What If We're Not Really Broken
I have felt broken for a long, long, long, long, LONG time now.
Being married to an alcoholic will do that to you.
Eviscerate your very sense of being.
I have watched as the years with him have taken all I once held dear about myself and worn it down.
Like water running over a stone.
Except I am not smooth.
I am jagged and sharp and hard.
Like the alcoholic himself, little things irritate me.
Minor things draw the harshest of reactions.
Life is a problem to be endured.
Not an adventure to be lived.
I went away with a girlfriend this week-end to the house on the water that she and her husband recently bought.
It's not a grand house.
A real "fixer upper" but, as you can guess, it was the location, the view that they were really buying.
They had dreamed of a house on the water for years and my friend regularly checked all the typical real estate sites.
One morning this house "popped up."
It was going for peanuts because of the condition it was in.
They gladly - and quickly - handed over their life savings of peanuts and now their dream is coming true.
The house sits amongst other houses on the water, inhabited by other dreamers and doers.
Visionaries really because when they bought their houses, no one could have predicted the draw of this sleepy little town on a nothing-little creek.
I am not a jealous person.
Good for them.
I can be happy for and celebrate other people's victories.
But do you know how utterly defeated and deflated you can feel within yourself, your happiness for others not withstanding, as you bear witness to what others could do and you couldn't?
All week-end long, regret churned in me like an internal blade slicing at at my soul.
Oh, on the outside I was warm and friendly.
It's not that I wasn't sincere.
But on the inside...
The private knowledge of all my life is and isn't.
Thoughts of all the days of my life I had lost or wasted.
Churned within me.
Consumed my thoughts all week end.
How could I have gotten it so wrong? How could I have been so stupid for so long?
I came home feeling like an absolute failure in life.
What did I have to show for the past 20 years of walking around this planet?
Not much, it felt like.
I needed to start now, I told myself.
I needed to get focused and motivated and moving forward.
But I kept thinking of All. Those. Years.
Lost, wasted, squandered.
Why didn't I start sooner?
Why hadn't I been smarter?
Then I happened to spy a book I had started reading: Steven Pressfield's, "The War of Art."
It is all about the resistance anyone who wants to live a creative life faces.
And by "creative," he doesn't just mean the obvious creative stuff.
He means an inspired, adventurous, authentic life.
Resistance, he says, is as natural and real as gravity and all humans must face it, battle it, conquer it in their quest to live their best, most authentic life.
And so I thought,
What if I don't "regret" all those "lost" years? What if I don't believe it's "too late?"
What if I'm not overwhelmed and defeated? What if it's Resistance using the situation of my alcoholic marriage to defeat me? What if Me, the spiritual Me, the ethereal Me, the Me that is beyond the trappings of our Earthly existence, doesn't care when I "start?" What if that Me doesn't believe it is "too late?"
What if that Me is whole and complete and more than excited to embark on this adventure?
What if that Me isn't broken?