Today I listened to a friend. I mean, really listened.
As she shared her frustration with me, she told me about a problem that had been brewing for awhile. She’d reached a point where it was time to make some changes. To have that difficult conversation and clear the air. The tension had built up in her and could no longer be ignored.
What I really heard was that she was still hurt. And she wanted someone to fix it.
I offered sympathy and a suggestion: what if needing someone else to fix our hurt only hurt us more? What if the energy we spent on expecting others to do things differently only robbed us of what we need to look within?
Unfortunately, I have plenty of experience in this department. I spent many years trying to get people to do what I wanted/needed/expected them to do. The more I tried, the worse things got. I ran my self-will right into a brick wall, and the devastation has been more than I could handle. The grief and shame and guilt, the mess I created was what it took to crack my crusty heart open and cry out from my soul… HELP!! PLEASE HELP!
That was about 5 years ago, and it turns out that place of surrender is where all the miracles happen. It turns out the broken hearted, crushed in spirit, really devastated folks actually have an advantage in the spiritual realm. It turns out that “first will be last, and last first” and “blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” aren’t just catchy phrases.
The reality is that those who think they have it together, resist the idea of surrender. Be it pride, ego or fear of the unknown, they’re lacking the proper motivation. When I’ve hit rock bottom and reached the end of my rope, when I cry out involuntarily, that is when I’m finally in a position to receive some help. And it almost never looks how I think it should look. It rarely involves other people changing to meet my expectations. It always has to do with my part, my side of the street. It’s an inside job.
And I’m grateful, because that’s where the problem in my Life really lies, inside my own broken heart.