“We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy. ” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heartfelt Advice for Hard Times
I enjoyed a weekend of walks and talks with patients, and found myself repeating the sentiment above. We often struggle with uncertainty and that in-between state where things seem to have fallen apart, and then spend all our energy scrambling to put it all back together. There is a “rush to normal”, as Psychoanalyst Mark Epstein would say, or a resistance to living the “full catastrophe”, as JKZ would say.
Pema advises us to create space for the messiness of our lives to move through- sadness, loneliness, fear, joy, anxiety, anger, jealousy, frustration, excitement, pride-emotions are only visiting, and we have to be willing to be the humble host.
Often, people mis-take who they are for the visitor, or the stuff, that’s moving through. The ACT therapist would say, “you are the context through which content is moving”. And the mindfulness coach would say, “don’t mis-take yourself for a fleeting wave when you are the vast ocean, capable of containing every wave that needs to move through”.
I encourage you to see what happens when you simply watch with compassion as things come together and as they fall apart. And to notice when you’re mis-taking who you are for the stuff that comes and goes.
Today is my first daily blog post. I’m going to provide a quote and a quick reflection daily. Thanks for your time, and suggestions.