hold onto our perceptions about what is happening to us, vs. the reality of what is just, simply, happening, because one leaves us with someone or something other than ourselves to blame, and the other leaves us with only ourselves.
Again, kind of shitty/ also totally liberating.
I heard two really great quotes this week about just such a thing.
The first was from Oprah. She was not the originator of the quote, but as she is a fierce lioness-goddess-queen-of-awesomeness, she might as well have been. It goes as follows: ‘Would you rather be right, or be at peace?’
The second came from a woman/author/speakers/motivational-champion/professional fixer/guru/problem-solver extraordinaire; Mel Robbins. She is also a commentator on CNN, a talk radio host, and is currently one of the most sought after public speakers in the entire world. Her quote goes like so: ‘What if you’re wrong?’
On their own, they are both incredibly powerful. But it was the second that I put them both together that the wheels really began to spin...
“What if I’m wrong? Would I rather be right, or be at peace?"
What if I’m wrong about... what I always assumed I was supposed to do with my life. Has my need to be right kept me from my best self and the path to inner-peace? What if I’m wrong about my (self-limiting) perceived strengths and abilities? Maybe my need to be right has kept me stuck in old patterns.
How often is my need to be right out shadowing what is right in front of me? How often do my feelings about what is happening affect my need to be right, instead of motivating me to investigate where the feelings are actually coming from? How often do I consider the possibility that I could be wrong? And how often do I defend myself, simply because I am petrified of finding out that I am (wrong)?
Now, don’t get me wrong(see what I did there?), I am all for boundaries and for protecting those boundaries at just about any cost, but I also believe that in order to do so, one must become very clear on the difference between a boundary (motivated by the desire for peace), and the simple need to be right (motivated by the ego).
I believe that boundaries are generated out of our basic human needs for protection and preservation. And, while there are certainly feelings that come up when our boundaries are being imposed upon or crossed, those feelings are intended to serve our need for survival as human beings –letting us know when something or someone poses a threat to our existence-, not the survival of our ego.
The ego, on the other hand, just wants to be right. And while I understand that the ego originated from a place of self-preservation, and that –originally- the need to be correct was paramount to our survival –eat this berry, that one is poisonous- it now serves to keep us as separate from one another and from knowing out true selves, for where there is truth, there is no ego, and this spells death for that primitive little shit kicker.
Where there is truth, there is peace.
(On some level.)
Truth may not always feel very good, or very peaceful, but if we choose to surrender to it, at least we get to stop fighting. Think about how much less energy it takes to admit that you are wrong (if you are) then it does to keep fighting the same fight over and over again in the name of being right. By the same token, think about how peaceful you can be while engaged in an argument, simply by being honest.
If you speak honestly about what is true for YOU, then there is no need to prove yourself ‘right’ to anyone.
Every time you surrender to what you know is true, there is peace. It’s the relief you feel after you break up with that person that you love but can no longer be in a relationship with, or the way you feel after you’ve finally deep cleaned your bathroom and folded the 27 pounds of clean laundry that have been staring at you for the past three days; there may not be dancing in the streets, but the feelings of relief, bit by bit, become more important than any feelings you may have about doing the things that you don’t want to do (even though you know that they are right FOR YOU).
This all brings me back to my original point about not feeling ready. I’m pretty sure that I’m never going to feel ready to be wrong about the direction in which I thought my life was headed (Broadway-destined-permormer who has decided to leave her old dreams behind to move to Oregon and become a total hippie)...but...would I rather be right, or be at peace?
I heard a story recently about Dwayne –The Rock- Johnson. Dwayne started his career as a college football player, and while his greatest dreams were of starring (or starting? I blame my theatrical background) in the NFL, he only ever made it as far as the Canadian Football League, from which he was cut after only two months. Sad Dwayne. However, were it not for this little 'set back', it is entirely possible that he would not have gone on to become the man that he is today; an actor/producer who is widely regarded as one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time, who was also the world’s highest-paid actor in 2016 and named ‘one of the 100 most influential people in the world’ by Time Magazine that same year.
He thought he was going to play for the NFL, and he was wrong. And while I’m guessing that he didn’t feel great about it then, he is probably very much at peace with it now.
I want to be at peace. Even if I don't feel like doing the things that I know I need to do, and even if it means being wrong about everything I thought I knew at the time.
In hindsight, I realize that being wrong has led me to some of the best people and moments in and of my life thus far. Every single one of my best girls friends -and I mean EVERY SINGLE ONE- I was positive I was going to hate the first time I met them, and I certainly never felt like getting to know any of them any better. Every time I felt like I couldn't afford something that I really wanted...I afforded it. Every time I have come to New York City with the feeling that I was destined to stay forever, I have left...only to find myself immersed in a places and people that I could have never imagined.
Every time I haven't felt ready, I have been wrong. And every time that I have been wrong, it has been right.