I live my life (mostly) trying to find my light and ease. To look for what’s working and what’s good. To bounce off of my struggles and soothe my heart.
I live that way. I write about it. I teach it.
Then there are times the only thing – or best thing – that has eased and soothed my heart and soul has been to lean into the suck. To acknowledge it and admit it.
Years ago I was in a very difficult place, struggling with a physical ailment that was knocking me to my knees. Over and over again. But I fought to find the good in it. I fought to stay positive at all times, to see what was right in my stinking situation.
Until a friend asked me how I was doing (as she drove me to our joint destination, as I could no longer drive due to my physical condition). I gave her all my platitudes. I pointed out all I was learning and how I was growing. I shared the rosy side of what was going on.
“But doesn’t it suck?” she asked me. “Why don’t you just admit it sucks?”
“Oh Lin,” I said. “It sucks. It sucks so, so much.” With that admission, my pained lessened a bit.
I’ve learned that while – for me at least – it is a best practice to find lightness and positivity, there comes a time when admitting my struggle and pain releases a bit of my struggle and pain. Perhaps because it takes so much energy to “be positive” when I feel anything but positive. Perhaps because my trying to be optimistic is lying about how I actually feel, and this self-dishonestly hurts. And hurts me.
There are times – for me at least – to lean into the suck.
There are also times to embrace my s—t. it is what it is. I am who and how I am. I may be on a lifelong journey to be my best self and to live my best life, but when I admit my foibles – when I own and even welcome my blemishes, faults, and the yucky parts of my personality and behavior – I again free myself.
I can still put too much pressure on myself to be my best self. I can still get lost in trying too hard and needing to be too perfect. I can still want to walk away from my humanness and, I guess, be without fault.
None of those habits work, and faultless isn’t true. Or possible.
When I can, instead, be human, I’m human. I’m real, and I’m happier.
When I can lean into the suck and embrace my s—t, when I can stop putting so much energy behind being perfect or fighting the truth of how awful I feel in the moment or trying so hard to reach some ideal that I learned (or made up) all those years ago, I am somehow more at peace. With less suck and less s—t.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!
Lean into the suck … I’d buy the t-shirt to be sure.
Really resonated with me today … a deep deep breath can follow the moment you embrace (not fight) the suck …
Thank you for this!
And thank you. The moment you embrace (not fight) the suck. Love it!
I lost my wife and best friend of 38 yrs to cancer 8 mos ago. The concept definitely resonates with me as I struggle each day. I keep very active biking , hiking kayaking to help . We did all these things together. The memories and loneliness sometimes become too much to bear and I cry and scream. I pray that it gets better.
Thank you for reaching out. I pray that it gets better for you too.