The Power of Helplessness
My foot hadn’t even reached the wrong side of bed this morning before I felt annoyed. I was annoyed the very second I woke up, I was so annoyed that I could puke and go up in flames. The night was too short, the kids were too loud, the dreams were too confusing — I’d landed on the wrong planet and my spaceship was broken. No calendula in the world could help me with this one, so I got up and started blaming everyone else.
This human experience thing is sometimes just so incredibly annoying! I beg your pardon, I was promised milk and honey and whatnot, and here I am, spewing out lava all over my family.
Sometimes I just feel absolutely helpless.
If it isn’t in our nature to fight the feeling of helplessness, it’s definitely in our culture. Stop it, hide it, make it go away. But this morning, regardless of what I think about it, that’s exactly how I felt like. It didn’t stop until pretty much this evening, either. I’ve felt annoyed and helpless and annoyed at feeling helpless all day, and I could easily swallow it and go to bed. But something changes when I sit down and allow myself to feel what I feel. Something sort of opens up, unlocks.
I think it’s difficult to talk about helplessness because it so easily gets misinterpreted. I’m not talking about giving up or surrendering to apathy. I’m talking about the incredible feeling of love and empowerment and strength that comes through accepting and aligning with reality.
As I’m writing this, I’m interrupted several times by Lean. He’s asleep, but keeps waking up. Maybe he’s having bad dreams. I feel annoyed, of course. I feel other things too, like love and compassion and concern, but I also feel annoyed. Living by the book, I would either push it on him or I would eat it, save it for a rainy day. Right now I’m able to just feel it instead. Locate where in my body the feeling manifests. It hurts. My belly feels strangely strangled. It’s OK.
It is OK.
Though I’m past
one hundred thousand miles
I’m feeling very still
And I think my spaceship knows which way to go
(David Bowie, Space Oddity)