The synchronicity of fatigue in giving and still not feeling enough, taking a heart centered class, and an unexpected message has got me considering life’s missed opportunities for pain.
While you may think this represents a pollyannaish view, if you have the time, I would be honored for you to hear me out.
This week I have been tired. Really feeling my age tired. Struggling to be fully present with clients and friends through life’s hurdles, an effort which usually leaves me exuberant and grateful. But this week, afraid I didn’t have enough, couldn’t give enough, to begin to offer meaningful assistance. Forgetting the truth that this fatigue is a symptom of opportunity masked in weariness. I will return to this scenario, but first some background for those not familiar with my history.
I spent a huge chunk of my adult life feigning having it all together,all the time. Opening myself up completely and showing any weakness , hurt, unworthiness, fears and uglies represented too huge a risk and an opportunity for harsh rejection and pain. What I couldn’t formerly imagine was it was also an opportunity for honest, real, connection and being completely seen as my imperfect but quirky self and then loved despite.
When I first began doing workshops all I could foresee was a chance of failing, making a total fool out of myself ,until I had a such low sign up for one, it resulted in its cancelation. The next day in the woods I realized being afraid of failing on a large scale was so much better than losing the chance to have my mouth go dry,my palms to sweat and my heart to bird flap in my chest in a room full of strangers .
Secondly, being afraid of my perceived incompetence lay an opportunity preferable and richer than the one of not even stepping foot in the arena. Just the chance to be of value to one person, for one moment in time.
When I booked jumping from a plane on my 50th, I was terrified. Shaving legs, wishing I had a depends, cleaning up in case I died afraid ….and it was postponed due to weather. The loss in this news made me realize how much I wanted it. The chance to be waist down numb horrified and have my trembling legs carry me to that plane. Knowing for certain, after I would be stronger in faith in myself and in my beliefs. Akin somewhat to the pain of climbing a mountain. Temporary shaking and aches in the body. Forever new lightness in the soul.
I have an amazing client who had to have a procedure last year. She chose to not be in such tight control . She chose being vulnerable and honest with fear. Opportunities of unfamiliar vulnerability. She chose awareness and acceptance of the events as they were unfolding in pre and post op. Each heart racing moment. She noticed the kindness of caregivers, sounds and smells. She was still okay. She was still very okay. The whole experience was stepped into completely unlike any before and changed her being with herself and the world.
I work with artists with whom sharing their creations represent incapacitating fear of rejection. Of not being seen and understood. Messages from their hearts not being valued. Sharing with the stark big world of judgement. But they chose this opportunity of pain over not creating and touching another with their work.
I coach women dating “authentic” from the first date for the first time in their adult life. Choosing the opportunity /possibility of the pain in callus dismissal over not just showing up as who they truly are, regardless of the consequences.
Back to my minor issue of being tired. I had forgotten exhaustion itself is from opportunity. It took a relative stranger sending a message concerning work and casually mentioning my positive impact on a mutual friend to shake me and awaken me again. An opportunity to serve and make a slight impact to ease another human being’s struggle. Blessed with clients and friends. An opportunity to share my knowledge but most of all empathy, to provide a modicum of peace for another.
All of these micro flashing moments. These choices. These stepping into it. Knowing for sure the afterwards of our choosing paths of possible pain to shift something big within ourselves. An inner knowing of what can you face. Not by the chaos and randomness of life but by your own design. Just try. Don’t immediately deny the opportunities of pain. Please. The women I stand back and watch in awe don’t regret it.
Now to my last story.
When I leave my home to do something new and challenging to the level of that saber tooth’s breath on my neck, I say to my husband and kids ”Off I go being scared again. See you on the other side.” I know when I return even if I fail, I have succeeded Stepping into, stepping into, stepping into unknowing. Stepping into an opportunity of pain.
I imagine and I hope at the end of my life and your life too, our last opportunities to say it again will be with a twist.
“ Here I go again. Off being no longer scared. See you on the other side my loves.”