It is in this past year that I have grown to understand what it MEANS for something to MATTER. I have been given, yet not received. I have fallen under the immense weight of the simple query: Am I ready, am I good enough, what if I fuck up… What if I FAIL. I have experienced the loss associated with not trusting. I have, at least I hope, grown from the whole process.
Maybe it has something to do with having turned 30; though an essentially overrated milestone, a milestone none the less. Maybe it has to do with having come through the most recent - and wildest - turn on a roller-coaster ride of effective and life affirming decisions followed up with, and contrasted by the correlated sheer drop-offs that make those peaks all the more impressive and/or terrifying. Maybe this particular lesson came via the universe essentially handing me the one thing I’ve been asking for repeatedly since the sudden and oddly early realization that I wanted it - and I can remember exactly when I first started asking.
The next part is hard to put out there.
The next part puts me right back into that space of fear of not being loved.
We'll call it FONBeL
I was almost a father.
Some would argue that, for a brief period I was one. And then, just a quickly as it was given to me. This opportunity, this potential life - both the one my partner and I now call Poppy, and the life we would have had together - were gone.
I have (and will probably continue for a long time to) re-run the course of events and decisions of that month over and over in my head. It's not my intention or desire to do so here.
There is no such thing as going back.
There are no do-overs when it comes to life.
There are also no mistakes.
There are chances.
There are lessons.
And when one of those lessons comes up, when one of those big chances goes by, the work is in being open enough to see it. Listening to what's truly coming up, and distinguishing that from what fear, and ego, and habit interject. Little bit at a time learning what it feels like to be pushed by your fear, OR drawn to your passion.
That is the work in the moment.
That is the practice.
I can’t BEGIN to tell you how to tell you the difference. I’d love to KNOW myself. I misread things sometimes. I’ve taken disadvantageous paths, less than effective options. I have sat at the depths paralyzed by fear and called it pragmatism.
I have literally and figuratively climbed to the top of the mountain and waited for answers that never came. Until, that is, in my anger and frustration I stormed down the trail muttering that very answer under my own breath (We’ll tell that story another day). I have looked outside myself time and time again, for the proof or reassurance.
When I’m on point… I check in with my body. I feel fear pulling my awareness inward. I feel fear like a chain around my ribs. I feel my neck literally getting shorter and my shoulders rounding over. I feel fear making me smaller.
I feel passion like the rug is swept out from under my feet, without me recoiling in response. I feel that same sensation of hearing a loud bang and looking up to see the fireworks, not dropping to the floor in the fetal position.
If you’re working outside your comfort zone you will be riding that line between fear and passion, and if you’re asking whether or not you measure up; you just might be on the right path.