That something inside

“I may not know how to do this but something inside me does.”yoga on the beach

What a mantra.

For those of us who were raised with a critical parent, a voice of self doubt, the first to desert ourselves when the screaming meanies of the world attack, as they are wont to do.

I was raised to be self-sufficient. Figure it out. Find a way or make one. Take responsibility. Own it.

All while smiling, being polite, showing deference. An effortless appearance earns you a gold star.

What the f&#k? The path to schizophrenia is laced with no less than this recipe.

So, when faced with something that I feel less than up to, a challenge arises. I can respond in self doubt and fear or with this mantra.

I remind myself that I have accomplished many things in my life. Things that seemed insurmountable, not feasible, risky.

Done. Checked the box.

I’m sure the same is true for many of you.

As I look back, the accomplishments come with a divine hand.

Most of the game changers were the result of a surge of inspiration, stamina beyond what I thought I had, wisdom I had no earthly way of accumulating. Most of the time, I just knew what to do in my bones.

Many times, the voice in my head tells me when you are lying or misrepresenting yourself to me. I have no physical way of knowing this, but I know it as surely as I know my eyes are blue. And the voice proves, over time, to be right. Again. And again. And again.

On my own, I am probably pretty pathetic, as most human beings are, when in ego mode. The minute ego takes charge, my access to unlimited knowledge and savvy dissipates like steam from a moving train.

Lately, the universe tries to show me my trust in it is warranted. The very specific, odd item I have on my need-to-buy list appears magically on my errands. The parking spot that is not to be had suddenly makes itself known. The opportunity I fear will never come rears its head at just the right time. A friend speaks the exact words I need to hear.

And that something inside of me says, “See? Trust me now?”

The new year approaches. And with it, the temptation to be a “new” me, with a new way of doing things.

Honestly, the “old” me is not so bad.

I’m done deserting myself.

As I move into new territories and experiences, I reassure myself. I may not know how to do this but it is not up to me. When the student is ready, the teacher appears. Always has, in my experience.

When, just three years ago, I sat in this very same spot on my sofa, in my bathrobe, scared to death at the abrupt farewell to the life I had known, I was terrified.

“I don’t know how to do this,” I remember saying to my sister.

And then, the tiny voice inside said, “But I do.” And the “I” was not me. It was something bigger than me.

Every time I trust that something bigger, life is beautiful. Sometimes beautiful in joy. Other times beautiful in pain and the lessons learned. It’s not a cakewalk. I don’t think that is what I signed up for.

And every time I try to go it alone—“I’ve got this. I can handle this solo”—life gets rocky. Harder than it should be. Uncertain in the scariest way.

So, as we all move into a new year, I wish us an active surrender to something bigger than us.

Not a giving up.

A sincere, “I don’t know how to do this, but something inside me does.”

Whatever “this” is.

Let us be guided. Reverent. Attentive.




18 Comments Add yours

  1. Sounds like you and I had similar childhoods – never ask for help and never show how much you might actually need it. That can leave you worn out and set a bar far too high…

    It’s probably too late for this now…but a very very helpful book about getting divorced is Crazy Time by Abigail Trafford (a fellow journo)…it is one of the few books out there that acknowledges the completely new and unwanted identity that divorce thrusts us into and how disorienting it is.

    1. candidkay says:

      Worn out is right! And you are correct, far too self-sufficient. It is exhausting. And sometimes lonely. I read Crazy Time after my divorce. It was recommended by a friend. And it really helped! So much more so than many of the trite advice books out there.

      1. Therapy is helping me to break that habit of never asking for aid.

        My teaching was almost killing me this semester (thanks to 3 frustrating students) and when I asked the tutors at the writing center, and its director, for help I found them extremely supportive and kind.

        If you’re trained from childhood never to ask for help (or rebuffed if you dare) you don’t even realize that: 1) others ask 2) others get it 3) others are happy to give it. 4) it works! your load is much lighter once divided…

        So glad you know Trafford’s work. Really really insightful. She has likely helped so many of us through that nasty transition.

  2. KM Huber says:

    When your post first popped into my email box some days ago–they remain a bit of a muddle for me those days–I began to read but it was not for me to finish, not then. What I did take with me these past four days was the opening line of your post, and while I still have no idea how I will do what I must do, your mantra reminds me to trust. And every time I do, something much bigger reveals the way. Thank you. Best of the holiday season and all days to you and yours.

  3. In Australia, we have a saying: “Go with your gut”. That means that feeling you get in your stomach that tells you that something’s wrong. Instinct, if you like. If your gut tells you it’s right, feels right, do it…if you have that feeling the pit of your stomach that’s uneasy…don’t ignore it. You’ve taken that another step…and I’m with you all the way. The universe works in mysterious ways but nearly always provides just what we need, when we need it. I’m heading for major changes in my life next year…challenges of the good kind, and I’m ready. I’m nervous, but I’m ready. My gut says so! Wishing you a wonderful Christmas season Kris, and look forward to more wise and interesting blogs from you next year.

    1. candidkay says:

      I want to hear about these wonderful challenges! I’m happy that they’re of that nature and hope they’re bringing you new adventures . . .

  4. Yes, so much is inside of us. Sometimes we don’t know till our back’s against the wall. Lovely writing.

    1. candidkay says:

      If only we could figure it out without the back being against the wall part . . .

  5. The hard part is in the finding, now you just have to believe in yourself 🙂 Namaste

  6. amycgs says:

    Thank you! THANK YOU. You have delivered a message I really needed to hear in this season of my life. I cannot even begin to describe how much this lesson applies to my current circumstances.

    1. candidkay says:

      Love it when kismet takes over and we’re all guided to each other/the right thing at the right time. Best of luck–wait, you don’t need it. B/c something inside you knows how to handle whatever you’re facing . . .

  7. Great post! So true when we look within we do know the answers and the next step. Great writing.

  8. God is good! I love how He reveals Himself to us in so many different ways. I call those moments, when God winks at me. 😉

  9. Wonderful post Kay, here’s to surrender and courage, guidance and gratitude.

  10. thank you perfect timing…..

    1. candidkay says:

      I love it when that happens:).

  11. Amy says:

    “So, as we all move into a new year, I wish us an active surrender to something bigger than us.

    Not a giving up.

    A sincere, “I don’t know how to do this, but something inside me does.”

    Whatever “this” is.

    Let us be guided. Reverent. Attentive.


    I’m linking my arm in yours and repeating these words with you. To them I’m adding my own heartfelt Amen. xoxo

    1. candidkay says:

      I will always accept a linked arm from you!

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