Monthly Archives: September 2017

Don’t Let It Bring You Down

There are moments in life when something is so close and yet, so far away. We see it, we feel it, we hear it, we sense it, but we are unable to get to it. This feeling is frustrating, especially depending on how much your ego thinks it wants that thing it senses. It’s right there, why can’t I get to it?

Sometimes getting from point A to point B can be impossible, it takes forever because life gets in the way. We are set out on our path, ready to accomplish all we dream of, and on the way bumps arise, monsters emerge, walls block the path, hearts break. After a while we get tired and the worst is when we get lost in all of that. We get so lost that we never get back to our original path. We forget where we were going.

As an adult, I’m learning that two things plague me the most in my life. They are the most responsible for my suffering. These two things nudge my depression. The first is consistency. I’m plagued by an inability to be consistent in my daily life. The second is limitation. Facing limitations head on can feel like a lion standing in a cage.

Interesting though that this duo plagues me the most because it seems that one is actually the remedy for the other. Consistency is the only way to break through and move past our limitations. We have to be consistent and persistent; it’s the constant pushing of human will that breaks through the ether and creates change.

If we get lost in all the paper dragons that pop up before us, if we get lost in our sorrow and anger because we have met a limitation, we will never have the will and clarity to keep going, to do the real work that is necessary to move forward. Evolution is work. It takes faith and it requires a tremendous amount of will power from us human beings.

Sometimes you can only do what you can do. It sound obvious but it is true. Sometimes you just can’t give as much as you want to. In this life we have so many limitations placed on us. Different ones at different times. They are always there though. There is always some type of limitation we face.

We are so focused these days on speaking about freedom and how you can do anything you want. Ultimately this is true, but life is not just about soaring, life is about fighting and working to break our chains. And as life would have it, we break one chain only to have another placed around our ankle, wrist, or neck.

Freedom is what we strive for but the role of limitations must be acknowledged too. They challenge us, they cause us to suffer and they are very often outside of our control. Sometimes we need to let go of what we think we want to be, of the image of who we aspire to be and just be who we are here and now in order to get to that goal.

You can never really appreciate freedom either unless you have felt what its like to have it restricted. People who have never faced limitations, or very few in their life, seem to lack a sense of appreciation for what it means to suffer. That which doesn’t kills us makes us stronger, and better. That which doesn’t kill us, frees us from the notion that life would be better without struggle.

Freedom and peace seem so close and yet so far away. It seemed like just when we thought we might unite, we divide. We have a lot of work to do but we will get there eventually. Consistency is the only way. We will keep fighting because what other choice to we have?

Over time, day by day, week by week, the flood waters of strife and limitation will recede. One moment we are drowning, floating in the ocean that has washed upon our shores, there seems no end in sight, no light, no salvation and then days later, weeks later, we are out of the water, we can breath again, our feet are safely upon solid ground. But the water doesn’t come and go without leaving its mark. We will never forget and that will forever make us grateful for where we are; anything short of drowning is a win.

Sometimes if you don’t know how bad life can really get, you may never be able to appreciate how truly wonderful it can be. The limitation game is a difficult one but one we all must play, whether we want to or not. It’s God’s game. But it’s a game we can win, day by day, with the notion that no matter what happens, we will never give up on our goals, we will keep fighting against the tide no matter what. We will get swept up in flood waters, but we will never forget where we were going when it started raining and we will get back to that path no matter how long we’ve been lost. We will find a place of true freedom, love,z and understanding in the end.

Every fall for the last 10 years, the Annie Lennox version of the song “Don’t Let it Bring you Down” speaks to my soul. Last year I heard it often as I worried about the impending implications of the election. The first year it stood out to me was 2007. I was in a film class and we were analyzing “American Beauty”. A classic film about the modern struggle and the decision to break free from limiting circumstances. Lester was tired of being bored and lifeless, so he made some changes and in the end before he died he was smiling. He overcame the limitations that had been placed on him at that point in his life and he died in peace.

The fall of 2007 was the last fall I had with my mom. She passed away the following winter. We are coming up on the 10 year anniversary of her death. Only now, after 10 years, do I feel like the flood waters are finally receding. I’m starting to feel like Chanel again and getting back to the path I was on before she died. 10 years may seem like a long time but never put a deadline on you mourning, it has a course of its own you can’t control. From the perspective of eternity, 10 years is nothing.

Just have faith, which I haven’t at times, that you will always find a way back to yourself. There will always be a way back to the path you started out on. It’s not a matter of if, only when. Time has a way of bringing you exactly where you belong. The trials will be arduous and there will be many but that is all a part of the game. In the end, we will soar like the free spirits we are, back into the universe. But until then, find the beauty in the pain, in the suffering, in the limitations we face. There is a purpose for everything in this world. Your tears are always well spent.

“Don’t let it bring you down,
It’s only castles burning,
Just find someone who’s turning,
And you will come around.”