On walking and stumbling

In my last blog I wrote that this is happy although it’s not a constant walk in the park. My coach gave me a picture that I like even better. She suggested that I am at a stage in my life right now where new spaces have opened up, I have entered a new room, and I don’t really know yet how everything works around here. It’s a very good picture because I am going through what feels like extreme mood shifts at the moment, which is the not knowing my way around here part. Sometimes I strike gold, and everything just works, sometimes … not so much.

After I wrote that last blog post, I felt so full of life and energy, that everything seemed to be humming. I recognized this feeling, it doesn’t feel like I am merely being euphoric, it feels like I am in the center of my being, like I am the most me I can be. Yet at this point, I am still not used to being so fully me. There’s still this part that doubts it, and that is basically just waiting for something to show up that it can interpret as proof that this isn’t real. Of course, when you’re waiting for something like that, it’ll show up. And then it’s easy to fall back into other old habits, like criticizing yourself, analyzing everything you’ve done “wrong”, how you could have prevented this, yadah yadah yadah …

This morning, when I was sitting with this question of when things had shifted yesterday, what caused it, what I should have done, and how I could get back to the top again today, it suddenly occurred to me that what I was doing was kind of like putting a kid in a corner for doing something wrong, and telling it that it has to make things right in order to be allowed out of that corner. Now I don’t have any kids but somehow I don’t believe that this parenting style actually works. So if I believe that, why on earth would I think this could work on me or anyone?!

Then I remembered what I do believe in: that the answer to getting out from under something is to get the right perspective on it. I returned to Irka’s analogy of me having entered a new room. And I remembered how I had answered her that I felt like I was taking my first steps on this planet, even though I know that technically I’m 34.

And there it was, the answer: when you learn how to walk as a kid, you don’t do it by analyzing what you do wrong when you fall. You learn how to walk by walking, and stubbornly insisting on doing so no matter how many times you fall. In fact, I feel like we should be celebrating our stumbling and falling to the ground a lot more. It means we’re walking, instead of sitting in a corner, too afraid to even try because we might not get it right the first time.

Here’s to walking and stumbling, to allowing ourselves to enjoy the highs of when we get it right, and to cheering ourselves on when we fall.

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