'Life is a good teacher and a good friend. Things are always in transition, if we could only realize it. Nothing ever sums itself up in the way that we like to dream about'. - Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart
My world is falling apart. Again. But this time, I had a realization. And it was huge: It occurred to me that life is constantly falling apart; sometimes in grandiose ways and sometimes with almost imperceptible ripples. And then I put it together again. And then it falls apart. Again.
This pointed me in the direction of the root of my suffering: trying to stop things from falling apart! I can't. I need instead to focus on learning the lesson that the falling apart is trying to teach me, and face the habitual patterns that are invoking some of those major melt downs.
I will be 40 next year. I tell myself that at this age I shoulda coulda woulda, but all that does is put me down when I see that I haven't didn't am not. Maybe that wasn't the path for me. Maybe there are reason why I am not there, some that I can work with and some that are totally out of my control. I have this idea that you can "manipulate" your life (and yourself), that you can make your life be whatever you want it to be if you care enough and do the work. And that may be true, but it is a painful process, and a nearly impossible one if what you want your life to be is at odds with your circumstances. Then it is VERY painful, and the more you try to avoid that pain the more you will fail, the more you will deviate from living that life, and the more your process of building that life will look like a series of unwanted falling apart experiences.
It may sound that not having a project, not wanting to build your life into anything and just letting it run its course is not painful. But things will still fall apart, and we'll still need to learn to stop trying to make it stop doing so.
I don't know yet if this realization will take me down a path a reinventing my life yet again, maybe this time with better objectives and a better grip on my habitual patterns, or if what I need is to face my life as it is and start living it. Some more retrospection is needed. But no matter what I do, I need to be A LOT more gentle with myself, and work on the small changes of mind that will allow me to enjoy what I have and what I do and who I am, and either sit with it or use it as the base for my next leap. And expect the fall out. And continue being gentle through it all.
Piece of cake, right? I can do this.