“Beneath our stories of pain and suffering, we can access wholeness, love and compassion.” – Shann Vander Leek
“You can’t stop entropy, so why even try.”
Tonight, I reached a milestone in my life so incredible that I found myself sitting on the floor of my kitchen… just sobbing like a bearded woman. I also realized that I wasn’t sure who to call to tell about it.
I’ve become a really great “acquaintance” of many without really knowing how to answer the simple online “security” question of: “Who is your best friend?”
Romantically, I’ve discovered that if you give me three weeks, I can take you from loving me to hating me. I’ve started reading old letters from exes more often than personal development books because I think in their anger… they told me the most important truths about myself.
I yelled at my ex-wife today. She brought up my years of drug use (again) so I snapped back at her; “good hell, put it back in the deck.”
I had to take a night to assess why I celebrate massive accomplishments alone. I had to evaluate why I’ve decided that “validation” equals self-worth. I’ve had to address how I’ve become Morty from season 3, episode 6 or Brian Regan’s “Me Monster.”
I’m wondering why one of my oldest friends only called me this morning after months of silence because one of his employees needed help. Or, why someone I care about deeply told me…
“I’ve sometimes thought if I just did some drugs, then… maybe you’d return my calls.”
I started to feel really, really, REALLY sorry for myself. Like the martyr that nobody understands, the pariah, the whipping post for all addiction woes…
Then, well, I decided to take some of my own advice and man-up.
I am responsible for all of my success and all of my failure. I alone am responsible for all of my growth and fear of growth. I get to decide my priorities and how truly “needed” I am or why that matters. I am whole, capable, and willing to accept my entitled behaviors and “savior” complexes.
The question becomes: “do you want to skip the line and valuate your life before you die?”
Then, when you ask that question, you start to say… “well, I spend 130 hours a week serving other people.”
If you’re not too delusional by that point, your brain will remind you… “then there’s your reward.”
I get to decide if my daughters feel really touched by the turn-out at my funeral or if they spend their mid-twenties in therapy… describing how often dad was there for strangers but never feeling like the most important thing in my life.
Priorities. Own ’em.
Like, you know… listening–understanding how often I launch into verbal diarrhea, assuming that everyone cares what I have to say.
Listen, if you’re still trying to find you’re voice… you’re gonna spend some time talking too much.
If you’re trying to spend some mindful time doing service excessively to address your lifetime of codependent behavior, you’re going to develop a sweet-tooth for complimentary validation.
If you’re going to take your tween daughters to “The Greatest Showman” and try to roll your (secretly) tear-filled eyes, you’re going to have to admit that, yes… Zac Efron is dreamy.
Then, later, you can sit on your kitchen floor and realize that everything your brain has assessed is valuable. You can accept that your need for growth is a mineshaft of potential and that being in the game of life means not riding your own coattails.
“I quit heroin.”
“I wrote a book.”
“My old probation officer stopped me today and asked me for some business cards.”
“People are now paying money to hear me speak and I used to be scared to open my mouth…”
Yeah, Dan… put it back in the deck.
This is the moment where you find the forgiveness for yourself that you allow exclusively for others. You click the soundtrack playlist forward past “Never Enough” to “This is Me” and you own that you are so vastly, miraculously, drastically better than you’ve been and your awareness has poised you to fix all of these minor infractions.
You’re not perfect, and you never will be. But dammit if you’re not on your way to smiling at a true and flawed presence.
Awareness begat action and action begat joy and joy begat the peace that arrival was an unattainable myth.
You’re exactly who you are supposed to be today and you ARE enough.
(P.S. Ladies, here’s a little more Zac for you because my girls can’t stop listening to it… )