Face Down

I don’t feel like it. Not even a little bit. 

My head is pounding, paradoxically feeling like it is shrinking like a prune while at the same time being pressed upon from the inside, attempting to hatch like an egg. 

I can’t string together a coherent thought, and it has taken me six tries to put my password into my beloved MacBook. 

I am bone tired but restless, and completely unable to fall asleep before at least an hour has passed each night. 

I am an absolute wreck. 

Everything has gone sideways. My routines are in tatters, I haven’t planned my week in weeks, I am not working out, and my eating habits are leaving a lot to be desired. 

And I don’t have the will to do anything about any of it. 

I crawl into my bed, cue up yet another Netflix show, and sink into the pleasant numbness of a good old fashioned binge watch. 

This is the latest in a couple of months worth of kicks to the face. I know that Mel Robbins says I will never feel like it, and to do it anyway, but that feels so far beyond my capacity as to be unreachable. 

And it feels deeply like failure. 

A wise quiet voice from deep inside of me whispers that it isn’t, but the gremlins don’t care. They prattle on regardless. 

And I allow the cast of Star Trek – The Next Generation to drown both of them out. 

I am waiting to feel better. 

My mind is sputtering like an engine that needs to be brought into the shop, and all of the effort in the world isn’t going to make it better. 

I can’t even open my laptop for Christ sake. 

This was five days ago, and it went on for at least two days. 

On the other side of it now, what I see is that something was shifting in me. A lesson was being learned, a level was being passed, a barrier was being broken. And it was taking everything I had to deal with the physical implications of it, leaving no resources for anything else. 

Is this failure? 

Five days ago the gremlins in my head were telling me that yes, it was. Now? Now I can see that it was a necessary bookend to months worth of evolutionary growth. 

Struggle is not failure. Stopping is not failure either. Doubting yourself isn’t, and neither is inertia. Failure is not getting back up. It’s giving in. It’s surrendering to self-doubt and struggle, letting it put a permanent stop to the work. 

But that is not what I am going to do. 

You see, I choose to be in the arena. I made that choice a long time ago. And something that I tend to forget when things are going well is that being in the arena means getting my ass kicked every now and again. I am face down in the dirt because I made that choice. It took me a few days to remember that. 

I am so glad that I gave myself the grace to be face down, to binge-watch one of my favourite shows, and assimilate whatever lesson the universe was throwing my way. 

If you are face down right now, I want you to know that you are okay. I want to gently invite you to give yourself the grace to catch your breath and the time to get back to your feet. 

And then I want you to keep going. Let the change change you. Let it shift the way you work, see yourself, and engage with the other people on the arena floor. Learn from this takedown. Love yourself through it, and come back stronger. 

You are so loved. 

xo, 

Steph 

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