When we are no longer able to change a situation,
we are challenged to change ourselves.
Unrelenting chaos blasted into my life at gale force. For several years, I was blindsided non-stop with unexpected maladies, dashed expectations, and disappointing relationships.
“What did I do wrong? How did I not see this coming?” These two questions dominated my conscious mind. Convinced that the chaos reflected some deep flaw within me, I became obsessed with finding the offending thought form, “thinking” it was the key to magically dematerializing the chaos. Life would then be smooth sailing. Like Simon Legree, my Inner Critic hammered me. “What the fuck is wrong with you? Are you ever going to get life right?”
No amount of soul searching made an iota of difference. Like the cloud above Pig Pen, chaos followed me. Unlike Pig Pen, I judged it and myself because of it. I’m smart—a teacher, a therapist, spiritually savvy, relatively conscious. I “should” be able to figure this out, I told myself.
The truth is I judged chaos. My failing grade in life was exposed for all to see. It was shameful and uncomfortable. The disappointments and losses were demoralizing, and my post-game analysis was exhausting. I was woefully stuck, spinning my wheels.
Uncertainty rarely left my side. Things and people I had counted on let me down right and left. I felt vulnerable, out of control, often close to the edge. I lived in loin-girding mode, not knowing who or what to trust. And, like Pac Man, my personal mayhem gobbled up my creative energy and time.
While I preached and taught about pushing beyond one’s comfort zone, I was living Richard Bach’s quote, “You teach best what you most need to learn.” I was so busy resisting the chaos that It never occurred to me to just ride the bronco, to become one with it. Continue reading