Make Peace with the Shape of Things
We all have our plans and our ideas. We have a picture in our heads of “how things should be”, or “how things will be”, but most of us get the lesson early that life just doesn’t work that way. I know very few people who can say that everything has gone according to their plan. In fact, I don’t know one person who can say that.
Few things cause us to suffer more than our attachment to that picture in our minds or our hearts of how things should be, or look or feel. Sometimes it’s so f&cking hard to let go of what you’d hoped for and wanted with your whole heart. But I really think a huge part of maturing, and of opening to things as they are has to do with this: at a certain point, you have to make peace with the shape of things. The shape of your world, the rhythm, the colors, the feel of it. Maybe things are more jagged or fractured than you’d hoped; maybe they’re spread out in a way you hadn’t envisioned and didn’t want. Life can be incredibly complicated sometimes. It’s not always obvious which way to turn, especially when your life and your choices and your feelings affect other people. And so you may look around at some point and wonder what exactly happened. How your life looks the way it does, when none of it was anywhere on your plan of how things should be.
Sometimes the ship sails and the storms come and you do your best to go with your gut as you make decisions while you’re getting hit in the face with hail, and couldn’t find north from south even if you had a compass, because the compass wouldn’t be a crystal ball, would it? Maybe you end up in a country you’ve never traveled to before, with customs and a language you don’t understand, and you think, “I can’t do this.” But you can.
And so you start again. Come up with a new plan. Or maybe you’ve landed in the exact spot you were trying to avoid, and somehow, some insane way the GPS on your ship landed you right back where you started, because maybe, just maybe, your plan did not include healing yourself first, before you took off on your great adventure. Maybe the language and the customs are all too familiar, and you can’t believe you have to deal with this sh&t again. But it’s not the same, because you aren’t the same. Maybe you need to get the lesson that you can’t always change a situation, but you can change the way you deal with it.
Anyway, here’s the thing. We cling and we grip and we refuse to let go and we suffer. Or: we trust that we can forge a new way and work with a changing set of circumstances. We acknowledge that we were never in control of this thing, and our plans look funny to us. Or we feel a little naked, or foolish or naive, like we got caught with our pants down because we just didn’t see the folly of it. And don’t misunderstand me. Have your passions and pursue your dreams all the way with everything you’ve got. Set your intentions and work your a$$ off, and put some action behind what you want, because you’re here to share your gifts freely and with abandon. Just watch your attachment to things (or people) feeling the way you think they should feel, or the way you want them to feel, because, sweetheart, people are going to feel however they need and want to feel. And things are going to happen you never could have imagined, and all your fine plans could easily get turned upside down on any given Thursday morning. It could be that your plan goes flying out the window, and you watch it float, fly away, out of reach. And maybe something more amazing than you ever could have imagined happens instead. It’s not all doom and gloom, y’know.
What I’m trying to say is, however things are right now, whether they look like that picture you’ve had in your head, or nothing at all like that, try to make peace with the shape of things. If you cling and grip, you will suffer. If you draw a huge heart around all of it, you’ll find your way with love. Maybe you can draw one so big, there’s space around things and life has the room to surprise you.
Start small if you need to—make peace with the shape of your body. We spend so much time obsessing over the external stuff. The body is a freaking miracle, but we get caught up in numbers. How many pounds is it? How many inches? Like we’re going to the butcher’s or the tailor. This is f&cking life, this is the party, it’s happening right now. It’s not the butcher. How’s your heart? Is it beating for you? Marvelous. Can you look outside and see the sun? The rain? The green of the trees? Can you walk outside because you have two working legs? Brilliant. Can you hug the people you love because you’re alive and they’re alive and you have two working arms? Oh my god, how fantastic. Make peace with the shape of things. Draw a big, huge heart around it all. See what you can grow that way. Sending you love, as always, Ally Hamilton