Loving the Messiness of Life

On the journey through life we all have the potential to be fully awake, alive, and learning how to be a complete adult.  It is a journey without a destination and our potential is never exhausted, yet we are compelled forward.

Some choose to simplify life as much as possible in order to reduce anxiety.  This may be done by choosing a particular belief system to explain the unexplainable and putting on blinders to anything that does not conform to thatview of life.  Others focus on control and live under the illusion that if they fret hard enough they can control and predict the course of their path.  Still others assume a strategy of appeasement and avoidance, taking a stance of perpetual immaturity.

Most of the clients I work with are choosing to learn to embrace the messiness of life and to respond with as much honesty as they can muster.  The path to maturity involves choosing to confront the dilemmas of life and recognizing that you have choices to make.  Many times the choices involve pain, but if they are made with integrity and respect for yourselfand others you grow forward.  Avoidance and staying in a comfort zone keeps you stuck, whereas working through anxiety causes growth.

Relationships are often the crucible, as they show us where we are stuck, how we are hiding, and present dilemmas to us.  When we are able to assume responsibility for our growth, learn to speak the truth in love, and stand on our own two feet, we move forward.  Sometimes your partner may not be ready for this or will resist and try to keep you in line through manipulation or avoidance.  You must allow your partner to move at his or her own pace and remember you have no control or responsibility for his or her growth.  All you can really do is move forward and invite your partner to join you on the journey.


Challenge your default ways of responding to the stress of life and relationships.  They are remnants of childhood and do not help you.  Seek instead to respond with patience, honesty, and openness to learning what this moment offers to teach you.  When you embrace the messiness of life it somehow seems a little better.  When you learn from each moment you grow forward.  Growing forward as an individual changes not only you but your relationship as well.

Strength at the source level

A man I am working with is going through a divorce and is experiencing deep emotional pain.  I gave him an assignment to find three key words that define how he wants to be right now.  He landed on one word in particular and that is the word “strong”.  We talked about what that word means, what is looks like, sounds like, and feels like.  I encouraged him to immerse himself in it, and shift his meditation from “I want to be strong” to “I am strong”.   This subtle shift changes the mindset and makes a declaration of what is and what he is living into.

Many times when we go through hard times we want to stop feeling the pain and sadness and fear.  To do this it is tempting to fall back on tricks we have learned to disconnect from ourselves, such as using alcohol, work, people, and busyness to distract ourselves.  We try to convince ourselves that it doesn’t really matter.  However, to tap into our deeper level of strength we need to be present to ourselves and honest with ourselves.  This is often painful but in the midst of that we find strength on a source level.  This is at your core emotional and spiritual self that is aware that you come from and are a part of a higher source.  At this level you know strength is present in your vulnerability.  Connecting with this source of strength gives hope in the experience of pain.

How, in reality do you access this strength?  I think it is different for each of us but there are some practical things you can do for yourself:

  • Allow yourself to feel what you feel
  • Be as honest with yourself as you can about what you are experiencing
  • Be honest with others you trust about what you are going through without demanding or expecting any particular response
  • Invite the presence of Love into all of it
  • Avoid external distractions or things you think will fix your feelings
  • Accept what is
  • Focus on moving forward with integrity rather than on what is past
  • Meditate on being the strength you seek