October 29th: Immovable
I want to talk about something a little different today.
In our lifetimes, there are many, many things we get to have a say in- we can choose anything from what career we pursue, to the type of cereal we eat in the morning, to what faith resonates with us.
There are, however, some things which do not allow us the luxury of choice.
We can’t choose to be healthy when we are sick, for instance. We can’t choose not to have a chronic illness, such as diabetes or depression or even ADHD. We aren’t asked permission from our loved ones, or from God, when our loved ones die. We can’t truly even choose not to grieve a loss, not really- it comes out, one way or another. We can’t choose to go back in time and fix our mistakes. Things like these just are.
These things are immovable. Big, looming, cold, hard facts that we must live with.
It’s neither wrong nor right to rail against these things- after all, they suck! They are unfair! It isn’t right, it’s total bullshit, you hate it, and you’re pissed! And sad. And angry. It’s understandable. We’ve all been there.
But we can’t live there. I mean, we can, I guess, but it’s better if we don’t.
I was faced with a little bit of this last night. Something happened- not to me directly, but to someone I love- that was utter bullshit. It just broke my heart. The thing is, there is not a single thing I can do about it. Not a single thing they can do about it either.
The only thing I can do is work with what is. Here are the circumstances, now how can I deal with them the most effectively? By crying and stomping my feet and saying, “This just isn’t fair!”? Or by taking a deep breath, straightening my spine, and saying “Okay. This is how it is, so what can I do to make it as bearable as possible?”
Because even when we don’t have a choice about immovable things, we have a choice in how we show up. Fighting something that cannot be changed is useless and a waste of energy. This morning, when I sat down to pray, I asked the Universe to help me be the person this loved one needs today. Help me show up as a safe place, a strong role model, a comfort. Let me be gentle, loving, soft around the edges. I cannot change these things, but I can ease them a little, perhaps.
Today, I encourage you to take a good look at where your energy goes. You only have so much to give, and if you are pouring it all into fighting something immovable, you are wasting your time. I suppose this is also acceptance, but it is also more than that. It is learning to live in harmony even with the hard things, the painful things. Work with what you’ve got instead of working against yourself, wishing things were different, and see if it doesn’t feel better. If I’m wrong, you can pick up the fight again tomorrow. That’s the way immovable things are, after all.