One of the hardest things to deal with during my time of illness and healing has been the feelings of frustration. Of being lost. Being stuck.
It’s vicious cycle of feeling so on top of things. So in the zone. Of being really excited about some new supplement or change, feeling really good, really hopeful, doing visualisations, writing out my dreams, maybe even doing some affirmations.
And then BAM!
I’d run smack bang into STUCK again.
It would come out of nowhere, totally sideswiping me.
And all of a sudden, I’d feel STUCK. I’d feel like I was making NO progress. Like I wasn’t getting anywhere.
And actually, I think the whole positive thinking/affirmations can have this effect, because they cause friction with your subconscious. We know they’re a lie, that they’re not true right now and all of a sudden that truth comes bursting out.
I’d feel completely trapped in an impossible situation of sucky health and finances and life with no idea how to get myself out of the mess.
And I’d be angry. Because I’ve been stuck sick for years – and it feels like nothing has changed AT ALL. (Even though it always had changed, and I just forgot how bad it used to be.)
I’d be angry because haven’t I suffered ENOUGH already? (Then that smarter intuitive voice says to me: “suffered enough affording to whom?”. Life owes me nothing. Life makes no promises that it will be easy and I won’t have to suffer. She’s wise, that one.)
I’d be angry because when the hell are things going to get better? When are they going to MOVE already?!
I’m an Aries too, so we’re naturally like LET’S FRICKING GO ALREADY. Let’s get this moving. We’re pushy. If things aren’t happening, we MAKE them happen. (“Divine timing” be damned.)
STUCK STUCK STUCK.
It’s one of the worst feelings. Because you feel helpless. Hopeless. POWERLESS.
And feeling powerless is probably one of the worst feelings you can have.
Because where the hell do you go from there? You can’t change things. You don’t have the power too.
When you’re stuck in the same place for SO long that you want nothing more to get out of. It wears you down. It breaks your effing heart.
I had EVERYTHING fall apart in my life at almost the same time. My health. My career. My friendships. My finances. My living situation. My relationship. My sense of who I was as a person.
It was all blowing up, one thing after another, within the span of a few years.
But I did my best to learn, to grow, to heal, to change, to make things happen, to follow my heart, to become who I wanted to be. I tried and tried and tried. I fell down, I picked myself up again. Over and over and OVER.
I stumbled and bumbled and staggered my way through healing. And even after years of trying – I still felt STUCK.
Things moved in teeny tiny steps forward. An inch here, an inch there. But it’s been a SLOOOOOOOOOOW process. I feel like I’ve crawled with my hands tied behind my back just to get HERE.
I was sick of life feeling so god damn HARD.
The whole time, I’ve had these dreams of where I want to be. This vision in my head of where I want to be. For YEARS I’ve been visualising, affirmationing, writing and meditating on these dreams.
Being completely healed. Feeling light and bouncy and full of energy. I see myself doing cartwheels on the beach and running up these steep steps on the rocks at my favourite beach. I see this big, sunshiney smile on my face. I radiate happiness and pure joy. I see myself in my ideal weight with this perfect body that I’ve always dreamed of.
These dreams and visions would fill me with hope, when things were good I KNEW I was moving in that direction, so close. I’ll be there soon.
But having these visions and dreams would sometimes just make things worse. Like when I all of a sudden went to the dark side of fear, frustration and stuckyness.
Underneath all the frustration is FEAR.
The thing that would trigger me was the idea that I could still be stuck in that same place for many more months. Maybe even years. Maybe even decades.
The fear of “what if I actually don’t get better? what if I actually don’t get to that life I dream of? what if I’m stuck here forever?”
Our millions of years old brain is programmed for one thing: SURVIVAL.
To survive, we need to be fearful of things we’re uncertain about.
To survive, we have a deep aversion to any suffering. Suffering scares the pants off us. Pain is intolerable. Because being in pain and suffering is the opposite of survival.
And we need a level of certainty that the suffering and pain will stop.
All our brain cares about is survival. That’s why there is so much FEAR around being sick and staying sick and even death.
There’s panic. There’s a rushed feeling – like I absolutely have to fix this right now. It’s survival.
