What are you ready to destroy, burn up, leave behind?
I have been thinking about the so-called “destructive” urges, and how I resist them. Perhaps you do, too. Perhaps you think of destruction as negative, violent, hostile, aggressive.
And…maybe not. Maybe we do the world a kindness when we raze something to the ground when it’s no longer structurally sound. When we’ve been tolerating it for far, far too long. When we’ve tried every avenue for working around, working with, and working through, and the exhaustion can no longer be borne.
There can be different flavors of destruction.
Sometimes destruction is expressed as sheer waste. It takes something full of potential and tramples it, kills it off with no regard for or respect for its inherent life force. That’s the kind of destruction that I learned, early on: Someone crossed me, I’d put them in their place. I’d let them have it. I’d burn bridges to save my pride.
The kind of destruction I’ve felt called to, lately, is the kind where I’m burning off the last of something that needs destruction because it has served its useful purpose. It’s destruction as an act of creation. I’ve looked at what it might be there to teach me, and when I surrender, instead of coming to a place of peace with it, thinking, “Ah, yes, now I can keep this around because I’m at peace,” I think, “I’m at peace–and–I just don’t need this around.”
A few things I’m destroying in the new year:
- Relationships that leave me feeling off-kilter. He-said, she-said, so-and-so said. Flimsy commitments. “Maybe” we’ll get together sometime–no follow-through. Lacking support. Triangulation dynamics. Breaking confidences. Lacking accountability. Making excuses. Going through someone else to communicate a message. Not taking ownership of behavior.
- Any expectation whatsoever that I’m to respond to all emails, text messages, or phone calls for fear of upsetting anyone. My dance card is full; I’m here to dance. We could all do well, to get off of our devices.
- Gossip. I don’t want to hear your gossip, be around you as you gossip with others in public forums, or gossip, myself.
- The barking dog who lives nearby (not literal destruction of the dog, of course). After two years of golly-gee-gosh, couldja-maybe-do something about your dog that barks for hours, please, pretty-please, with my neighbor, the formal complaints with animal services have been filed and the homeowner’s association has been contacted. Fear of not being “nice”? The flames are feeding high, burning that one.
- Pretending it didn’t happen the way that it actually happened. I know the truth. I won’t lie for you, anymore.
- The boundaries that keep me from breaking wide open. Here I am, declaring it to the Universe, knowing the risk I’m deliberately invoking: Universe, I am willing to be broken wide open, to be completely undone and undefended and tender.
- Clutter, and especially the feeling of guilt over getting rid of the clutter that I’ve been given that I specifically requested not to receive, in the first place.
- That little clammy moment of hesitation where I ask, “Is this money going to be appropriately spent?” before I donate to charity. Time to just give.
- Debt. I’m almost done paying off my student loans and my car. In 2014, they’re gone, and I’ll be debt-free.
- Assuming responsibility for what’s not mine, to save someone else from taking responsibility, themselves.
- Including everyone. This one is especially hard. I want to think of myself as “inclusive.” I’m realizing that not every person, and not every relationship, is quite right for the exact process that I’m in at any given moment. Good people, just perhaps not matches for certain life experiences.
- The shelf in my living room corner that I haven’t really liked for well over a year, yet that I leave there because I think, “I still don’t know yet what I’d put in that corner.” Same goes for the painting hanging above the television.
I have no preconceptions about what should come up to replace any of this–this isn’t a list that arises by saying, “I know what I do want, so let me destroy what I don’t want.” I only know what it’s time to let go.
What have you tended to, worked with, and examined, to realize that the natural life cycle of that relationship, that item, that belief system, has met its time for…destruction?
Deeply contemplate this, and contemplate it from the place of getting honest about what you know is worn out, lived out, tried out, wrung out, and simply does not work.