Can You Ease Up? Or, How to Approach 2017
I woke up with a sweat-covered face and chest. The sweat I could handle; the worst part was that pit-feeling space in the middle of my stomach.
I’ve been here before. Note: this does not make it any easier in the moment.
But I was able to feel some comfort more quickly than in the past because I remembered: this is my old friend, self-worth. I can go in the direction of thinking I can’t and don’t, or that I can and do.
I don’t have control over the pit arising, but I do have a choice whether to widen it, or fill it in with some meaning.
This, my friends, is my core wound, one which manifests in a plethora of ways in my life. What I have learned deeply, and several times over, is something I want to pass along to you for the new year: your core wound will exist for the entirety of your life. You will never heal it completely. The sooner you accept this, the sooner you can get back to the business of living a whole life.
* * * * *
“My dad made me this frog candlestick with cracks filled with gold. Wabi-Sabi, a centuries-old Japanese belief, values brokenness and revels in imperfection, which is how the art of Kintsukuroi came about. As early as the 15th century, Japanese potters began repairing broken pots by filling their cracks with gold. Rather than hiding the wear, the history, the brokenness, the potters illuminated it. When I hold such ceramics in my hands, I can trace the golden map of their past with my fingers—there is no attempt to hide, to make new, to erase. To me, this practice translates perfectly to life: To allow our cracks to show—our wrinkles, mistakes, and failures—is a more humane and forgiving way to live.” Original post found here.
In rejecting our cracks, we mostly end up projecting them – they don’t go away, they just transfer to another.
We can spend a lot of time in these shadow realms, without even realizing it. This is energy that could flow towards that which we consciously want more of in our life, but instead, it gets stuck on focusing on others shortcomings, or in a spiral of self-loathing. Or the two coupled together.
I want to talk about a different kind of spiral, one that flows up instead of down.
It begins on the bottom with your core wound (we each have our own unique one, lucky us!). Imagine as you work on that wound, it moves up the spiral. When it finds its way to the opposite side from which it began, this is the moment when we feel like we have triumphed; we did the work, and we exorcised that demon – hell yeah! Life is lighter, richer, easier, until…it isn’t. Could be a couple of days or months, could be years. But eventually that core wound has made it back around the spiral, right smack dab into the spot it hurts the most.
Though it may seem you’ve found yourself back right where you started, you’re actually a level up.
See, if you truly did some work the last time you faced your pain, there will be a palpable difference, if you look for it. It’s not always obvious, but it is there. And you can take the lessons you learned to process through this instance of wound healing.
Life continues up that spiral, and you will find your way close to and far away from your core wound again and again. Hopefully, you’ll be able to face it with greater ease each time, simply by growing your acceptance for what it is.
And it’s often what makes you beautiful. (And not in the physical sense.)
* * * * *
Resolutions. People tend to have lots of thoughts about resolutions.
I don’t really feel either way about them. Yes, they often drop off pretty quickly after the initial drive at the New Year, but I also feel like they can be a great jumping off point for some juicy evolution.
But if you don’t want to make resolutions for 2017, and still feel like stimulating some shifts in your life, let’s go back to the post from last week. Here’s what I asked:
- What do you want for yourself in the coming year? (Think BIG)
- What do you wish for your loved ones? (Think from THEIR point-of-view)
- How do you want to go about making the world a better place, even when it may seem in shambles? (Think GREATER GOOD)
Here’s how I answered those questions for myself:
- At this point, I have learned on an embodied level that I have two reactions – or paths – that come up for me in just about every situation. I know which reaction leads me to some old programming, and which one breaks through that old programming with a little bit of elbow grease. I’m committed to choosing the elbow grease as much as I can, while also forgiving myself more when I don’t. (This is energy that can flow towards that which I consciously want more of in my life, while also allowing my shadow side to breathe, diminishing it’s projection onto others)
- I want my loved ones to better know and more deeply feel their importance in my life and in the world (This is a time where I have more to give, after moving some of my energy off of constant self-reflection – self-reflection that was necessary in order to know myself better, but eventually eases up when the dots connect)
- I’m committed to donating a percentage of profits that come in CGD+T each month to social justice organizations that are helping people both locally and nationally. (All of our core wounds are impacted by how we choose to live in the world. My self-worth is strengthened by helping others to access their own)
To allow our cracks to show—our wrinkles, mistakes, and failures—is a more humane and forgiving way to live.
Other things to ask yourself:
Can you allow your cracks to show? Can you allow yourself times to be indulgent with what heals you, and times to get out of your own shit to help others? Can you chuckle at your wrinkles, physical or emotional ones, disarming your inner most critic? Can failure simply be lessons on how to do something better?
Can you ease up?
* * * * *
I have no doubt that I’ll be hanging out with my old friend, self-worth, more than a few times in 2017. I like to see how our relationship has changed over time, and where we still can’t seem to see eye to eye (we each have a thing or two to learn). Bringing along doses of respect, understanding, and grace help to slowly fill up that pit, so when I reach that place once again on the spiral, I can do so with an easy sigh, and maybe even a little chuckle.