There is a folder in all of our lives, labelled, “The things I think I cannot do”.
We fiercely protect its contents, so that others may never know how to affect us.
Because those things we think we cannot do are not run of the mill, everyday things that we’re okay with the world knowing.
We want to keep them hidden, so that no one sees us stumble, fumble and wobble with what another mastered in a mere moment.
For me, moving with such short notice had me opening up to the one thing that’s most difficult for me.
Letting other people help me.
Trusting that it will all turn out okay.
Asking for assistance when I need it instead of trying to do it all myself.
Believing that I had the strength in me to walk away from so much at one time, with so little notice.
The things I thought I could not do.
Ask for help from people whose opinions matter to me.
Ask for help while knowing that in doing so I would be risking them seeing dysfunction from my past that I don’t live any more, but that is still very much part of my past.
Ask for help when it would mean that people could let me down.
There they sat in my folder. Staring me back in the face.
I could do little else than stare back blankly, hoping that the fear would go away faster than my need to do those things that scared me.
To ask and to receive.
I would repeat over and over to myself, “Trust the Universe, it’s got your back,” while completely mistrusting that I was supported and loved. A positive mantra became a clever way to avoid facing the fears that felt more comfortable left alone in that folder.
Opening yourself up to the possibility that another person could reject you, dislike you and completely let you down is the moment you also open yourself up to the possibility that maybe, they won’t do any of those things at all.
In order to stay open to receive the good, we have to be okay with the chance that the bad could creep in.
How do we guard against those things once we courageously move forward and become masters of our own destinies and the things we thought we couldn’t do?
By exposing ourselves to them regularly.
It’s a cruel irony, I know.
And it only became more and more apparent as I went through the motions of my move last week.
The only way I could know that I would be okay if someone rejected me for the crazy things happening around me or that I would survive if someone let me down is by putting myself in the path of them because exposure to them is the enduring revelation of strength. It is in those moments of quiet fear, that we really exude our greatest strengths.
Note: strength is not given us, from some outside source but truly shines out from within in those moments.
The only caveat is that we must stay open.
Even when it scares us.
Even when we could lose friends.
Even when self-preservation cries out for an alternate ending.
The space of possibility is a tricky one because no matter what, you will survive those situations that test you. You have no choice but to be here after they’re over. That’s just the reality, though your fears would have you believe something different.
The next question becomes: what are you going to do with the fact that it hasn’t done anything to you? That you’re still here.
That you can stare in the face, those things you think you cannot do is an important realization.
The even greater one?
Remembering that there is one right beside that folder, labelled, “Things I’m going to do now”, waiting to be filled up completely.
And understand that the folder of things you think you can’t do, will always have something in it. It’s an unending process, this eliminating fear. Go easy on yourself more and judge yourself less. You are a spiritual being having a human experience and the human experience is a testament to the beauty of the imperfections. Trust that.
So, what are you going to do, to quote Mary Oliver, with your one wild and precious life?
What are you going to do now, beautiful?
On the Wings of Miracles,