Before new stars can fully form, some ancient star has to blow itself to bits and be broken down to space dust. Then those bits and dust just float out there in the darkness looking sparkly and random until they fuse together and birth new stars. But after that, the glow up is inevitable. So fear not. Even if your life feels dismantled and scattered right now, accept it as part of your process. Transitional phases are as necessary as they are scary. You got this.
So yeah. I spent the past few months feeling like life had flipped me upside down and shaken me for change. I felt straight bullied…like legit Simpson’s Nelson-“ha-haaa”-style bullied by the universe, and it had me in the feels. First there was my untimely separation from my husband last year, which I’m going to go ahead and equate with the ‘Dying Red Giant Blows Debris’ illustration because it seems appropriate. Then there was the hazy phase that followed, in which I did any and everything to help myself feel better. Because poor little me. Naturally, that lead me to fall into an even deeper emotional rut.
Then, after much prayer, yoga, and self-realization, there was the step-by-step process of me burning all the invitations to my pity party, pulling my head out of my ass, and allowing this little light of mine to gel itself into the lovely protostar phase I’m in now.
It’s lit. Stuff has been published and a song has sold. I improved my credit. I even bonsai’d all of the unhealthy relationships in my life so that they don’t distract me from my goals. (The one I have with food is still an uphill battle though.) In fact, if I could look at my life on a line graph right now, I know I’d see that it’s on an uptick. But even as I excitedly make travel arrangements to do work that I love in a tropical place I’ve never been, I’m still a bit dumbfounded. Why on earth did I have to be reduced to groveling bits of space crumbs before the universe threw me a bone?
The answer should’ve been obvious to me, though. I mean, I’m sure I’d read it in a book somewhere.
And I had.
I’d read it in the prose-filled pages of Coelho’s The Alchemist, true, but I’d also read it in other places in my life. Now that I’m really thinking about it, each time I’ve moved forward in my life, it’s because the universe/Good Lord/ common sense showed me the futility of moving backward, and of sitting still. With each devastating loss I was given clarity about a situation, and I either accepted the lesson and grew or wallowed in my self-pity and repeated the same mistake again. Sometimes, you have to coach yourself through these things. Mouth some words to yourself. Nam myoho renge kyo the situation out until you steady your nerves enough to push through.
The cool thing about your mind is that you own that space–deed and all–until you the day you sputter out. You can swap out bad for good and do whatever the eff you please in the joint. So I pushed some cerebral paperwork through to my little women upstairs in my Cognitive Department and voila. The phrase ‘Why the fuck is this happening to me’ has been replaced with ‘I’ve been doing the best I can, so this is just the rough spot before the sweet spot.’ Or, if I’ve been being a royal douche, the statement defaults to ‘You know exactly why you’re in this spot, so you can’t even bitch about it. Do better and karma will let take its pretty little stiletto off your neck, mmkay?’ Both work well.
As for me, I have my own preventative reminders as tools. Feel free to jack the last two:
I cannot go back to my Nana as a safe place. She is gone.
I cannot go back to the toxic things I once loved, because the knowledge I have now will not let me enjoy them in the same way. Also, bad habits only produce bad results in the end.
I cannot go back to that person. Even if looking at their picture makes me smile, I now know that the love I seek is like a planet with a steady gravitational pull meant for me, and all others are merely shooting stars.
Sometimes our current world crumbles because nothing in it can be salvaged and used toward our new one. So even though being broken down for a breakthrough can feel excruciating when you’re in the midst of it, what’s even worse is the regret that comes from remaining in a safe space. Paying bills and watching t.v. while wishing for change is actually counterproductive. That’s like being stuck in the condensing nebula phase–forever.
When we suffer through heartache and are stripped of everything we had, it’s because those hurdles are a part of a process meant to prepare us for something grand. Otherwise we just cycle back to old things and the universe breaks us into tiny pixelated pieces again and again until we learn the lessons it’s trying to convey. And that’s exhausting.
So I’m rewiring. I’ve seen others do it, so I know it can be done.
Because ultimately, what’s more worthwhile is learning to love this version of yourself even as the universe is forcing you to build a better one. Keep your head up and accept each test. Because as I said before, you got this.