“The wound is the place where the light enters you” – Rumi
No truer have these words been than this week. Ever had one of those days/weeks/months or even year where you’ve felt like throwing it all in?
Well that was me earlier last week. Monday morning, I woke to find myself feeling angry and despondent, ready to give up on all that I’d worked so tirelessly to achieve these past couple of years. By lunchtime Monday, I’d fallen in a complete heap. Mentally, emotionally and physically I was burnt out, done and dusted (and it’s only May!!). One might think this strange, but in amongst all my anger, bitterness and sadness, I was actually excited.
I was excited because I had seen this pattern before and knew that on the other side of completely falling apart, I would level up and achieve even more than I had thus far.
But I found myself asking “where did this anger, rage and sudden desire to throw in the towel come from?” I’d had an amazing weekend with my family and friends at the local races. I’d met some lovely new people, the kids were behaving better than ever, business was going well and I was excited for the new programs we are about to launch. So why was I feeling this way?
Thankfully I have an amazing coach myself, and after an hour of crying and counselling , I was slowly returning to my old self. You see I’ve learned in the past that the only way past an emotion is through it.
In days gone by, I would have hidden my feelings from the world, had a silent cry in the bottom of my shower and that would have been the end of it. I would have put on a mask to show the outside world and just soldiered on.
But these days, I’ve learned to recognise that if I am feeling this way, then there are probably a dozen others feeling the same way, each and every day. These same people likely look at people like me, who to the outside world seem to have their sh*t together and think that my life is perfect. Because in today’s modern society, with digital photos, filters and editing tools, we tend to only show the outside world what we want them to see.
No one sees the broken tears at 9 o’clock at night after a hard day at the office or a challenging day with the kids. No one sees the stress we feel each and every time a bill comes in that we are struggling to pay. No one sees the struggle we experience some days, just putting one foot in front of the other.
But why is this? Why do we hide our true feelings when all we really want is connection? Do we fear we will be judged by society if we don’t have our sh*t together all the time?
I used to put so much pressure on myself to be the best version I could be. A few years back, I was nearly hospitalised for exhaustion whilst doing University. I had put so much pressure on myself to achieve. I was so burnt out I was drinking Red Bull just to stay awake long enough to study for my exams. Looking back, I know it was me, and only me putting that pressure on myself.
These days what I’ve come to recognise is that no one can function at their best each and every day. No one can be superwoman (or man), each and every day. No one, no matter who they are, how rich or poor, successful or unsuccessful, can function at great heights each and every day.
So next time you find yourself heading towards a downward spiral, take time to acknowledge it, look for the lesson within, allow the emotion to flow through you, but most of all, take time to rest, recuperate and heal.
Love and Gratitude