I’m lost. And afraid. I’m not clear on anything at the moment, which means I’m in the shittiest phase of the growth cycle. I know I won’t be stuck here forever (even though it feels like it) and big changes are likely in the pipeline that will be good for me. But none of this knowledge helps to heal the current pain I’m feeling.
It’s time to get honest with myself and to others about how confusing, alienating and exhausting life can get. It’s messy with a capital damn M. My soul is like a wounded bear, growling from my den, daring anyone to come at me with yet another “this too shall pass”. I know that already. We all do.
I’m longing for more shared honesty. For more “me too” and less stoic pretence. I want no more advice, so I must continue to work at not giving any out either. What helps the most when my soul has been rubbed raw with lemon juice is a piece of hope from someone else who has also experienced genuine pain, loss and grief.
The world is a scary place. Sometimes it’s simply all too much for me. My kids are in pain and I must do my best to help them through, to offer encouragement and strength even when I am thoroughly beaten and defeated myself. I’m trying to be gentle and kind to my weary mind and heart, offering love in place of judgement, but life offers none of us a chance to get away from our problems. We only get temporary reprieves at best. The sadness will still be there, lying in wait, when we are done with our shopping, eating, Facebook surfing, exercising or Netflix binging.
Every one of us is in constant flux, evolving and changing, trying our best and still occasionally falling flat on our faces. This journey of becoming our true selves can be so rough. We get lost, night falls, our compass breaks and we have no clue where we are in our own inner landscape.
I pretended for years that I was fine when I was actually dying inside. I know that way doesn’t work, but trying to be vulnerable in a world committed to posing as rich, thin, happy, helpful and eternally young is deeply challenging too. No one said it would be easy, and at the end of the day I must choose what is right for me no matter what anyone else is doing. But stepping out as your real self, keeping a soft and open heart, trying to be honest when you are struggling – these things go against the grain, and the sense of isolation can be enormous.
The only way I know how to survive is to keep going. To breathe in and out. To hug my husband and my kids. To watch a great movie and read an inspiring book. To reach out to someone I respect and love to say, “I’m hurting. How are you?” To try again, when I prefer to hole up inside myself and never try again. To realize that the mess of life serves a growth purpose.
Nothing worthwhile is achieved without significant pain. Doubt is a huge part of this process. It’s normal. I’m not the only one to feel this way. Something is happening. New life is around the corner. I have no choice but to wait for it. All I really have to do now is the best that I can in this rough patch.