>> Sunday, April 25, 2010
I am struggling with overwhelm-edness this week. These weeks. There is a heavy, dense cloud looming over my head, threatening to burst and leave me drenched at any moment.
But when I pick that cloud apart and take it one water droplet at a time, my pulse slows back down and my breathing steadies. But, man. It's hard not to run for shelter.
I'm working on noticing when and how I close off and shut down, how I pull away. It helps for me to break down the dread, to name my fear or my anxiety because when I flip on the lights and lift the covers, dragging that scary monster or the tumbleweeds of dog hair out where I can see them, I can deal.
I want to be open to the hard parts of life, because I'm pretty sure they will lead to growth. Either my own, or someone else's. Hopefully both. But it's continuous - the reminder to myself to open. Again and again.
Can I share something that has stuck with me this week?
"There is a story about a group of people climbing to the top of a mountain. It turns out it's pretty steep, and as soon as they get up to a certain height, a couple of people look down and see how far it is, and they completely freeze; they had come up against their edge and they couldn't go beyond it. The fear was so great that they couldn't move. Other people tripped on ahead, laughing and talking, but as the climb got steeper and more scary, more people began to get scared and freeze. All the way up this mountain there were places where people met their edge and just froze and couldn't go any farther. The people who made it to the top looked out and were very happy to have made it to the top. The moral of the story is that it really doesn't make any difference where you meet your edge; just meeting it is the point. Life is a whole journey of meeting your edge again and again. That's where you're challenged; that's where, if you're a person who wants to live, you start to ask yourself questions like, 'Now why am I so scared? What is it that I don't want to see? Why can't I go any further than this?' The people who got to the top were not the heroes of the day. It's just that they weren't afraid of heights; they are going to meet their edge somewhere else. The ones who froze at the bottom were not the losers. They simply stopped first and so their lesson came earlier than the others. However, sooner or later everybody meets his or her edge."
From 'Renunciation' in The Wisdom of No Escape by Pema Chodron
I'm meeting my edge, over and over. This week I'm going to work on moving forward with an open mind, an open heart, and a lot of humor. I'm going to try to encourage myself the way I'd encourage a friend. I'm going to eat lots of salads and take a walk on my lunch breaks and go on a date with my husband, even though I have so very much to do. I'm going to say my prayers and cheer myself on. And remind myself that it's OK if I don't make it to the summit.