Day 28 of 30: Clarity comes when I stop trying to do its job.

I am learning that Clarity comes without trying. When not forced.

It’s a lot like bubbles. If I chase the bubbles and grasp at them, they’ll pop and float away.

This knowledge doesn’t stop the old pattern of me trying to figure everything out, to force Clarity. When I get foggy about something or there’s discomfort or an unsolved issue… I often find myself scampering to put all the pieces back and make sure everything is nice and clean. It’s the illusion of control.

Knowledge is only based on past information and past experiences. If I hold onto what I know and constantly keep all my pieces together without occasionally falling apart, I’ll never grow. Growth happens in the unknown. The sprinkle of panic. The feeling out of my body and desperately wanting to make drastic decisions as some sort of “quick fix.”

Allowing myself to exist in that uncomfortable space, to breathe into and through it without reacting? That’s where real growth happens.

Thoughts feed thoughts. And sometimes my analytical abilities are helpful. Left to their own devices – or if I don’t appropriately apply them somewhere… If they don’t have adequate expression – they go rogue. An example:

“Hm. My head hurts. It normally hurts when I’m angry. What am I angry about? Oh yes, that conversation from earlier. I should probably address that.”

“I wish I knew what to do about this situation. Oh look. A blue flower. Blue has to do with the throat and speaking… And over there is a pen – and it’s my favorite pen – which must mean I need to JOURNAL in order to figure out the answer to the situation! (Begins journaling as nothing but pure busy work.) Oh no, is this me trying to force? Am I being controlling? Or if I sit on the sofa and relax, is that me being apathetic? WHAT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO RIGHT NOW? Am I too focused on myself? Is this me being ungrateful? If I focus on others is that me avoiding my current state?!”

(Cue spin-out.)

When my thoughts turn inward, and I catch myself trying to force Clarity, what I really need to do is ground myself. I need to recharge. I need to focus elsewhere.

What does grounding mean?

It’s different for different people.

For me it’s turning off my phone. It’s lying on the floor or on the earth outside. It’s sitting on a rock. It’s sipping tea. It’s meditating. It’s taking a sea salt bath. It’s burning sage, doing free flow yoga, listening to music. It’s walking in nature, slowly, noticing colors.

Clarity comes without trying. It’s like Inspiration or Love or any other abstract sensation / experience. If I try to force Inspiration or Creativity, my output becomes rigid and scripted and not-me. If I try to force Love, it’s insincere. If I try to force Clarity, it too is rigid and scripted and insincere and not-me.

When I’m ready and receptive, Clarity will find me.

Think about it; when have you had the biggest aha moments? For me, they’ve happened in the shower, after watching a baking show, during meditation, or – my favorite – on a walk with my dog when I have nothing to write with. This challenges me to sit and smile and bask in the feeling of Clarity knowing that it’s still valid even if I don’t exactly remember it by the time I get home.

Clarity seeks out an open and relaxed mind. Sure, there are times when it comes to me during dark and painful experiences. During those, though, I’ve asked for help. I’ve opened myself to God or to another person. I’ve cracked the door at least a little. At that point, I’m not trying to force Clarity; I’m sincerely asking for its presence.

Sometimes I try to do Clarity’s job with my sweet analytical thought processes. Clarity is never forced. EVER. Clarity comes without notice. It plops into my head like a drop of dye into a clear glass of water. First, it’s just the drop. Then, without my trying, the color mixes with the water.

That’s what Clarity does in my mind and my cells.

I have been feeling overwhelmed by myself lately, wanting to be easier on myself… But not knowing how. And then feeling silly for saying I don’t know how to do something as seemingly simple as be easier on myself. But – truly – these mental programs run deep… And I don’t know exactly where they need to be rewritten.

I had a breakthrough moment today – which was preceded by a huge LACK of clarity and EXCESS of panic and thoughts and stories and meanings being applied and seeking out more evidence to back up said stories and RECOGNIZING THAT I WAS DOING IT WHILE DOING IT but the choochoo train had already left the station so I just kinda’ held on tight for the ride – when I finally surrendered. I surrendered to God, to Clarity, to Love.

Suddenly I was shown multiple clips in my mind’s eye of a loved one having supported me over the years. See, when I was in the cloud of confusion and busying my mind trying to do Clarity’s job, I was legitimately unable to access these memories and the feelings associated with them. Since my “I’m unworthy and unlovable and am probably so hard to be with” program was running, the blinders were put on to anything else.

I recognized this, shared about it, prayed about it, meditated, and ultimately surrendered with a real-talk prayer, which was something like: “I am spinning out here, and I need you to guide me. Because I am feeling like a crazy person.”

I watched these lovely images in my mind, of Loved one holding me and supporting me multiple times… And was then shown even more evidence to the CONTRARY of my fearful thoughts and old story. I was shown how lovable I am, and how great of a significant other and friend I am.

I’d been blocking this all out because I was focusing on the fear, trying to get rid of the fear. It’s like standing in a room facing and wedged into a corner and going, “THERE IS NOTHING ELSE IN THE ROOM IT IS SO CRAMMED IN HERE.”

Once I relaxed and stopped fighting and genuinely asked for help, Clarity gently turned me around, and there it all was: the rest of the room! And there, in the love seat was Love (obvi) and Compassion, and Support was hanging with Inspiration and Creativity by the fireplace.

I found myself repeating, “I deserve to be treated well, I deserve to be treated well, I deserve to be treated well,” and I believed it. I wept. I told myself, “I deserve to be loved… unconditionally,” but was only able to get that one out a few times before I closed off to it.

With a lifetime of evidence showing that Love was conditional, it can be challenging – and scary – to let go of that idea and have faith in a new one. That’s what it is, really. That’s what it boils down to.

I’m tired of busying myself. I truly am ready to let go of the habit of forcing. Of controlling. Of believing I’m unworthy or unlovable.

I’ve got to let that shit go to stand any chance of enjoying this life. Experiencing this life. Exploring this life.

“Explore and tend,” a guy said to me today. “Don’t try to manage or control. Just tend, with tenderness. Be present and explore.”

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Some days, I paint. Other days, I write. And rap. And tell stories. And do comedy. And doodle. And [attempt to] bake. And, one week out of every month, I merge with my sofa and sob about mortality and things like the existence of air and how we can't live without it and how utterly claustrophobic that is to consider. I'm relatively particular. And this is a place for me to share ALL the quirks.

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