Life these last ten years has seemed to be a repeating process of putting together a life around me, and then having it fall apart, over and over again. This latest crumbling has found me saying to the people around me how tired I am of putting things back together, only to have them fall apart again.
Have you ever felt like that?
Being a person who is deeply drawn to personal development, I have made deep personal work a keystone of my life. If I look back, I can see that this started back in my teens, and has continued, waxing and waning until the birth of my son, when I took it on as a deep and crucial aspect of my life’s purpose. I do the work, everyday, to grow and evolve and develop myself mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Why, then, do I feel like I am walking the same path over and over again, never getting anywhere? Is my goal to “get somewhere” maybe not serving me?
I feel as though I am constantly being broken, over and over again, tested and refined, redesigned and retested, never arriving at the goal.
As I was getting ready to head out to an appointment today, I was putting on my make up and happened to glance out the window to our empty parking space, and felt a pang of sadness and frustration that our beloved Volvo was no longer. It was symbolic for us of all the work we have done together over the last ten years, and how far we have come. We were both very proud of it, and found it’s loss frustrating. My heart broke a little as I finished with my make up, now ready to head to the bank and finish up with the financing for our “new to us” replacement.
Symbols are troublesome because typically we are attached to our symbols, and grieve when they are no longer. Attachment and pride are also troublesome, because they have a dark side; sadness, and grief when the thing is lost.
Though my body wasn’t broken when we hit that cement barrier, my expectations and plans certainly were.
I had been doing so well, why did this have to happen? Why did I have to be broken again?
There is a story of a goddess whose name translates to “The Goddess of Never-not-broken”. Her name is “Akhilandeshvari, She is in pieces. Her pieces are constantly moving dynamically to create experience and foster wisdom and compassion.” (Thanks to the author of The Way of The River”, whose post this is taken from.)
The cracks are where the light gets in, and nothing fucks us over more than our expectations of how our life “should” be.
I thought I had my proverbial shit together, had ground under my feet, and knew where I was going. I was becoming rigid and attached to my outcomes, and not leaving room for light, tenderness and compassion.
Being broken is a powerful place to be, because we get to choose how we put ourselves back together. It reminds us of the fragility of life and our own mortality, and it makes it starkly and terrifyingly clear that the ground we believed we had under out feet was an illusion.
We always stand on the precipice of the present moment, always flowing into the never arriving future. Now is all we ever have, and the notion that we are solid is equally dishonest. Life is fragile and ephemeral and can end in a random moment. Tomorrow is not given, and you are never more vulnerable than when you believe you have your shit together. That’s when it happens. Your husband leaves you, you get fired, your child gets sick or, as in my case, you total your car.
Nothing is given. We are never not broken, and the more deeply we know this, the more heartbreakingly beautiful life becomes, the more our worthiness is rooted inside our own hearts, and the less we create useless expectations that will only screw us over in the end.
Be here now.
You are enough, and now is all you have.