Overcommit and Underdeliver

“Pleasant experiences make life delightful but they don’t lead to growth in themselves.What leads to growth is painful experiences. Suffering points up an area in you where you have not yet grown, where you need to grow and be transformed and change.” – Anthony de Mello

Not long ago I committed to posting twice a week. I promptly fractured a bone in my leg (okay, it’s a micro-fracture) and while I thought being unable to walk or drive for a month would give me more computer time, it’s been the opposite. I started this blog not knowing if anyone would bother to swing by, but now I feel that I owe it to my 8 32 15 readers to live up to my promise. Not doing that stirs up the fish poop in a big way. The vicious mental chatter starts and suddenly all I can see are the things I’ve failed to do my whole life today. I have a hard time managing the reality of 24 hours with everything I want to accomplish. I tend to put out fires instead of keep my eye on the big vision. I have a hard time saying no. I struggle to make my needs a priority.

These are areas of growth for me. Big painful lessons that I am learning and relearning and learning again. My fears rear their Medusa heads and dance on my heart, laughing uproariously. What if all the amazing folks who’ve come here and shared their words, love and support don’t ever come back? What if I get unfollowed by all my Twitter friends? I’m suddenly back in grade school, wondering why no one will speak to me, my 12 year old heart broken.

I take a deep breath, notice my Vision board and see the words “Suffering is optional”. Right. I’d forgotten. Another relearning. Suffering is optional. All the abandonment, finger pointing and name calling is happening in my head. Even if it were to happen in the real world, I would be okay because suffering is optional.

I started this blog as a way to record my journey toward wholeness, toward wakefulness. No matter how many posts I squeeze into a week, I continue to walk the path, one crutch foot in front of the other. I can lessen the pressure and say that for now, I’m happy to post once a week. I can acknowledge that I am putting energy into healing my body, into starting a huge new project, into raising a child. I can acknowledge the victory over shame that allowed me, for the first time in my life, to submit a piece of writing to be published. I can trust that my tribe is alive and well, and will forgive me (even love me for) my imperfections. I can be honest about how hard it has been to ask for, and accept, all the help I’ve needed over the last few weeks. The painful experiences lead to growth, but the suffering is optional. Let it go, Alana, let it go.

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~ by Alana on March 5, 2010.

6 Responses to “Overcommit and Underdeliver”

  1. Bravo on submitting the piece for publication! Yay. I know what an effort that represents.
    And I am sorry about your leg.
    Your reminder that you are on the path, one foot in front of the other, is a balm to me … sometimes I feel so sad and lost and don’t even know where I am, but I will come back to your words: I am on the path.
    Thank you.

  2. Couldn’t have said it better myself, the “let it go” part. I, too, find it much more easy to see the perceived failings than the actual achievements. I constantly feel like I’m breaking an unspoken promise to my readers and to myself, but I know a lot of it is in my head as well. Be gentle. You are doing enough. You are enough.

  3. Lindsey – you are SO CLEARLY on the path and you gift the rest of us with windows into your journey.

    Emma – thanks for the reminder that I am enough, that I do enough. That was my mantra for a while, maybe it’s time to bring it back. We’ll just keep letting go together.

  4. I felt as if you were talking straight to me in this post. Letting go is freeing, but giving yourself permission to let go is often half the battle. Please know that even if you’re “only posting once a week” you’re still able to attract new people to your tribe. I, for one, am glad to join it!

  5. I just love this post. I am a classic “overcommitter”. I have the hardest time saying “no” to others and then I wind up cancelling a get together with someone because I feel so overwhelmed with my life. It would be far better to go easier on myself and not commit to something! What good advice and it’s good to know that others are in the same boat. Thanks so much Alana!

  6. Alana you are loved and supported just as you are, where you are. Thank you for this post, I relate to it so very much.

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