When things get stressful, I’ve started to ask myself this question:
Do you want to bend or break?
In years past this wasn’t a discussion. It wasn’t a question.
Therefore, it wasn’t a choice.
I would reach a limit and then break, collapse, give up.
Now I see myself reaching a point or peak of frustration, stress, or overwhelmed with life.
I feel the pressure pinning me into a corner.
This is when I ask myself: Do you want to bend or do you want to break?
I don’t want to bend. Not really.
But I definitely do not want to break.
So I soften. To the pressure, to myself, to whatever is weighing on me. I just relax a little into the difficult space I’m in and I try to breathe.
In this way I do not break. I bend, bend, bend, bend, until the pressure is relieved. Then I bounce back, unbroken.
This train of thought led me to this next question:
Do you want to break down or break through?
That one seems easy. I want to breakthrough, of course! But there’s a fine line between breakthroughs and breakdowns. And sometimes one is required for the other.
Breakdown to Breakthrough is when life throws us a curveball. It levels us. We are crushed. Broken. This is a breakdown. A Breakdown of all we thought we were, had, needed, wanted – all of it gone.
This kind of breakdown can often lead us to breakthroughs. There is a huge open space where our life used to be. We can walk through it however we like. We are often motivated to search for new ways, new meanings, and new approaches to reenter life.
Breakdown or Breakthrough is the idea that breaking down happens slowly throughout our lives when we don’t consciously choose to embrace change. In other words, if we don’t grow, we deteriorate. This is not the breakdown we want. We want to breakthrough by growing into our lives, changing with our lives, embracing our lives.
This one’s a choice, just like the bending or breaking.
When we practice choosing consciously in normal, easy conditions, it becomes easier to choose consciously in abnormal, difficult conditions.
This is the practice for all of us. When life is easy, grow. When life challenges us, bend. When life breaks us, break through.