In all its glory, life is messy.
We try to keep it neat, constrained and planned in pursuit of my least favourite word, perfection. This is not only exhausting but terribly futile and actually contributes to some of the "mess"...a reed that stays rigid in the wind will break into pieces.
Holding onto our plans and ideas of perfection creates hardship and disappointment. It’s tantamount to beating ourselves up because the razor sharp truth is that nothing works out exactly how you thought it would. Life happens, with or without you.
Pema Chödrön speaks about how, in the ocean of life, we desperately try to hold on to land instead of riding the waves. My own workings of this has been to focus on my vehicle of transportation, my raft/surfboard/boat/ME. I do my utmost to collect the facets of my life that I need to make my vessel (me) functionally strong - movement, love, passion, nourishment, personal clarity, my noise-canceling headphones, to name a few. These are things I can “control"...Eek, we need to lose this word too! How about manage? These are the things I have the ability to manage in my life, things I can carry onto my life boat, me.
To simplify, the rest is either land or the ocean - other people/circumstances/environments. And then there is weather, creating change, upheaval, possibility, healing, growth, cold, warmth.
Perfection is an illusion. We get an inkling of it every now and then, thinking we can keep it, that we must keep it. We can not. That's where we go wrong, forcing the good to be our only way, trying to "connect the dots looking forward" without allowing them/life to play out. Good and bad are both a part of the same party! Just as we put on boots, jackets & scarves, we truly need to layer to traverse ”going with the flow" or "weather a storm". Our weatherproofing muscles can meet the constant flux without constant erosion.
My practical suggestion is to always have a few external plans and the stability within your vessel to accept that none of them may pan out.
What makes you physically, mentally, spiritually, professionally, personally, emotionally stable? Pick six things your life boat needs to manage the ride.
Life is messy.
Move through the experience by keeping the physical manifestation of you, your body, happy.
"... that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life."