When you navigate through life with direction and have a sense of self, sometimes you hit a wall. The wall is unexpected and it can be maddening, but only if you try to break through the wall instead of just standing there in awareness of it, and then accepting that it’s there. The wall can be anything, but mostly it’s a place where you are reminded that you are not invincible. After a long run with tons of momentum, the wall presents itself, making it abundantly clear that you need to slow down and change things up a bit. If you don’t do it, the universe will do it for you, and from experience, I’ve learned that the universe’s way of getting my attention is not usually subtle. The wall is kind of subtle, so if you’re aware of it when it arises, then you can overcome it without too much of a struggle.
It’s good to know your limitations. It’s not good to walk around the planet thinking you know everything. Nobody knows everything. I don’t care who you are. Self-awareness isn’t about life always being simple and trouble-free. It’s truly about knowing the circumstances and how you are feeling and being in acceptance of everything right here right now without trying to outsmart any discomfort that you feel.
Last night I was in a Restorative Meditation class, and the instructor kept bringing us back to our bodies, asking us to feel anything that may not be comfortable. She kept returning us back to our bodies, although my mind was off in the distance. Each time she brought us back to our bodies, I felt something I hadn’t noticed before. We did a stretch that brought pain to the palms of my hands. It was incredibly uncomfortable, but during that time, I wasn’t thinking about anything else except for the discomfort. When I directed my attention to my uncomfortable hands, and then accepted that they were uncomfortable, I felt myself relax into the discomfort. The weirdest thing was that I actually became grateful for that pain because it made me feel alive in that moment, and none of my thoughts had any momentum over that pain. The pain was a gift because it brought me into focus. I wasn’t trying to avoid the pain, or turn off the pain. I simply accepted it and decided that I was not yet strong in that portion of my hands. I didn’t judge myself for it. How often do I lay upside down and hold my feet up in straps? Never. So, how could I build that muscle if I didn’t allow the pain and discomfort to overcome me while I was stretching that untrained muscle?
What muscle am I stretching right now in my real life? I’m not certain. I know one thing is for sure – I’m not comfortable at all. I’m feeling things in my body, mind and emotions that feel a lot like a wall. I feel a bit blank because I don’t have answers for myself right now. I’m at a loss. The good news is, I know this is nothing more than an opportunity to quiet down and be aware. I don’t have to have answers, and I’m certainly not going to avoid the way I’m feeling – the rawness, the numbness, the blankness. It’s not going to kill me. I know nothing right now, thank god. I just know there is a wall, and I am standing before it and it’s incredibly annoying. I don’t have it all figured out. I’m vulnerable. I’m human. I’m fallible. That’s actually incredibly refreshing. If I knew everything, life would be dreadfully boring.
We all have limitations. It’s ok to admit this about ourselves. There was a time in my life when I pretended to know what I was doing. That got me nothing but a lot of unwanted wake-up calls. When you get to a place where you are ok with feeling vulnerable, and perfectly fine with not knowing what the hell is going on, then you’re actually getting somewhere. I may not feel like I’m getting anywhere right now, and that’s ok. This is a good place to ask for help, or to accept advice, or to be open to receiving some clarity. It’s not a time to beat myself up, or to shut down. Somehow I’ll befriend this wall and the wall will become uncomfortable with my acceptance, so it will shift, and I will gracefully walk past it. Until then, I’m in a place of not knowing anything, and for once in my life, that’s perfectly alright by me.