This is a saying, that I haven’t thought about for a while, favored by a family member. It popped back in to my space a few weeks ago and has come in and out of some conversations with different people in my life so I thought “This is probably no accident.”
The Universe has got this!
It’s all in God’s hands now.
Whatever will be will be.
Everything happens for a reason.
Trust the process.
We all know the meaning….the events around us are part of a bigger plan. We aren’t running the game. It’s run by God, the Universe, or whatever you call your personal higher power. At the center of it, for me, the terrifying meaning of those phrases has always been “I am not in control.” Now this was not a pill that I swallowed easily. It was the big, awkward capsule that made me gag and got stuck in my throat. After all, my illusion of control was what got me through some very tough times, and perhaps the biggest lie I told myself for a very long time. I decide. It’s up to me. If I just commit and work hard enough, it will happen. And for the most part, I was rewarded for that train of thought: as a young woman frequently taking on the role of mother for myself and my brothers; in my late 20’s as a newly divorced single mother of two; in my 30’s starting a business in a predominately male oriented industry. Shit had to get done, and I had to be the one to do it. If I didn’t, bad things happened. We didn’t have food on the table for dinner. The kids wouldn’t get to practice or get their schoolwork done. Business wouldn’t just wander in the door….we had to go out and hunt for it! As I was rewarded though, I was not self-aware enough at the time to see what else was happening. I was cleverly and skillfully sabotaging any shred of trust I had in other people, the world in general, God, and the Universe. I mean really….what could all that collective consciousness do and know better than ME!?!?
Throughout this training, I keep hearing the same thing: “Trust the process.” Finally, after being on this planet for almost half a century, it was clear to me that this had to be a karmic lesson that has nothing to do with getting on stage. I should start to notice whenever that phrase, or another version of it, came up. As I cried about in my prior post “I quit and I want my money back” I was struggling with my results. My next measurement after that first letdown in February was even worse. In March, I lost a little bit of fat but now I lost muscle too! <Insert pity party here> YOU try to stay positive, workout twice a day six days a week, spend 4 hours of your only day off cooking and portioning out food all the while seeing little to no movement in your only measurable results. I really started to mind fuck myself. “Why am I doing this?” “What was I thinking?” “Why was I so public about my commitment??” And then I started to compare myself to other people in the gym. “She’s much further along than I am.” “She lifts heavier weight.” “Look how tiny she is.” Talk about a shame spiral. It was dark, and scary and closing in. It felt horrible. Every time I went there, I felt like I was betraying myself. I tried to talk myself out of it and ended up feeling like I was giving up.
I had been walking around for at least a week with what I’m sure was a creepy facade while on the inside I was twisted and torn up and freaking out. People would ask me how the training was going. I’d tell them it was going well, and inside I would be screaming “LIAR! Last month you LOST muscle!! So and so dropped 10 pounds! You dropped 2!” I’d have these conversations with myself trying to reign myself back in. I know I’m more than a number. I know there are non scale victories I’m experiencing. I know for a fact I am in such better shape than I was three months ago. I feel better, I look better, I sleep better.
I had lunch with a very good friend who was in town and we were talking about this. If I’m honest, I was ranting and raving and he was patiently waiting for me to peel myself off the wall so he could get a brilliant word in edgewise. When I finally took a breath, he went in for the kill. “Well it sounds like you need learn to trust yourself!” He sat back and smiled and I calmed down. I smiled. He’s right. Wait. He’s not. It hit me. I don’t need to trust myself. I already do trust myself. I need to trust the collective “out there” (what we referred to at lunch that day as “all y’all” or the Philly version “all youse”). What I need to do is trust that everything around me is happening for the right and perfect reason at the right and perfect time. Even if, nay especially if, I’m trying my best to control it.
So yesterday, I had to face another weigh in at the gym. My husband had the florist on speed dial and the folks in my office knew if my door was closed for the day, don’t dare ask me about it. (I know. What a baby, right!?!?) Evven, one of my trainers and very dear friends said to me “If your meant to be on that stage you will be. If you’re not, you won’t be.” I let that statement just hang there for a moment and it finally hit me. I surrendered. I instantly felt such relief. I’m doing the work. I’m doing it willingly and happily. I’m even doing it when I have other more fun things to do or when I don’t feel like it. And you know what? That’s all I can do. And on June 11th, I’ll either be on stage or I won’t.
I still believe that to make your life fulfilling you have to take action and be committed to something. Take risks. Take action. Get outside of what you’re comfortable with every now and then. That’s different from having to control everything, which none of us can really do anyway. Remember Forrest Gump? He just knew when it was time to stop running and it was smack in the middle of nowhere. I’m reminded of the saying “If we’re facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep walking.” You may or may not get where YOU thought you’d wind up, but rest assured you’ll wind up somewhere. And the path you walked on might be the only thing you needed to experience.