I was having coffee with my friend Calliope the other day and venting to her about my funk over the last four days and she gave me this nugget: “It all depends on how willing you are to let things be as good as they can be.” And I had the thought, “let things be as good as they are.” I instantly felt that I had not been at all willing to let things be as good as they could be or as good as they were the last four days, and probably much longer than that.
I’ve got all this stuff, stuff I don’t like, going on around me, and it’s gotten my head spun up into – I’ve let it get my head spun up into – fight or flight, constant looping thought, keeping me up at night style, so much that I don’t even notice when Ax is playing baby snow leopard and mewing at me, so much that I contemplate meditating but don’t do it because I’m too busy stewing and locked on to that toxic mind path. I hoped Calliope would give me something to trip the switch and she did.
“The Universe,” she said, but actually I’ll tell you in real life she used the word G-d, “The Universe wants you to feel at peace, to feel good inside,” she said. “If what you’re doing is not making you feel that way then there’s your answer.” I could recognize that tone of voice, that clarity of knowing that I sometimes use myself, mostly on other people. I wonder where that powerful, centered person goes when the shaky, questioning, fragile me shows up?
“How do I know what’s the wrong action because it’s not true to who I am and what’s just me being uncomfortable confronting something and needing to have the courage to keep going?” I asked, or something like that, which is kind of the sound of me panicking about letting go of old ways of being that don’t feel good.
Panicking rather than trusting that if I’m just me, how I like to be these days, easy and kind, undefended, it won’t be a disaster, my family will be safe, I will be safe, I will have value. There will be food, and shelter, and love, and even meaning. There will be opportunities to be of service to others, in a different way.
My life will be worthy of living even if I am not the warrior I thought I was or wanted to be or could have been or maybe even was for a bit. I could be willing to let things be as good as they can be for me, this me, this now. I could do what feels right and good and trust. I could.
And I could trust myself more. I could trust myself to know that if real peril is upon us I will be able to and I will rise up and rally. That capacity will not disappear. The stuff of the last four days that’s been bothering me does not require that kind of all-in resistance.
I can take some small actions to perhaps shift things here and there, but I don’t have to give my heart or my days to it. I can get incremental on it. No rocket launchers, no lying down – something excruciatingly and exquisitely in between full throttle assault and hiding under the covers. And I can enjoy it. I am willing.