I love the image I shared below, but I have come to share a truth palm (I don’t know why but that phrase just feels right : like a face palm, but with the TRUTH).
I very rarely feel “able to accept all changes.” If I’m being really honest, getting really vulnerable, I will admit that no matter how many hours I spend on my mat, no matter how bendy I get and how far behind my head I can get my foot, I am psychologically inflexible.
There are occasions when I am naturally soft, flowing and open. Wildness and serenity are as familiar as the freckles on my nose, but mostly because I go to great lengths to craft my existence as carefully as I can. I bend over backwards to weave safety nets and build backup plans. I am undoubtedly pulled by the heaviness of the tides, affected by the tug of the moon; as thrashing and fierce in my emotions as the monstrous waves one moment, and then as placid and still as surface once the tide’s gone out.
“It is both a blessing and a curse to feel everything so deeply” is one of my favorite quotes. We are human beings. We are deeply flawed physical characters housing ineffably perfect bodies of Spirit, ruled often by intellect and irrevocably by emotion.
So what’s the big deal with admitting our perceived weaknesses? I spent so long feeling shamed by my inflexibility, especially given the field I’m in, but I now am exhausted by the shadow I myself have built around it…like a fortress of remorse…”I’m so sorry I wasn’t born more easy going, I’m humiliated by my internal (and sometimes external) reactions when things don’t go my way, when I’m taken by surprise and perhaps, even, don’t get my needs met.” I’m through with thinking like that. Because, you know what? We’re not “one size fits all.” We’re not hardwired for perfection. For so long now I have perceived this trait of mine as a hinderance, a deep flaw in my character that threatened to hold me back, cause me stress, set me apart from the “go with the flow” mass of humans I so lovingly admire. But no more. I choose not to hear that story and, even more, choose not to believe it.
For one person, flowing flexibility is inherent. For others, like myself, it takes showing up every single day with a little thing called courage. How (not so subtly) POWERFUL is THAT? Showing up each day, facing the fear that our perfectionist plans may get hitched despite our best efforts, and comforting ourselves through the uncertainty that is this chaotic, beautiful, blissful life. Cultivating the medicinal coping mechanisms that will soothe the unpredictability of the world, act as a balm when the precariousness of external forces chap our sensitive exterior.
I think that’s pretty damn AMAZING, if you ask me. Being able to harness an inner power that not only accepts our own soft spots (a kinder term for “perceived weaknesses” – like the soft spot on an infant’s skull; it’s not a flaw, it’s simply an area that requires handling with care, a very mindful attention towards not being dropped on that extra sensitive spot), is POWER. It is the predecessor to a practice of shifting and growing into the behaviors we seek and desire in ourselves. It IS possible to plant seeds of intention and gently curve ourselves into a different shape; but it takes practice, patience and acceptance. It takes knowing, and allowing for, the potential that we may never change shape.
It may never be in our ability to actually MORPH into an easy-going, “go with the flow” type individual; it takes embracing our rigidity and deep longing for order, and melting it with our love. It takes the steady, parental reminder to our inner child each and every day that, while change is uncomfortable, we are working hard in each moment to set up a safe space in which to rest, regardless of what happens on the outside. We are not claiming to be something we can’t be, we are simply allowing ourselves to flow in our own unique, sometimes inflexible, sometimes exquisitely rooted way. We are fighting fear with love, quelling anxiety with truth.
There will never be any way to wish ourselves into another form. There will always, enduringly, be only one way to proceed: acceptance. Love. Truth. To tell ourselves, in consoling whispers, the truth of our own understanding. To accept, and embrace, the parts of ourselves we have too long poked and prodded, wished into oblivion. When we come to a space of insight, of taking off both the rose-colored glasses and the hateful goggles of judgment, and see our true nature for what it is…that is when the healing ensues. That is when, no matter how flexible or rigid we innately may be, we find safety from the mercurial fluctuations of life.