How to Get Up Off the Floor When You’re a Mess
I’m being coached in one of my mastermind groups to get my writing out in the world, published and distributed on a greater platform. There was an opportunity to join a new venue, so I sent my pitch letter. I didn’t hear a thing. Nothing. My colleague posted that she sent a similar one and heard back with acceptance within an hour. Me, it’d been a couple of days. So I became curious.
Now when I say “curious” in truth that’s what I would have liked to do, that’s what I wished I’d done. Really, I went down a rabbit hole. I was triggered with: what’s wrong with me; no one wants to read my materials; I probably did it wrong; and more.
These are places that I don’t go often anymore, but have been familiar in the past. So I did what any co-dependent, panicky woman in a tail-spin would do. I tried to fix it.
I tried to fix the outer so I wouldn’t feel so bad on the inner. You might relate?
As things like this can go, I not only didn’t fix it, I made it worse. Now I’m hanging my hat in a swoosh of shame and embarrassment. My fix was to send another pitch letter — sounds good enough, doesn’t it? Well, instead of sending the perfectly crafter letter to the right person, I sent the imperfect, unfinished (as in half a paragraph turned up missing) to the right person, addressed to the wrong company.
Could it get any worse? I thought about it and I even had some more ideas to meddle and mess and get my fingers even messier.
Luckily time was on my side as my husband and I had somewhere to be, so I had to leave the big, fat, mess alone. I was worried, I felt sick inside in the way that I feel only when I’m in my emotional baggage place. But I left it alone. I surrendered. I had done what I’d done and not done what I’d not done, but there was nothing more I could do in that moment.
Oh, I did sneak in an apology note, after realizing I’d mis-addressed the last email, but before I realized there was half a paragraph missing.
We left, went out to dinner and a Friday night date night drive (the golf carts) in movie at the local golf course to watch Happy Gilmore and eat free popcorn. It was funny in a really simple way. I let my mess go from my mind and released all attachment to outcomes, figuring I could try again later.
My point here is this… Even the most practiced and simple moments of life can get messy. It’s not so much that we make or fall into a mess, but it is about how we handle it. I didn’t handle my mess very well this time, I made it messier and messier, but I’m still alive and I’m still breathing. There really is nothing wrong, except perhaps a mess to clean up.
I think of my grandchildren. Sometimes they make a mess; they can spill a glass of milk, dump a full plate of something on the floor, break a toy or get their feelings hurt. How do I stand with them? We talk, we look and see what happened. If there is something different to do, I encourage them to do it. We see if there might be a lesson for next time. Then we let it go and go about our day of having fun and being present to what is.
If you are currently finding yourself in a mess.
- Take a breath.
- Look and see with clear eyes before you react, so that you can simply respond.
- Trust the process.
- Let go of the attachment to outcome.
- Give yourself a break.
- Be kind to you!
- And others.
The good news, for me, is I got the gig anyway. Even after all the mess, they asked me to be a contributor on their platform. Anyway.
It’s so fascinating to look and see all of the emotional hooks that can still get triggered. My work in the world is to help you dismantle those triggers, to release the life-long patterns that cause you to shrink or collapse rather than staying in your own power and presence. And to forgive yourself when you slip back.
The moral of this story. We all make mistakes and messes sometimes. When that happens, clean it up to the best of your ability, learn from it and let it go!
If you’d like help in cleaning up a mess, let me know. I’m good at it!
Originally published at www.divine-awakening.org on October 8, 2016.