Today a storm raged in Austin, and the natural process of destruction inspired me.
Examples of beneficial aspects of destruction include a forest fire that fertilizes new generations, or the storm that is, as I write this, filling our Greenbelt with fresh water. Nature teaches us that destruction and creation can and must co-exist. Nature is unapologetic about it’s extremes, and it flows easily from one state to another without a care in the world. Nature will be sunny or stormy depending on Mother Nature’s mood.
Nature expresses the fullness of Life without fear, shame, or guilt. If it’s so natural, why do we humans have such a hard time being like nature? Why do we seem to struggle with simple expressions of our humanity, whether it be love, anger, frustration, excitement, or joy?
Like nature, we can also find wholeness by accepting that both destruction and creation have a place. Destruction is simply the other side of creation.
Suffering happens when we try to avoid either of these, because it is impossible, and we end up turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms when we realize the impossibility of living a life that is purely Creative or purely Destructive.
Many of us learned how to avoid the fullness of our humanity, in childhood. Perhaps we saw our parents’ repeated attempts to escape reality. Or maybe we learned early on that expressing ourselves leads to nothing but trouble and punishment. Perhaps we decided long ago, that it is better to pick a part and play it well, than to learn how to be in your authentic, ever-changing self.
Those lessons we learned, were based in fear, shame, and guilt. The lessons that said escaping reality is our reality; the lessons that said any attempt to break free will be met with pain or even death; the lessons that said no one gets to be their authentic self, so why should you feel special; the lessons that said life just doesn’t work that way – all those lessons, whether they stemmed from good intentions or bad intentions, may be keeping you from experiencing the life that you desire.
I promise whatever your goal is, you can do it. There is no doubt in my mind that you can do it. So when the fear, shame, and guilt start pressing you back into that stilted, imbalanced, disingenuous identity, just breathe.
Panic attack is as panic attack does, so just breathe.
Remember, you are not doing this self-growth for the approval of others. This is not so that other people will notice or validate you. If folks like what you’re becoming, cool; if not, OK. Realize that you are main beneficiary of this process of self-realization.
Life gives you the opportunity to feel empowered by the fullness of your human experience, whether it be stormy or sunny. You have the freedom to use both creation and destruction to create the life of your dreams.
The fullness of the human experiences is not painless, but it is so much more painful to avoid the full spectrum of humanity. Accepting that we, like nature, embody both creation and destruction, is the first step to becoming familiar with the fullness of our humanity.