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!