1. You are not alone. Whether you know it or not, you have all sorts of supportive friends around you. I found this was true even though I had few when my breakdown began. If you seek them, they will, indeed, show up. Supportive friends make the ride so much easier. In fact, they are critical.
2. It’s OK to be in the Void for a while … The Void, while scary at first, is an enormously creative place. If you can tolerate the stillness, eventually life returns. Ideas drop in. Joy arises. Feel free to stretch out and hang for a while. It’s a great place to heal.
3. You don’t have to know the answers right now. Or ever, really. You just have to know what you know right now. Also keep in mind that you will, indeed, be fine. This has been a particularly important lesson for this ‘information storm trooper’, who has spent her life actively chasing information and knowledge.
4. Grace happens when you least expect it. Again and again I have been surprised by the incredible generosity of others, which always magically arrives at just the right moment in ways I couldn’t even plan or hope for. This grace seems to be linked to being in the flow, the enjoyment of life. Reminder: God wants us to be happy! So go with the flow!
5. We won’t get ‘there’ by striving (wherever ‘there’ is.) Instead, what if life was like a great take out delivery? You decide you want Chinese, you make a call, then sit down to watch TV. Suddenly at just the perfect moment the doorbell rings and in comes steaming Moo Shu Pork. While having goals and ideas is commendable, pushing doesn’t work. Making the request and allowing it to be delivered does. Again … a vote for going with the flow.
6. You are whole and perfect just as you are. Yeah, we all have rough edges. Every day I say a prayer asking that my character defects be removed. Meanwhile, this is what we’ve got to work with. So let us accept our various scars and wounds, and all those messy character traits that make life hard sometimes. As long as we do our best to do no harm, and to show up honestly and in good faith, the rest truly will be taken care of. Don’t forget your innate perfection … it’s a key to letting go.
7. You truly have everything you need right now. It may not look like it, but I’m here to vouch for this fact. My own breakdown meant two years of living extremely simply, which became an unexpected delight. I discovered low cost pleasures like consignment clothing, my dumb phone and camping. And even living with a dear friend. More importantly, I found I was liberated. I no longer did things ‘just for the money’, and began to tune into the true pleasures in life. Then, when I started to need money, employment showed up again … right on time. For this is the flow of life. If you can push past your fear, you will see you do, indeed, have enough right here and right now.
8. Freedom is the point. Janis Joplin wails, “Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.” But personally, I felt richer than I ever could have imagined during my breakdown. While I didn’t have much by some standards, i.e. a house, a mortgage, or even a family nearby, I truly appreciated my life and I was able to wake up each day feeling taken care of and fulfilled … even when I was grieving.
So yeah, there’s an end to the rainbow if you follow it. And ironically it’s about seizing what is here and now. That’s my invitation to you in this moment, this hour, this day, my dear friend. Enjoy!