It has been a long road.
A really long, bumpy, maybe-I-rolled-my-car-over-a-few-times-on-this-journey kind of long road.
And I don’t think that makes me different from anyone else. It makes me…well, me, and my road has been long and maybe hazardous.
I don’t know if you are anything like me. I have come to learn a few really important things about myself:
I can be stubborn.
I can be cynical.
My inner rebel will sometimes win even if it doesn’t serve me.
I have held the fundamental belief that I can fix everything with my mind and abilities.
These four things have kept me from doing the one thing I have known I should do for at least the last 365 days.
The me that kept me from doing this thing was the me that said all of the following:
I don’t want to give in. I don’t want to accept that other people know something I don’t understand. And, as terrible as it is, I sometimes just don’t want to do something for the simple fact that someone told me to do it. Most importantly in my life, I don’t want to be a cliche. (I think if you asked me if I had a phobia it would be being a cliche.)
So I resist…a lot.
Ironically (at this point it is ironic, brilliant, beautiful, and maybe even funny) I had the honor, privilege, and life-changing opportunity to work for Elephant Journal. During this time I met, talked to, listened to, read, and was enriched by some of the most amazing—and I don’t use that word lightly—people on this planet.
People who made me want to be better.
People who made me understand that what they were saying made sense.
And yet despite all of those things, I couldn’t give in.
I learned two very important lessons from this experience.
1. There is something more out there than what I, Meg, can do.
2. Giving in and allowing that something more in, is really f*cking hard.
It is either a cosmic joke or cosmic intervention that life has gone as it has in the past months.
I was born a fighter (maybe not by choice). I was born a person who was seemingly programmed to resist injustice, the wrongs of the world, etcetera. This can be an awesome thing. But it also allowed me to develop the idea that I can use my intellect and hard work to solve any problem, to make anything right.
Enter the debilitating idea that will hold a person back for pretty much forever—the idea that we can control the world around us through our actions. (I really, really loved this idea for a long time.)
In my life I have fought everything:
I was holding on.
Holding on to the one thing that made the world make sense—the idea that made the world safe and okay—if I just work harder, try harder, keep being more it will be okay.
I kept fighting. I fought my divorce. My friends. The man who didn’t want to be in a relationship with me. I fought. I resisted.
I tried everything I could to make things work with what I could do. Guess what? It didn’t work.
My desire was to keep intact this idea that I can affect the world around me by being a good person, a hard working person, a “smart” person—a person who doesn’t have to give in but instead can do more. This desire kept me from doing the simplest and yet most profound thing a person can do: sit down.
Life kept getting harder. Relationships kept falling apart. My notion of my self became more tarnished. My sadness and disbelief grew, and what I was doing wasn’t working.
And finally a straw came and broke it all.
The deep loss, disappointment, disbelief, and confusion that overtook me was like a wave so powerful I could only play dead to survive (If you surf you know what I mean; play dead until you are okay) and a person can’t live “dead” forever.
There was nowhere else to go and nothing I could do. (That is a really scary feeling.)
I couldn’t fix it. (That is a really frustrating feeling.)
And so…I sat down.
I gave in.
I decided to be present with myself.
To connect to my breath.
To slow my heart.
I needed guidance, so I did a meditation offered by Lodro Rinzler. It helped, and I was grateful for that because I was absolutely lost. Life felt out of control—which it may still be—but this was a beginning.
I have a long way to go and for the first time in my life I know I won’t get there by winning the race…but I may just get there by staying still.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Meagan Morris
Editor: Renee Picard
Photo: Adolphe Borie: Girl Meditating / via freeparking at Flickr
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