When Things Fall Apart

Coming unraveled is not something we readily wish upon ourselves.

Typically, we begin to unravel right at the moment we want to be completely put together.

When life becomes uncertain, when our future lies in the delicate balance between unclear and beginning to form, we want nothing more than to have all our seams tightly bound. And yet, the harder we cling to the familiar, the known, and our habits, the more we begin to lose control.

Fall is a time of letting go. In some cases, that can feel a lot like losing control.

Often times, the characteristics that give us great strength are the same ones that cause us pain. The need to control the world around us can be beneficial in many work environments and when we set out to accomplish our goals, but it can be detrimental, even derailing when life has a different path it wishes for us to take. The more we fear the unknown path, the more we resist what is being offered to us, the more pain we will feel as we try to get a grip on our situations.

It’s a lovely first-world problem to have, really. We set out on one trajectory for our lives, pursuing our passions and goals with enthusiasm and momentum, only to hit a roadblock. “Road Work Ahead,” “Lane Closed,” “No Outlet.” Sometimes the only natural thing to do is stop right where we are, look at the dead end in front of us, and turn back around.

Surrendering the heart is not about accepting anything less than you deserve. Surrendering your will is not about settling for a life that will not fill your spirit. Surrendering your heart is about trusting that everything you’ve ever wanted is available to you in ways you cannot yet understand, and much like winter propels the birds southbound, a change of the seasons can be reflected in the direction your life takes.

Pain is not a bad thing, and we are taught to label it as such. Marketers offer us solutions to our pain all the time, as if it is a disease to be remedied and cured. But this is simply not true. Pain is a messenger. Pain is a teacher. Pain has truth to offer us that comfort and stability cannot. Pain is a guidepost. Pain is the “Road Closed” sign when it would be so much easier if there were an outlet.

Be with your pain and listen to what it wants to tell you. Are you settling for attention when you really want love? Are you settling for stability when you really want growth? Where in your life are you settling and how can you accept the ways in which you may have been wrong? Where have you failed and where have you not tried hard enough?

Failure simply means you are learning and growing. If you are not often failing, you are not often trying. Start to feel proud of your failures as much as you feel proud of your accomplishments, because it is in those moments of failure that the lessons learned stick to us the most. Our failures become the seams that hold us together when the weaker stiches begin to unravel.

© 2017 Shawna Marie Rodgers
All Rights Reserved.