Thursday, August 2, 2012

Olympic Failures

The pain is searing, sharp and stabbing and then the ache sets in, like being pummeled by several Olympic boxers at once on my shoulder back and arm. Except the ache doesn't dissipate. It stays and the weight of my arm becomes unbearable. The weight of my head is impossible. All I can do is lie as still as possible...
and watch amazing athletes perform stunning feats of physical wizardry in the Olympics.

This is what I get for writing hunched over my laptop. This past week I discovered I now have readers in 17 countries around the world, including Poland, Germany, UK, France, Malaysia, Panama, Venezuela, and an especially large readership in Russia. I am stunned to see an international map light up in my blog source tracker (I can only see where from, not who.) I am delighted, elated and humbled. I am grateful and inspired. I suddenly feel much more responsible for being consistent, concise and impactful in my writing. I declare to continue writing everyday and to see and share the inspirational aspects of life. I create the game of having a book, a career as a professional writer.

Then the pain starts. Ironic, I think, that as soon as I create a bigger game, I am thrilled and ready to go....I have a new problem. I have frustration and I am not fulfilling on the game I said I would play, which is writing EVERYDAY, and elevating my level of writing to get a book deal. I have a bulging disc in my neck and a pinched nerve and my husband bans me from the computer for almost a week. I am frustrated and resentful at first, and then when I have a set back in the healing from trying to cook or something, and the doctor tells me I could cause permanent nerve damage, when I am crying just from picking up a water glass, when I wake up at three in the morning from pain and it is impossible to sleep for what seems like forever...I get it. Time to heal. That's it.

I also realize it's not a bad problem to have. Not the pain, but the desire to write and the inability not to, failure in my game. I created that.

In life, we strive to solve all our problems. We think it's bad to have problems. But, in fact we are only constantly creating our own problems, and more of them. What I got from a Landmark seminar was that I thought I had to solve the problem of doing good in school as a kid by getting into a good prep school. Then, once I was there I had a new problem of having to do well there so I could get into a good college. Once I did that I had the problem of doing well there so I could get a good job. Once I did that I had the problem of doing the work well so I could get a promotion and raise or have my own company, and then pay employees etc....get married? The problem is to stay married...or have kids...then make enough money to pay for everything...or have the problem of wanting to be a writer? Once you are then you have deadlines and book tours and readers who are expecting empowering perspectives that make a difference for their lives. That's the problem I am living into. The one I am creating for myself.That's a problem that is scares me but enlivens me at the same time.

See, as long as we are alive, we have problems. The question is, do we have problems that are worthy of our life? Whether we succeed or fail, are they problems worthy of our journey? No matter what? Win or lose. Are we creating the kind that awaken and aliven us or are we surviving our problems?

I created the problem of being a writer and having the frustration that I "can't write". I created having readers around the world! Inside of that, I can see an empowering context for myself. I, me, moi, CREATED the pain even. Seeing the pain as my creation, I can be with it, relax and heal. I am not a victim of myself. If I "lose" at it and never get a book deal, the journey itself is worth it. I am the creator of my life, aches and pains, triumphs and joy and all. I hope the Olympic athletes who don't win...who "fail" this week see that too, that they created their life, no matter what happens, THEY put themselves there and created that fail...and they can celebrate that! (It's not a small thing to go to the Olympics! Not many can say I am an Olympic Loser!) If you are going to lose or fail, you might as well go big. One time, when I lost at something, my coach inspired me to shout, " I am an AWESOME LOSER!!!" With freedom and joy in my heart I really got that I was awesome, and I lost. The point was I played awesomely. I played at something that mattered to me. And I reveled in my awesome loser-ness and found freedom to be me.

Whether it's in bed, like me surrounded by three amazing boys and an incredible husband and lovely friend who want me to be comfortable and heal, or on the court, surrounded by coaches and disappointed but loving fans, who believe in them still, we create our life, we can embrace our life, pain and problems, small or Olympic sized failures and all.

Zen Honeycutt

No comments:

Post a Comment