Wisdom gleaned from busted stuff

“Cloud Man” by Jack Earl, in the permanent collection of Canton Museum of Art

I think that life (the universe, god, goddess… plug your term in here)
talks to me. The messages come thru dreams, thru insights, in surprising, “Where did that come from” sort of thoughts. Lately she’s talking to me thru busted stuff.
In the past month, my computer has died, my car cacked three times, my phone is losing its mind, there’s a huge crack in my windshield and I just broke a tooth. It all hasn’t been terribly upsetting until the car broke for the 3rd time yesterday. Then I started wondering, “what the hell is going on here?!
Last night, I was pondering what all this broken stuff means. I’m generally so lucky. Things so often go my way, or so I believe. But right now things aren’t and I needed to get to the bottom of it. Lately, I’ve also been a bit stuck to get moving on some new projects. I’m having trouble getting into tackling this new venture in front of me. Instead of getting work done, I daydream, play on the (now fixed) computer, dawdle, make excuses and feel frustrated. So besides my run of broken things, I’m stumbling a bit on some work that feels right and important to me.
Now you might want to say to me, “Stuff breaks, su… get over it.” I do agree that things do break but this has been quite a barrage. When things get weirdly and noticeably different that my usual, I do look for a meaning. If there’s not a message in the storm of weirdness, I want to know if I’m playing a part or if there’s something I can do to make my life better. It’s never been my way to just sit back and say, “Life sucks. Poor me. I think I’ll give up.” I try to find answers. I want to learn, grow and improve thru my whole life… so I try to figure the odd frustrating things out for the lessons that may be in them.
Before I left on my last road trip (the time when the stuff started breaking) I had begun reading a really encouraging book. Somehow in the midst of all the busted stuff, I had put the book aside. Last night, I decided to crawl into bed and pick up that book, by author Kyle Cease, “ I Hope I Screw This Up: How Falling In Love with Your Fears Can Change the World.”
I had left off somewhere in the middle so just opened to my bookmark and jumped by in at the point where he was calling me to take some action, in this case, do a bit of inventory. Maybe that had a bearing on why I had quit reading before? 😉
Cease suggested taking two pieces of paper. Lay them side by side on the desk. On the left hand page, write the things you want…. things you want to do, to have, to accomplish, to experience. He suggests only taking the positive slant. “I want enough money to travel and live comfortably.” Not “I don’t want to be broke anymore. “
This page was fun. All the things I wrote down were exciting, positive, my dreams. Then Cease asked me to write my excuses for not doing the things I dream about on the right hand page. So if the item on my “I want” page is to travel, what’s standing in my way, what’s my excuse for not traveling… no money, no time from work. I went dream by dream and wrote my excuses on page number 2. This page wasn’t so fun. I found my excuses to often be the same… no money, no time and repeatedly as I got into it, I was owning that I was just afraid. Fear is keeping me from my dreams.
I barely finished page two as my head hurt and I almost felt panicked. Everything I want to do, it seems I’m not doing in a large part due to fear. REALLY??? If you had asked me the same question before completing the exercise, I would have tried to tell you the story I tell myself that I’m taking steps every day to make these new things happen. “I’m getting really close to making it all happen.” But after completing my assignment from Cease, it appears that I’m not getting anywhere because of fear.
Hmmm. Now how does this realization tie into my barrage of busted stuff? Well, it’s interesting to me because the things that are critical to my moving ahead into this new venture are my car, my computer, my phone, my appearance and money. Yes, getting all the busted stuff fixed has been expensive so money is in a sense “busted” too. Somehow, life has sent me a message by breaking all my toys, my tools to move into this next phase. Is this a sign of sorts that maybe I’m going in the wrong direction?
No, I don’t think so. I might have considered that until I did the book exercise last night. I think the universe wanted me to see and own how large my fears have grown while I’ve been busy denying them. Trying to begin something so exciting with all this fear floating around is like building a new house on a crumbling foundation. I somehow needed to identify, own and now let go of the fears to begin fresh.
What is fear? Just an emotion… albeit an important one if you’re marching blindly towards danger. But there’s no real danger on this new path. Of course, there is a chance of failure but that’s not a reason to not try. Fear is an old adversary of mine. Fear has paralyzed me since I was a kid. I’ve done a lot of work years ago on this liar in order to disempower my fears and move ahead. But somehow… fear seems to have grappled some power back while I wasn’t looking.
My pride might have hidden the fear from me. “I’m past all that stuff.” Yeah, well, the past can come back and in my case, and for many of us, lessons learned long ago sometimes need learned again. As we change, grow, evolve, old nemeses can show back up in different forms. This time, my fear was so subtle, I didn’t even see it. But thanks to Kyle Cease and my long list of broken “necessities,” I’m seeing a lot more clearly now.
Now it all makes some sense to me. All the busted stuff is to get my attention. My car is very old. I hoped to buy a new one once this new venture got going… but I was afraid I wouldn’t succeed and wouldn’t have the money to buy the car. Ditto on the computer, the phone… all things I “desperately need” to get moving in this new direction. But honestly, they’re just things. It’s all just stuff. Stuff can be fixed, repaired and replaced. The critical part to the plan is me with all my lovely big dreams. Thanks to all these bumps in the road and taking time to gather some wise insight, I believe I am not broken. I just got a bit delayed.
So, I am focusing on the page 1 “I want” list and I might set fire to the page 2 of excuses. I have inside me all the tools necessary to bring my dreams to fruition. I just needed to remember.

Some info about author, comedian, motivational speaker, Kyle Cease. In addition to the book, I’m reading, he’s got some great resources on his website, including a lovely offer on recordings from a 2 day workshop for $20. I’m going to check that out as soon as my busted phone manages to update itself. #KyleCease

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