I just finished the book I’ll Push You, about two friends, one who ends up paralyzed and the other who agrees to push him along the 500 mile Camino de Santiago. It’s a story about strength, vulnerability and humility.
For most of my life I have had the hardest time letting go. I felt the need to be in control, to do it all myself. Yet, I was never big nor strong enough to control all the things I felt I should. So, my need for control left me with a deep sense of lacking.
I was afraid of this feeling. I was ashamed to share it. I thought everyone else was able to handle things. So, I went through cycles of self-destruction mixed with renewed pressure to have all the answers. Not surprisingly I never succeeded in anything but making myself miserable and causing a lot of damage.
I’ve heard it said that some people learn with a feather and others with a brick. None of the small wake up calls stuck, so clearly I’m a brick person.
Change only came when I was profoundly humbled – recognizing the harm I had caused in my addiction and being sentenced to 32 years in prison are good examples.
The gift of these experiences has been recognizing, by bits and pieces, that I cannot do it alone and that I don’t have to.
The culmination was years ago when I realized that I couldn’t make it another day. A perfect storm of circumstances and my own self-will had driven me to an edge where I would either step off into a place of trust in something greater or I would not be able get back up.
That wake up was the big one but the habit force is strong and I still slip into small-mindedness 100 times per day, sometimes for days at a time. Fortunately, I had found people who love me enough to call me on my BS. They have also helped me find the tools – prayer, mindfulness, service and a daily inventory – that bring me back.
Today, I have no fear that I am not enough because I know that I am not alone.