“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” ~Anaïs Nin
I can’t tell you how many times over the last few months I’ve found myself saying those very words—”I feel like I’m losing my mind.” And I meant it. Yes, I still have my melodramatic tendencies, but this was something different. I started to suspect that I was actually coming unglued, that I was on the verge of some imminent and unavoidable breakdown. But it hasn’t happened. Not in the conventional sense anyhow. I’m not locked up or on lithium or any other mood-altering medication for that matter.
No, in fact, I feel better than I ever have. But a break down has occurred and I have found myself on the closest floor asking in desperation what it’s all about. Here’s what I’ve learned:
The brain is a powerful organ and it will either destroy me or lead me to the very source of my salvation.
I’m thankful to say that the latter seems to be occurring. But not without one heck of a fight from the ego.
The ego is that small and frightened part of me that loves being in control- the aspect of my mind that thrives on chaos and calamity and needing to be needed. This wasn’t always the case. For a while, ego served me well. It kept me safe and contained, protected from the seeming threats of a hostile world and people I couldn’t trust, namely myself.
But like all armor, it only works when we’re fighting.
And I don’t find myself fighting near as much these days. I’ve learned what it looks like to let go and allow myself to feel the comfortable cloak of uncertainty. Surrender is always an option, but I forget how beautiful it can be. And how vital it is for ongoing growth.
Whether we realize it or not, we are always giving something up—an outdated way of thinking, a relationship that no longer fits, a fear or falsehood that once kept us warm at night, a regret or resentment that keeps us stuck. Breathe in, Breathe out. The flow of life doesn’t cease and change never stops coming. The question is: do I go with the flow or force my will, the will of the ego?
I’m happy to say that my ego is no longer running the show—a part of me, still, yes—but my heart has the strongest say now. I do what feels right today because I’m now able to trust my feelings. I’ve learned that fear is not the boogeyman but a wise teacher, like all my other emotions. More than that, I know my emotions will change. The person I am right now, writing this blog, will not be the same person rereading it tomorrow. Or twenty minutes from now (I told you I’m not free of ego). But the really cool thing is, the more I stay close to what is real and lasting—my own divine nature and the divine nature of everyone and everything around me, the more free I become. And the less crazy I feel!
Why there must sometimes be a breakdown before a breakthrough, I may never now. But I’m listening and I’m learning. And I know that despite the way it may appear, my mind is not the enemy, it’s simply guiding me back to spirit.
How is your heart leading you right now? What are you learning?