Prying up Floorboards and Rebuilding the Puzzle

Lately things are feeling shaky. Some days I feel solid, other days I can barely keep my balance. It’s made me curious about how I can go from feeling stronger than ever, to lower than I have in a long time, in a matter of days..or hours. By leaning into this with curiosity I think I’ve had some insight.

puzzle

 

I am a puzzle.

Before my puzzle seemed complete but it didn’t make a pretty picture.
I always believed this was because my puzzle was inherently defective.
Now that I’ve looked closer I can see pieces jammed in the wrong spots.
Maybe it’s not a defective puzzle but a poorly constructed one.
Once you see the faults its uncomfortable to just leave them.
So I deconstruct.
Piece by piece I take it apart.
I’m now only a partly put together puzzle.
It’s terrifying to feel so undone.
But I have the sight and tools to build it better now.
To make the pretty picture that’s been there all along.
I’m still far from complete.
But the pieces that are in place feel more solid than ever before.

rebuild

In order to rebuild, we must first deconstruct. We need to be willing to dig deep if we want to see real change. This means being willing to see things you’ve been ignoring and others you didn’t even know were there. What I’ve realized lately is that there are things I didn’t just sweep under the rug – I tore up the floorboards, stuffed it in, nailed it down, covered that up with a rug, and walked away. Since I’m committed to see this life transformation thing through, it’s clearly time to pry up floorboards.

floorboards

The problem is this in between. I’m partly undone, while part of me is built stronger than ever. It can be great, it can be horrible; it is unstable and uncomfortable. But it is necessary.

I guess this makes sense why some days I feel I’m on solid ground while other times the ground shakes beneath me. In this moment I am both solid and broken.

The whole self transformation process has dug up more than I ever expected when I picked up the shovel. But I like to believe these pieces only come apart when we have the strength to endure it and the ability to rebuild.

I am a puzzle.

But I am not just falling apart. I am deconstructing. I am rebuilding.

The Trials and Tribulations of Life as a Dragon

I knew this week would be a challenge at work, and although I was feeling far from dragon-y this week, I did manage to coax the dragon to a meeting where I presented information about an unwelcome change. I have been better at being a dragon at work over the last year, but prior to that I was one pro-looking mouse, so it’s no wonder that some people found my dragon-stance a bit shocking.

mouse

My first reaction was to beat myself up, assuming I did something wrong because of the response I received. I was back to obsessing; “If I had only done better, it would have gone better.” But the fact is, I spoke the truth (even though my voice shook) and they simply didn’t want to hear it – I can’t own their response, that’s their stuff. A valuable lesson that I’ve learned I’m learning is that we are not responsible for managing other people’s emotions, and we shouldn’t be trying to.

voiceI’m proud of myself for being a dragon even when it wasn’t easy. (Yay for commit stage – See here for more info on the stages of the readiness for change by Dr. E. A. Wilson: Wish-Want-Commit) Dealing with the consequences of doing so have been challenging though because I still struggle with wanting everyone’s approval, needing to make everyone happy, feeling unsafe when others are upset, fearing rejection, and the list goes on. It certainly helped me understand why I was a mouse for so long and why it’s so easy to get stuck in that role. However, by being a dragon and facing these consequences head on, and persevering, it has helped me challenge those beliefs and move past those fears. From this experience alone I already feel more secure with the idea of people being upset with me, and less like I need approval from everyone to keep my worth. It’s empowering to even entertain the idea that my worth could be unshaken by external forces, and I would never be moving in this direction had I kept my mouth shut.

approval

The dragon life is hard work, but nibbling on cheese never got me close to flying.