I’ve made quite the habit of having dramatic meltdowns in my car lately. There’s a sense of security that comes with being on the road, anonymous, solitary, with music gently penetrating your ear canal, cocooned by four familiar doors and a soft car roof. It serves as a sanctuary to stir thoughts around nonsensically, to doubt yourself, to scream at the top of your lungs, to belt out songs and cackle like a madwoman, or to spew snot and drool out of your face hysterically as you conjure up images of everything that ever made you sad. Car rides are the ultimate therapy session.
Sometimes my life feels like one big emotional release after the other. Emotional meltdowns, which ultimately end up being catalysts for deep internal transformation (hooray), in the moment feel like the world is taking a giant crap on your face. Am I right?
The thing is, I’ve been doing a lot of worrying about my creative future. As I stumble through a series of career crises, I find myself self destructively overanalyzing, stressing, and flip flopping. It seems as though there’s at least a decade reserved for this exact type of behavior at some point in our lives. As a fellow human seeking a purpose driven life, I certainly don’t feel unaccompanied, it’s something that inevitably hits all of us.
This morning, I hear a knock at my door. My road has been under construction all week so I’ve been getting regular prompts to move my car. One of the machine operators, familiar with my schedule at this point, remarks that it must feel damn refreshing to work from home. My response, after a recent sob fest in the shower, was to reply “It’s challenging.” Flashing through my mind, I began to reference all the days I’ve battled to get out of bed because I didn’t feel purpose, the constant fight to stay disciplined at my desk, the lack of morale, and of course the nagging feeling of existential loneliness. Covered in dirt and sweat in 90 degree heat, after a week of hurricane weather, his response was pretty dry “Well, beats what we’re working on.” I moved my car in air conditioned shame as his words resonated deep within me.
Here’s my reality. As I type this, I’m sitting at home, in a cushioned Ikea chair, writing from my Macbook, in yoga pants, with a fresh iced coffee in hand and full bar of chocolate on my desk. Yet, I’ve spent the past few weeks (well, years if we’re being honest) totally devastated over the fact that my life isn’t exactly where I want it to be. Boo fucking hoo.
Here I sit, in the comfort of my beautiful apartment, yoga mat by my side, music as loud as I want, snack breaks whenever I goddamn please, living my perfect day. Yet, I dwell over the areas of my life that are lacking. How dare me.
Yes, there are plenty of dark moments in my life. The scenes that get cut out of my Instagram feed are the car tantrums, depression, days in bed, binge eating, constant fear and self induced mania. Most months, I don’t know if I’m going to make rent. I’m afraid that a client will notice the absent door handle on my car or the giant dents on each side. I’m afraid that I’ll get collections calls in the middle of a meeting. Most of all, I wonder if I’m good enough to “make it.” I question my self worth, or worse, I attach my self worth to material success or physical circumstances.
This is our wake up call. If we surveyed the world and took a tally of each person’s fears, anxieties, worries, traumas, sicknesses and failures, we would find that – gasp – each and every one of us, without exception, is moving through our own unique series of struggles. I’m not the only one who feels the weight of a thousand burdens. And neither are you.
The truth is, we are not our flaws, our deficiencies, or our lack. If we were, we’d all be fucked. But we’re not. Life is bigger than what’s “wrong” with us, what we don’t have, or how far we have left to go. With a slight shift of focus, we can begin to see with absolute clarity that our lives are explosively, phenomenally, massively wonderful. Let’s all take a deep breath and recenter. Repeat after me: this is my beautiful life.
As I take a look around, I notice the gentle buddha blessing my home by my welcome mat. I notice the perfect palm trees and shoots of bamboo swaying outside my window. I remember that the sun will never stop setting and the beach will always be waiting for me. I savor quiet days like this where, despite a little mental turbulence, I’m always able to access my bliss.
Today I challenge you to take a step back and soak it all in. Take five minutes outside in the fresh air, smiling up at the skies, with arms outstretched welcoming new possibility, or with palms at heart center offering gratitude to all that already is. This is your beautiful life.