Paws. And softness.
You’re having a hard time today, and I want you to know that I see you. I see your confusion. Your frustration. Your loneliness in this journey.
Remember the first time you stepped into this formation journey, how you kept bumping up against that phrase “figure it out”? How you began to realize how crazily common that phrase was in your mind and even your conversations? How you began to learn so much about yourself through that single observation — that this was you, the person you’d become at 19 and 20 years old, constantly trying to figure things out?
It was a defense mechanism, and you didn’t even know it was there. It was your way of anticipating problems and staying one step ahead of them. It was your way of protecting against error. It was your way of “number-crunching” everything about the world around you. You were always trying to figure something out.
It was a defense mechanism.
Do you remember when you noticed it? When you saw that phrase cropping up in your mind and conversations? When you realized it was everywhere for you? When you saw how quickly you went there with every single thing — just trying to “figure it out”?
It confounded you to notice it. How it permeated everything. You were so surprised to see it everywhere. Then, for a while, you laughed every time you noticed it. There it was again!
But eventually, you got mad. Why did you have to figure everything out? Why did you have to live with the unending contingency plans and the watchful eye on constant duty?
And then you realized you were exhausted. You were just so tired of figuring things out. Your mind wanted rest.
And so you took it.
You’re in a similar place now.
Instead of bumping up against that constant refrain of “figuring things out,” now you’re in a place where you keep bumping up against a thick black wall of hard truth and then turning sharply away. You keep banging up against it, and you keep wrenching yourself away.
You’re getting kind of bruised, actually. Have you noticed? It just keeps happening: Bang. Then wrench. Bang. Then wrench.
Can you feel the tenderness of your skin? Can you see the redness? The black-and-blue marks?
I hate seeing you hurt yourself over and over like this.
And so I’m wondering if you’d be willing to try something new. You know how you let yourself practice going off the clock with figuring things out that earlier time? What if now, you let yourself practice accepting the wall?
What if every time you banged up against the wall of that hard truth, instead of pushing yourself away so fast in order to scramble another direction, you gave yourself a moment to stop, acknowledge the wall, and accept it is there? What if you stood there, let yourself nod at it, believe it is real?
Maybe you could even begin to notice when you’re running hard toward that wall — to notice you’re headed that way, and to help yourself slow down and maybe walk toward it instead. And then to stand in front of it. To see it there. To size it up. To nod your head at it, saying yes to its being there.
When you started practicing rest that first time, it started this way. As a noticing — noticing that “figure it out” phrase when it cropped up or the “figuring” behavior once it got whirring. When you noticed, you let yourself stop. This is how you helped yourself learn a new way of being, at least in the beginning.
I have a hunch this new practice of noticing and accepting will help diminish the wall. Let it soften. Come down. Disintegrate. And then become a permeable part of your story, floating through it all like a million tiny black flecks, no longer a barrier that holds things back or locks them away, letting it all be a part of you.
I hope you agree this acceptance practice is worth trying. At the very least, you’ll stop getting bruised. At the very most, you’ll find greater wholeness of being.