“You must stop running from your broken heart. A broken heart won’t kill you, but running WILL. If it doesn’t kill your body, running takes your soul.Important things to know about me. I am terrible at feelings. Terrible at talking about how I feel. Terrible at knowing what to feel. And, if you put me on the spot and ask me how I feel about something…I’m likely to completely clam up – only to fall apart later. Most of the time, I struggle with even knowing or understanding how I feel myself – so attempting to tell someone else – feels impossible. I will absolutely retreat.
You must Be Still. You must stand still long enough to feel it all. The only person on Earth you must answer to is Yourself in the Stillness.”Glennon Doyle Melton
While I can’t talk about my feelings, as a writer, I can write about them. I can write down how I feel and start to make sense of it on paper.
Recently, someone asked me the “why” of something. The “what was on my mind when…”. I was genuinely caught off guard, and my first instinct was RUN (fast). The first time he asked, I deflected. The second time, I felt the first flutters of fear. I felt like I was being given a test – a test I was ABSOLUTELY going to FAIL. I don’t think he meant to rattle me…but I did feel like he was looking for a specific type of answer from me…and I knew I didn’t know what that was…so no matter what I said…I was going to fail him. To be honest, I still feel that way.
This is not a new problem for me. This is (and always has been) one of my core obstacles in all my past/current relationships (friend, family, or lover).
One of my goals for 2017 is to practice more radical honesty. To show up more cleanly in my relationships. This kind of edgework terrifies me. I’d rather run. I’d rather not talk about it (thank you very much). I’d rather do anything else…anything…but stand still with the truth.
So here’s the thing. I don’t know how to do this. I am in complete free fall. I don’t even want to do this. But I know it’s necessary. I know the ability to stand still and feel is a crucial part of the healing process.
Sitting in this dark room, all I can do is plan my escape. My first thought after typing the words above was “I need to go away to Sesshin”. I need to walk away from the real world for a while, so I can force myself to sit long enough to feel the truth. And that folks is me using my practice (my sacred practice) as yet another “life pain killer”. The same way I use running, yoga, work, drugs, men, and food.
Guess what? Never works. Not one of those things has ever saved me from myself.
My teacher (discussing meditation) once said, “That’s how bad it has to get. If meditation is one of an array of self-improvement options you are considering, you probably won’t do it. By all means, try the ninety-minute massage first! Get the new wardrobe and the hair tint! Meditation is the option of having no other option, no higher goal, and no more righteous intention than saving your sorry ass from a living hell.”
I don’t have to run away to California to sit in an upstairs attic in order to feel my pain, my fear, my uncertainty. No. I need to stop running…and sit down and feel that shit right here. Right now.
What happens when we stop running and sit in stillness? Everything. And absolutely NOTHING.
And it is in that “nothing” that the work of being begins.
My friends come to me all the time with issues at work, issues of the heart, issues within their family – seeking my amateur advice. In almost every situation I tell them the same thing my teacher would tell me. DO NOTHING.
So if you need me, I’ll be here. Sitting. Doing nothing.