“Wow, I am so surprised to hear that you still struggle with this!”
I had been sharing about my bouts with depression and this person commented that they were so surprised to hear that I still struggled after all this time. And honestly, it pissed me off for a while — when people talk down at you as if their stuff is all together and yours isn’t, it can be a bit triggering.
(ahem, especially when from where you’re standing, it is so not the case)
And then I touched in with the sorry knowing: Many of us believe IT can be fixed and made all better forever. Permanently. We want to believe the story that says suffering can be worked and worked and worked until all of the troubles are gone forever and when that day comes, hallelujah! we will have arrived…
You are on a path of awakening – of course, there will be new growth edges!
There is an underlying current out there that says it’s not okay to still struggle or have upset at a certain point on your journey.
Like, you must be doing it wrong if you’re still struggling.
As if practicing yoga or meditating or studying spiritual texts or helping others for a long enough time should somehow leave you impervious to upset.
Yes, these practices can help you ride in the center of your being so you can be clear and calm-ish when the next storm comes. But make no mistake, there will be another storm.
Don’t you dare let anyone make you feel like the stuff you’re feeling is a sign of weakness and indicative of not being very far along on the “spiritual path.”
In my experience, it’s the tender, vulnerable, open-hearted ones who are the most enlightened. It’s the ones with the most baggage and suffering who are working diligently to heal that have so much to offer the world.
And all enlightenment really is?
It’s remembering that you don’t have to have it together all the time. It’s remembering that you don’t have to be perfect, or good. It’s remembering that you will not gain or lose brownie points in heaven because you had a certain kind of day.
Enlightenment is remembering that you are already whole and perfect exactly as you are. No changes required.
Enlightenment is remembering that you are part of something greater and that something greater has got your back.
I don’t mind telling you there are places I get hung up. I get depressed. I have anxiety. I get pissed off at people. I have worked a long time with my tendency to numb out.
There are still places I get hung up and it’s okay. There are still days when I struggle and it’s okay.
I am working on it.
We’re all on the mountain making the trek as far as I am concerned. And while I do notice many more of us making the journey, I do sometimes wonder about the ones who constantly insist on summiting: They’re already at the top! Never mind the top, they’ve transcended the top! They have no struggles! ALL. IS. WELL! Except, most of us can see the bullsh*t falling out the back end.
Then again, it’s none of my business really.
My journey is my own. And every day I feel like I am winning because I am on a path of continually waking myself up. I choose to practice and address what is here and to stay present with my feelings. I choose to see how I make it hard for myself–to know my shtick by heart and practice unhooking as much as I can.
If you want to spend your time wondering why I am not perfect, I can’t stop you.
If you want to wonder why my sh*t isn’t all together, why I am not floating on my magic carpet by now… be my guest. In the meantime, I’ll be here enjoying my life as I see fit and I will also address what’s going on–even if that means I sometimes feel anxious or depressed while I do it. Even if it means I have to receive help in order to feel better.
I mean, there is no shame in needing help. But every day I meet people in sessions who say to me, I shouldn’t need you to help me do this! I should be able to figure this out on my own!
But, we all need help. All of us.
There is nothing wrong with having places you can’t reach on your own. Tell me one person who performed their own open heart surgery? Anyone out there birthed themselves without at least ONE amazing midwife?
Enlightenment is remembering.
Enlightenment = remembering.
We can remember that we are so much more than this anxiety, this depression, this age, this weight, this bad hair day, this bad review, bad date, bad whatever… we are SO much more than this!
Be proud of who you are. Love yourself as you are.
There will still be places you get hung up, make no mistake. Do not be ashamed of this.
Be kind and gentle with your heart.
And do be sure to surround yourself with those who can be real with you in kind. Otherwise, there’ll be a whole lotta doodoo to avoid stepping in. 😉