What do you do when you’ve been impressive all your life – or, at least thought you were – but aren’t anymore?
What do you do when you simply can’t act like you have it together anymore?
What do you do when your sense of self is stripped away from you?
What do you do when you realize that you’re not the person you thought other people thought you were?
What value are you when you’re not who you thought you were? When you’re no longer doing the work that gave you a sense of value?
These are the questions that “haunt” me these days.
Maybe it’s just because I’m turning 40 soon.
Maybe because I still can’t use a computer and have lost connection to a career (and corresponding lifestyle and relationships) I spent a decade building.
Maybe it’s because I just sat down with our tax guy and am reminded that I don’t bring in 6 digits of income anymore, let alone one digit. That I have some ideas about business opportunities but it’s all still pretty damned vague.
Right now. In this moment. In this very long season of moments, something very bittersweet has happened.
I can no longer hang my identity on the hooks of the well-built coat rack that I spent a life building.
In fact, I can’t even think of what it is I might be hanging up.
Now all of this might seem terribly depressing, nothing sweet in the bitterness.
And there certainly are times when the depression hangs on.
But I can’t really be unhappy about all of this.
I can when I try to hold onto the past and my sense of who I was.
But in the moment. When I am a human “being” I feel a sense of peace that passes over the thinking mind. Quiets the thinking mind.
The thinking mind comes along and says, “Hey, who do you think you are? Are you nuts? Your life is falling apart as you knew it! You should be really anxious and stressed out right now. Things are not going as planned.”
But, in reality, those thoughts are not real. They aren’t true. They’re just thoughts and they’re all connected to my sense of self – my ego – that would very much like to be in control again. Not real control. But at least have the illusion of control.
Instead, the ego is learning how to be but a part of this human being that I am. It informs, sometimes complains, seeks to illuminate, spurs on, encourages.
But it doesn’t really rule much anymore.
All really is well.
Always is. Always has been. Always will be.
When self falls away, we know this to be true.
We know that we have the appropriate response to every situation.
We will know what to do, how to do it, and when to do it when we take the time to nurture ourselves as human beings.