Last night I had a funny conversation with a friend where we were both like, “fuck the journey! where is the goddamn destination??”
This being in response to people who hear what you’re going through – or rather, they don’t hear and want to just shut you the fuck up by saying, “Enjoy the journey! It’s not about the destination”.
Or the people who are like, “Oh uh huh yeah that sucks, but BE GRATEFUL. Look at all that you have to be grateful for”.
I’ve talked before about how intensely dismissive those things are.
It’s along the same lines as when someone dies and the most cliche, shittiest thing people say is, “Oh – he/she is in a better place.”
Oh really? Cool. But I’m still here fucking wrecked over the fact that they’re dead, so thanks for that comforting thought.
They’re both valid though, you know? The dead person can be in a better place, but the living can still be grieving hard and miserably.
You can be grateful, but also be yearning for more in your life.
One does not cancel out the other and they can both exist at the same fucking time.
As they should.
Because life is all about balance.
Though is anything ever actually balanced? Maybe that is the ultimate arbitrary yearning – for a state of balance that is hypothetical. Things equalize over time, but it’s rarely in a single moment that balance is felt.
Completion can be the same thing. When it comes to matters of the heart or large scale personal growth leaps or relationships or anything like that – you rarely see that it’s over or complete the moment that it actually is. That moment is not usually clear until long after the actual completion – when you have the gift of hindsight.
Enjoy the Journey or Be Grateful is even more irritating to hear from people who have experienced very little adversity. It’s easy to say Enjoy the Journey if you’ve never been on one.
I’ve been in recovery for so long, when will I be recovered?
I’ve been healing for so long, when will I be healed?
It’s the destination of wholeness that keeps us going though. That ever elusive state where our holes are patched and the bleeding has stopped and you’ve reached equilibrium.
For years I’ve been pursuing the feminine aspects of healing – the personal growth, the emotional work, the energetic modalities.
Right now I’m inspired by a more masculine approach to healing, which struck me when I discovered the concept of ACEs or Adverse Childhood Experiences.
Up until that point, I had been abstractly working on my “mother issues” or trying to process “what happened” when I was younger. Sometimes it feels so arbitrary like – ok yeah, I get that X happened and affected Y. Ok great – now what? What comes after the dots connecting? When does the actual healing take place?
ACEs, however, are widely recognized as having changed the wiring in your brain. This funky wiring in turn affects you physically – your hormones, your endocrine systems, etc. Because when you come out of the womb and are exposed to stress and chaos right out of the gate – this becomes your normal. Your body adapts, your wiring changes. You learn behaviors and coping mechanisms and nothing seems out of the ordinary to you because it’s all you know.
Until you know more.
And then you can make changes.
To rewire your brain is not a metaphor – it’s something that’s totally achievable. There’s a very straight forward approach to it that is so refreshing to me:
Write to heal
Cultivate more calm
Find an EMDR therapist
Do EEG Neurofeedback
I find it inspiring to have actual tasks to complete instead of just floating from one concept to the next, shooting in the dark.
Intuitively I was already very drawn to writing (obviously!) and just recently I’ve been doing a shit load of restorative yoga. In the four weeks that I’ve been doing restorative 5 times a week, I’ve noticed shifts already. I didn’t fully perceive the shifts until I attended a basic flow yoga class and was completely overwhelmed. It was moving so fast, the distraction of the intense physical postures left no room for anything else. This has proven to be a metaphor for many other scenarios in my life.
And I thought wow – in just a month, I’ve rewired my brain for calm.
Why is it that thinking about how other people have it worse is such a comfort?
Whenever I’m complaining in my head I think oh, well some people are starving. There’s people standing on the street asking for help. There’s homeless children and hungry dogs and neglected veterans and what the fuck are you even on about?
I was staring at myself in yoga today – we were doing tree pose, which involves standing on one leg. In that pose, you’re always reminded by the instructor to not look at yourself in the mirror and instead find some point on the floor or ceiling that is not moving.
But I always stare at myself, of course trying not to avert my eyes because making eye contact with a stranger in the mirror is so fucking awkward.
And I thought, gosh your arms are so fat.
Of course immediately I course corrected and told myself, “That’s a mean thing to say to yourself, shut the fuck up. Who says your arms are even fat and who gives a shit if they are anyway. Look at the tubby lady behind you – her arms are worse. And who the fuck looks in the mirror at yoga and analyzes themselves? Aren’t you supposed to be all zen and in the moment?”
I’ll remind myself how, at 20, I had body criticisms, but now at 32 I look at pictures of my 20 year old self and think damn, I was hot. And I know that when I’m 60 I’ll look back at my 32 year old self and think damn, I was hot. Or when I’m 80 I’ll look back at my 60 year old self and think the same thing.
Why is it always better in hindsight?
That’s the key to living in the moment though. To realize that all that matters is the here and now and that you will look back on this chapter and wish you could go back. As unsavory as it may be right now, there will be things about this time that you will miss.
There’s lots of things that hindsight brings though – one of them being completion.
I’ve never known anything was complete in the moment. That realization always came later.