Our brain is not wired for happiness, it’s wired for survival.
Now let’s jump from science to spiritual. It’s time for me to share actually how spiritual I am.
Because I feel that wherever we are is EXACTLY where we’re meant to be – because we’re there. How could it be any different?
Even “wrong” decisions often teach us the best lessons that we need to learn.
As frustrating, and infuriating, and agitating, and just annoying it is that you’re not where you want to be, not making the progress you want to be making.
There’s literally NO other option that to just put one foot in front of the other and keep walking it.
You’re HERE. So all the could’s, should’s and what if’s in the world don’t make ANY difference.
LET THEM GO. You’re here. Go from here.
You don’t have to know where you’re going. You especially don’t have to know HOW you’re going to get there.
You just need to do the next step. And you’re intuition/heart/gut instincts/whatever you want to call it – KNOWS what that next step should be. Always.
You are safe. You haven’t missed out. You’re not in the wrong place. You’re in the perfect timing for you.
I look back now on all that I’ve walked already, and I can see clearly with this perspective that I absolutely HAD to walk all of that. To become this person today. With this knowledge and life experience.
Maybe it’s for helping others to heal, maybe it’s not (giving the suffering meaning and purpose – to help others heal – helped me enormously). But even just for my own SOUL lessons. I HAD to walk that.
Steve Jobs in his famous Stanford speech said that the pieces of your life only come together in hindsight. The dots only connect looking backwards.
You’re walking a path and you have no idea why or where you’re going or what the purpose or meaning of it is. It looks like it has no meaning, until 20 or 30 years later you see how those pieces came together to bring you where you are then, doing what you’re meant to be doing.
We’re quick to judge that we’re in the wrong place. That we’ve missed the boat. That’s it’s not working out like it should. That we’re missing out. We’re in the wrong place. We should be somewhere else.
But who are we to judge?
Yeah it’s hard to walk this stuff. But that’s how you learn the lessons you need to. That’s how you get shaped into the person you need to be. That’s how you get set up for what’s to come down the road.
20 years from now, you’ll see all the dots connect and realise it was all for the best – even if it seems like the worst thing possible right now.
So, how do you be okay with where you are right now?
In some of my darkest times, this one thought alone has saved me.
Yep, it’s that simple.
I thought, “alright, even if things NEVER ever change, even if I’m still at this level of health, with this amount of suffering and pain, in this overweight body that I don’t like, with no money, and feeling lonely and not doing the work I want to, and stuck at home isolated for the REST OF MY LIFE – can I be okay? Can I find a way to be okay?”
And I always instantly, I feel this WEIGHT lift off me. This huge exhale.
Every time, I’ve always answered yes. No matter how sick I was, how much pain I was in, how miserable I was, even the times I was pretty much thinking about suicide. I’ve never said no.
Because the truth is, we CAN live with anything. We can walk anything. And we can be okay. I can always be okay.
I thought of all the things I’d already walked in my life. All the things I’d already been through, that in the moment I thought I wouldn’t survive and were the end of the world, and how I got through them, and they made me STRONGER.
You have SO MUCH STRENGTH inside of you. You are so much stronger than you will ever know.
You have enough strength to withstand ANYTHING that comes you’re way.
My mantra became “I’m okay.” I’d say it over and over again to myself like it was a warm, comforting, safety blanket.
Even if things don’t get better, I’m okay.
Even if things stay the same, I’m okay.
Even if I don’t get what I want, I’m okay.
No matter WHAT happens, I will be okay.
It’s not giving up, it’s letting go. There’s a HUGE difference.
It’s “I still want all of those things, I still believe I’ll get there, but even if I don’t I am okay and I choose to be happy”.
See the thing is, we can choose suffering, or we can choose to be peace.
Sometimes we just need a little reminder that we can choose – “I’m okay.”
And here’s the big secret: these dark moments of feeling hopeless and stuck and annoyed, almost always precede a big breakthrough.
I don’t know why. Is it a test? Is it a clearing out? Do we have some instinct that things are about to change? Is it the surrender that allows the breakthrough to come? I don’t know.
But my experience is, that it gets really dark just before a breakthrough. Hang in there.