Technically, the “right” thing to do, the very “self-helpy” thing to do when one is in the midst of confusion would be to get grounded, immediately and as quickly as possible.
And as I imagine you do, too, I haaaate it when I’m feel disconnected from who I know I truly am, when I’m walking unmoored in a space of not knowing my place in the world.
A few times a year, it happens. I find myself confronting groundlessness. All of my courage and Buddhist practices rise up and confront me and I don’t feel like I can lean into any of them.
Mindfulness? Pfft. Courage? Ugh.
This is all very human, and it’s hard being a human.
What gives me comfort at such times—what I hope gives you comfort, too—is drawing power from my discontent.
The Power of Your Discontent
If you decide that numbing out is not an option, eventually, you’ll get either sad or pissed.
If you get pissed, you’ll be profoundly uncomfortable but you’ll also be firing up the burners for reconnecting with the part of you that says: No. Abso-fucking-lutely not. I’ve gone as far as I can go, and I’m not going to go any farther.
The power of your discontent—of mine—of the discontent behind any movement—is that if you keep the channel open, that discontent can transform itself.
No. No more.
At the moment when you know you won’t take it for another second, you’re officially defining your future.
This is how you start a revolution, from within.
So at the same time that I often feel lost when I’m in the midst of discontent, I’m also waiting for when the tide will turn. I know that if I struggle enough with something, and if I keep waiting, there will be this moment of transformation—the discontent into action—that hits.
When the truth-truth-truth comes knocking at your door, you know that life is about to get real.
These moments of reckoning are hard, but they’re everything when you know the gold that lies within them.
The next time you’re in the midst of flailing, keep your senses attuned for when that fierceness within you dares to rise. Don’t shut it down. Welcome it. See it as the next step in a process that says: No more.