Terrifying Clarity

Feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we’re holding back. They teach us to perk up and lean in when we feel we’d rather collapse and back away. They’re like messengers that show us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we’re stuck. This very moment is the perfect teacher, and, lucky for us, it’s with us wherever we are. -Pema Chodron

My moment of terrifying clarity will be different than yours. I encounter them frequently and every time face them gripped with fear, but spurred on by survival.

Survival. Usually of my ‘self,’ in one form or another, but sometimes from a deeper place of existence that will not let me turn back, that will not let me give up, that will not let me back down.

I would like to say I face them bravely and without doubt or fear, but that would be a lie.

I face them over and over again as a fearful child. Telling myself I am brave but not believing it. Forcing myself to be strong but feeling weak.

Until the day I become it. Brave. Strong.

It comes slowly and subtly like a mood. I approach the fearful place, physical or mental, again. This time I stand rooted. This time I stand tall. This time I am brave. This time I am strong.

This is the time that looks like success, that tastes like success, that I call success.

When really the success is all the times I kept stepping into the ring feeling weak. Feeling scared. Feeling alone. There, in the midst of the collapse of all that is “me,” I see with terrifying clarity the terrifying clarity of who I am and who I’m not.

The seeing, this is the true success.

All the transformation that comes from this I will call good, I will call great, I will label 500 different ways.

But the seed of seeing truth and stepping into the fire, not knowing whether it will devour me or enlighten me, where the four walls dissolve before me and the ground gives way beneath me, where there is nowhere to run to and nowhere to look except at the collapse of all I know,

this is the terrifying clarity that allows me to see
what I need to see

so that I can then do
what I need to do.

Love more. Limit less. Allow for all. Honor life. This is what I need to do.

What about you?

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