Today’s post was written by guest blogger, Emily Long. Emily is a Social Media Assistant and Time Rescuer for entrepreneurs and creative people who’d rather spend their precious time on their genius work. Emily is also a published poet and writer. Click here to find her on Twitter.
Someone said to me recently how amazed she was because I seemed to have it all together. She told me I am focused and clear about what I’m doing.
In actuality, I’m making my life up as I go and shifting directions all the time. After many years of mastering how to hold it all together, I’ve spent the last couple years learning to fall apart. (Yes, I wrote “LEARNING” to fall apart.)
What I learned is that falling apart is highly underrated.
For years falling apart meant having to face uncertainty and trusting myself to be able to handle whatever came up. I wasn’t willing to go there. So I simply refused to do it.
I clung desperately to things, relationships, places, and jobs even when I knew I needed to let them go. I stayed insanely busy to avoid thinking about how unhappy I was with much of my life. I stayed busy to avoid years of grief and tears that were buried inside waiting for me to fall apart and release them.
On the surface, I appeared successful and put together. I appeared productive and focused. I was. I was successful, put together, productive, and focused on a path that was not my soul path. Not allowing myself to fall apart was keeping me miserable.
I remember clearly the first time I really allowed myself to fall apart. It wasn’t very pretty. I got in my car one night after work and drove nearly 5 hours to the beach. I sat on the beach and sobbed. The blotchy, snot all over your face, gasping for breath kind of sobbing.
I cried for loved ones who had died through the years. I cried for the pain I’d experienced as a child. I cried for knowing that I hated where I lived. I cried for knowing that many of the relationships in my life weren’t healthy ones. I cried for knowing that I was on the wrong career path and didn’t know how to get off. I cried for everything and nothing.
Then I got back in my car and went back to the life I hated.
My hour of falling apart didn’t magically change everything for me. It simply opened up space for change to start. Most importantly, it taught me that I could fall apart and still be okay. I still practice the art of falling apart – but now I do it with a little more grace and acceptance. Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way…
• Falling apart can take different forms.
Falling apart can be internal – taking down protective walls around my heart, releasing limiting beliefs, or simply letting myself cry.
Other times it’s external – quitting the profession I hated, letting go of relationships, getting rid of all the furniture and stuff I no longer liked, or moving to a new state (although, most external falling apart is really an out picturing of internal falling apart).
• Falling apart can be terrifying and messy and chaotic. Or not.
Falling apart isn’t about drama. It’s about release.
Falling apart is the release of what isn’t working in my life. It can be something big or something very simple. I’ve learned that I know more, and can handle more, than I give myself credit for. And that falling apart gets easier with practice.
• Being “in control” makes me feel safe. That’s pretty much the only benefit.
Falling apart, however, has countless benefits. It opens me up. It reconnects me with my heart and soul. It shows me the wisdom and courage I already have. It clears out all the muck I hold inside. Falling apart is healing. It allows me to grow and expand. It shows me beauty and joy and delight. It lightens me.
• Falling apart can create space for something new (and better.)
A mentor of mine talks about trusting passionately in the chaos of the process. That’s what falling apart means for me – trusting passionately in the chaos of my process. Life is all a process. Trusting in that process brings so much freedom and joy.
Trust your process. Un-tether your wings. Discover your joy. Fall apart.