A friend of mine has been going through the shit storm to end all shit storms.
She's tried everything to break through, but nothing has worked yet.
She wrote to a group of us with a check-in, but her message was FULL of meanness to self. She demanded that we not write back with anything "nice" or "sweet" because it really, really was true. She just hadn't been measuring up.
Of course, I couldn't let that go. So, here is what I wrote back. She has given me permission to share it with you, because we believe it will help zillions of women our age. Please pass it on to those in need.
Dearest Beautiful Friend of My Heart,
You suck. Feel better?
First, I LOVE your beautiful ROARRRRRRRRRR!
I agree completely with you that, on occasion, you need your team to chastise as well as cheer. Well, maybe not chastise, but I loved the alliteration, so I’m keeping it in.
Anyway, good for you for bucking tradition and pointing that out. “ Rah, Rah, Siss Boom Bah” only takes you so far in life. When it comes to changing your life, unbridled optimism may be necessary, but it certainly is not sufficient. (click to tweet)
I am not, however, going to give you what you think you need and kick your beautiful mid-life ass at this point. You may not need vapid cheering. But you don’t need a kick either.
So, instead of hugs and kicks what I’m gifting you with is a different perspective. Because I think there might be some stuff you don’t know about this particular brand of stuff that you are going through.
There are times in life when stuff happens – or you decide that stuff NEEDS to happen. And aging has taught me that, whether change is thrust upon you, or you open the front door and invite the damn fucker in for supper, some particular brands of stuff happening will kick your beautiful jiggly mid-life ass to the curb.
Because the old tools won’t work. Nope. Not a damned thing you can do about that, Sweet Pea.
This new unreality is particularly freaky if, like you and like me, you are “first in your class” material. If you’re the cream that always rises – and I do mean ALWAYS – if you’re that girl, what you’re going through will challenge you like nothing you’ve ever met before. Because it’s new. What you have in your “response arsenal” is laughably insufficient.
This process is going to beat you.
Because it’s supposed to.
One of the reasons we suffer so much during these kinds of changes is because we lose our moorings. There is no self-help book, there is no teacher or guru, there is no good life action program -- that will see you clear of this awful period of confusion, disorientation, fear, and more.
The only way out is through. (click to tweet)
You will get through. But how and when are unknowable.
There is absolutely no certitude other than this – this too shall pass.
But probably not today.
And, every day, you will wake up and this same awful, mettle-testing truth will greet you. “This too shall pass.” But probably not today.
There’s nothing you can do to make it pass faster. But there’s an awful lot you can do that will slow it down. And your instincts are SPOT ON! Magical thinking and platitudes are part of the slow-down plan.
You don’t need kicks or rahs. You need beautiful compassion. A friend to hold your hand while you wander through. You will wander and you will wander and you will wander until – seemingly by sheer accident – you find yourself at the edge of the insanity and something, mercifully, shifts.
But you can’t manufacture the shift. Because it’s a process unto itself. You can put plans in place to “manage” the change, but you can’t follow them. Because you are hurting and sad and scared. And because the dumb assess that you invited in for supper before you knew any better are continuing to cause harm, and you have babies and you have to respond. So the ground is always shifting.
You ARE fine. You ARE amazing. You’re just in the middle of the middle of the shit-storm and you are flying blind.
When we are in the dark, what we need is our faith. In this case, whatever your beliefs are, you can have FAITH in this:
There are people who love you and believe in you. We are holding you while you walk through this darkness. You don’t need to see your way out. You really truly don’t.
You can’t see your way back to your beautiful great self because you aren’t going there. You’re never going to be Humpty again.
You’re going to be something even more amazing. (Um, Rah!)
You’re being Broken Open to Greatness. You and your Higher Power are giving birth together to your new beautiful life.
You can super glue the shells together. Many people do. But if you do that, if you gather the shreds of your old self around your sad-ass carcass and fool yourself into believing that’s real, you won’t fully flower to the greatness that is coming.
Those of us who have been there, those of us who have met our demons and stared them down but didn’t blink, we will stop rah rahing you. Because, you’re right, at times like these, that’s Horse Shit with lavender oil sprinkled on top.
But, we won’t kick you in the ass either. Because it’s not strategic.
Your ass is broken because it needed to break. You felt it was time to throw yourself off of Humpty’s perch and invite something new – and ultimately truer – into your life. You are right to ignore the ministrations of the king’s horses and men. But you don’t need them to grind your broken shell into the dusty earth either.
You need beautiful compassion. Because you can’t bring it to yourself right now. But I can. Others can.
So here’s your beautiful compassionate hug. Now, get to work, Sweet Pea. And stop hurting yourself.
Self-disgust is not a sustainable plan for change. (click to tweet)
You are not alone. You are NOT alone. You don’t need to “SEE” a damn thing.
Photo: Flickr, taberandrew
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