If you don’t like reading the word “shit” please quit reading now, because I’m pretty sure I’m going to be saying it a lot in this post.
I was getting ready to write this post that has been stirring around in my mind for the past 24 hours, and then I saw that the prompt for the “Capture Your Grief” photo challenge that I’m doing on Instagram was: “CLEAR AND LET GO”- so I changed my title (but kept my old one too).
Shit happens. You guys, it just does. This human condition is full of shitty things- death, abuse, betrayal, stress, pressure, sickness, disease, hardship _____ (insert your own shit there). And sometimes (just being honest) it feels like it’s more than I can take. Anyone else? No? Just me, well ok then. For me it feels like I’m just walking through raw sewage hoping to get to a sunny, white sand beach one day where I can see and feel past it all, catch the wind in my face, and feel the warm sun on my back. Ahhhhh!
You’ve got to be kidding me! I just burnt my toast. Yes, in the time it took to write that first paragraph my toast is now black. So there’s that- but I digress.
The last few months have been incredibly hard on me, oh wait the last year has been hard, well actually the last three, but who’s counting? It’s been pain on top of pain. It’s just too much. And the last few days have been especially intense. I’ll spare you some of the details, with the exception of this one: Saturday night our sewer backed up INTO OUR BASEMENT. Yes, my friends, shit all over the laundry room floor. I immediately went into panic mode, I couldn’t breathe. I’m so thankful for John, who was solid and didn’t have an immediate anxiety attack like I did. My head automatically went in to worst case scenario mode. (Please tell me someone else does this too from time to time?) I texted a friend who responded, “Keep breathing and remember that nothing is worth your emotional turmoil and everything human is solvable.” So I did, I let go, I started breathing, and took the first step of making phone calls while John kept the “shit at bay”.
I’m going to get to my point, I promise. Hang in there. The sewage guy came and fortunately was able to get everything cleared out in a reasonable amount of time which also equals a reasonable amount of money. He had a giant sewage snake to clear the line of shit and also pulled out a nest of roots. Then he cleaned the drain in the floor and suggested that kids not put small toys down it, and asked how long we had lived here and if we had ever had it cleaned- oops! John and I spent the next hour or so after he left scraping shit off the floor and getting things to a place where we could safely say, “The rest of this shit can wait until tomorrow.” (Oh and can anyone tell me why these things happen on weekends and evenings?) We showered because when you’ve been cleaning up shit for hours, you feel defiled to say the least, and we collapsed into bed around midnight.
I woke up the next morning with my spirit telling me to pay attention. I always seem to learn the most from the mundane, everyday (or not so everyday) things in life- like my kids or apparently now my plumbing issues. That deep Wisdom inside of me was speaking, “Hey Tracie, you got some clogged sewage in your life. Are you ready to let it go? Are you ready to clear the lines?” I could give you a list of all that I have been through, all the ways I’ve been hurt, all the challenges I’ve faced, all the pain I’ve walked through, and you would probably say, “Oh, my word, that’s just too much.” And honestly, I’ve said it a few times myself on those pity party days.
But friends, if we hold on to the pain and get trapped in that place of “woe is me”; if we allow it to wrap its roots around our hearts, if we allow all that SHIT in life to back up, we simply stop the flow of love and joy and peace in our lives. We spend so much time holding on to “entitlement”- I deserved better, It’s not fair, Why me? Sing along, “Nobody knows the troubles I’ve seen!” Yet all we do by holding on is hurt ourselves. I’m not one to wallow in self-pity for too long. I’ve certainly been doing my healing work, except on days when I look down and all I can see with lazar focus is the shit around my ankles. It’s paralyzing. And somehow, I have to choose over and over again, to let that shit go, to do the heart work of ripping off the roots that have started to grab hold, and plunging out the shit that has build up where it doesn’t belong.
Later that morning, I listened to Martha Creek speak at a church where John was a guest musician. To quote her loosely as she shared about facing challenges in life, “You don’t have to love it, You don’t have even like it. But you do not have to give it your energy and let it control you.” So clearing out that shit doesn’t me we are happy it has happened or is happening. It doesn’t mean we are glad. It doesn’t mean we are condoning another person’s behavior. It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t feel bad. What it does mean is that we choose to let it go and clear the shit so that it doesn’t own us, doesn’t control us, doesn’t rob of us of our energy.
So what does that look like for me, for you? When I’m at my healthiest, I am daily finding space to be quiet and meditate on what is true. I find ease in speaking to those haunting thoughts and damaging mindsets, “I let you go, you no longer serve me.” Sometimes I even respond to that negative inner dialogue with, “Hey thanks for the warning, but I’ve got this covered.” But when things build up, like they have for me the past week or so, I have to really slow down, go easy on myself, make intentional time for rest and healing, double up on things that are healing and affirming. Kind of like my laundry pile right now after this shitty weekend: rinse, wash, repeat.
So friends, let’s do this. Let’s settle into that place of rest together and let that shit go.
And let’s do the daily maintenance work from now on so we don’t have to deal with a shit storm down the road.
Keep your heart lines clear, friends!
Oh and burn some sage! All the sage!
The talk I referenced can be found HERE