Last week I wrote about how to live in a friendly Universe, and wouldn’t you know it? The day before the post appeared I was in tears.
What’s up with that?
What happened between the day I wrote about the friendly Universe and the day I burst into tears?
Life and believing my stressful thoughts.
Thoughts like these:
- In the wake of Miles’s accident, there’s too much to do, and it’s all important.
- I need to choose the right things to do and the right things to let go of or else… (fill in the calamity of your choice)
- I must be graceful, focused, efficient, and resilient. After all, the Universe is friendly, right?
It was a perfect storm of spiritual perfectionism. The proverbial spot between a rock and a hard place. Not only did I feel overwhelmed, I believed I shouldn’t be.
What helped (and helps)
The first thing that helped was crying. And I probably wouldn’t have cried if I hadn’t been talking with friends in the Brain Trust.* The simple act of reporting what was going on opened the floodgates, and that was a good thing.
The second thing that helped was lowering my standards. I knew they were nuts, but until I talked about them with my friends, I couldn’t quite let them go.
The third thing that helped was adhering–imperfectly–to my daily practices.
Three reality checks when overwhelm strikes
Now, at the end of the week, after daily highs and lows, I have these reality checks to share.
Reality check #1: Overwhelm happens; it’s not personal.
Reality check #2: You’re allowed.
Reality check #3: It’s going to change; everything does.
Overwhelm happens; it’s not personal
Unless you happen to be perfectly enlightened, overwhelm happens. The fact that it happens to you doesn’t say anything other than that you are human.
You’re allowed to experience overwhelm, which is a good thing given that it happens. Overwhelm doesn’t disqualify you from living in a friendly Universe.
It’s going to change; everything does
It’s ironic that we worry about overwhelm and imperfection when the one thing we can count on is change.
The friendly Universe doesn’t go away
The friendliness of the Universe does not depend on our mental, emotional, or spiritual states. Grace is available and operating no matter how crummy or undeserving we feel. And you don’t have to believe that in order for it to be true.
The wheel keeps turning
The day after the tears Miles and I were at Harborview for a followup appointment. That day I felt competent, generous, and grateful. Everyone–cabulance driver, receptionist, x-ray technician, nurse, and surgeon–seemed to be an angel.
It was nice.
And two days later I was overwhelmed. Four days later I was in tears.
Like I said, life happens.
The sacred challenge revisited
At the end of last week’s post. I wrote:
“I may sound confident and clear, and in this moment I am, but I don’t expect to glide along the path without slips and falls. But I have a foundation and a plan. The task now is to trust, and for me that is a sacred challenge.”
I still believe that. What I will add this week is that trust is a process. We build trust with ourselves and with the friendly Universe one day at a time. That the road is bumpy doesn’t change it’s direction or destination.
The friendliness of the Universe is unconditional
It bears repeating: the friendliness of the Universe doesn’t wax and wane with our states. It is constant. Reliable. And infinitely forgiving.
It will always be there, a model of generosity and grace, teaching us to be friendly to each other and to ourselves.
Until next week, be well.
* The Brain Trust is my Mastermind group. We meet twice a month by phone and most days in an online forum. We care for each other, challenge each other, and together are smarter, kinder, and wiser than any of us is alone.
The Traction Mastermind is an elite coaching program that will help you get traction with what matters without overriding your wisdom or frying your circuits. In 16 weeks you’ll dissolve the barriers that hold you back once and for all so you can really be all that you are and do all that you are meant to do—and enjoy yourself in the process.
Sad baby by lobstar28 via Flickr, Happy baby by katymcc via Flickr