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.