Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Physics of the Quest

It's been awhile since I've quoted Elizabeth Gilbert ... if only she knew how prominent a voice and presence she has been in my life the last few years. Especially the latter half of this quote tonight:

“I've come to believe that there exists in the universe something I call 'The Physics of The Quest'— a force of nature governed by laws as real as the laws of gravity or momentum. And the rule of Quest Physics maybe goes like this: 'If you are brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting(which can be anything from your house to your bitter old resentments)and set out on a truth-seeking journey (either externally or internally), and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue, and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher, and if you are prepared — most of all — to face (and forgive) some very difficult realities about yourself....then truth will not be withheld from you.' Or so I've come to believe.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert

I've been on a "journey" of sorts for awhile now. But the truth is, I'm only now facing things I've been avoiding for years and years. And what's more, the universe is throwing so many different things at me at once, it's hard to breathe some days. Like today.

They're not all bad things, but a lot of them are very hard things. I guess if nothing else, it's teaching me that if I keep leaving loose ends my whole life — unfixed issues, unrealized fears, unfelt emotions, unclosed chapters, unhealed scars —They will, indeed, find me. And they'll often be magnified ... and will often pull the rug right out from under me. At least, the last few instances have. The "good" thing is, it gets my attention, which, I'm sure is exactly what that higher power has intended. Because I'm awfully good at pretending those loose ends and issues aren't there. I'm good at evading. But in many ways, over the last several months, things have happened to me or I've experienced things that made me finally "see." Whether it was seeing I was in something unhealthy. Whether it was seeing I had some very deep seated issues with intimacy, whether it was seeing I had scars that go way back as well as more recent ones I hadn't wanted to face, or whether it was coming face to face with my own shortfalls, fixations, selfish aspects and insecurities ... my own fears.

Regardless, in the last seven or eight months, I've felt like the woman I see in the mirror when I stand before my boxing bag — my wrists and knuckles wrapped in black, my hair swept back and my body completely on guard, adrenaline pulsing through me as I wait for the next imagined move, as I deliver a punch to every hurdle, as I block myself from every hit ... but not always in time ... not always quick enough to avoid the air being knocked out of me. Yet I always get back up. This unhealthy place I was once in ... yeah, I got back up. The hurts I've caused, I'm learning from. The pain I feel now, the pain I've felt before, the ways I've been hit in the past, I've learned how to swivel around ... the ways I've hit back, the ways I've risen from a blow ... all of it. All of it reminds me of that woman in the mirror.

In those moments, when I am punching that bag, I feel invincible. When all other times, I feel weak and vulnerable. And I wish I could hold on to those moments long after I leave my hand wraps on the table, after I towel my face off and look at my eyes in mirror — dark, grounded, strong, fierce, passionate, peaceful — I wish I could keep her front and center. One day I will.

That day is just not today.

But knowing she's within me ... actually seeing her in those moments ...  that is worth the work and the wait.

However, along this journey I've been on, I've not always chosen to see everyone I've encountered as a teacher. I've chosen to see some as such, here and there, but I haven't chosen to see them all that way. And I certainly haven't always been ready to face the tough realities or harsh truths about myself that I am facing more and more today ... the ways in which I've run, the ways in which I've hurt, the ways in which I've let my own issues and fears dictate my actions, etc. for a long time. But, I guess all I can say now is, better late ... than never.

And the universe seems to agree ... and I think, quite frankly, has run out of patience for me. I can be exasperatingly stubborn.

But glancing back on my timeline, once the rug is ripped out from under me or my face has been slapped, I've learned the lesson at hand. I've learned it hard, but I've learned it. So, Elizabeth ... yes. I'm going to try my hardest to see everyone and everything as a teacher. I've always craved to learn every single day, craved to expand. And here it's been, in my face, constantly ... in those around me, those important to me ... even those in passing. And I've only caught a handful of lessons ... when there have been so many more to learn.

So as I keep walking, facing hurdles and searching for that strength while trying my hardest not to revert to my past "easy way outs," I'll continue to keep the wise Gilbert's words in mind ...

And I will keep boxing.



  1. This resonated with me in ways that I can't even begin to describe...everything about it is beautiful and amazing. You're incredibly gifted and deep. I look forward to reading more of your blog in the future.

    1. Thank you. That means a lot. I've been enjoying many of your posts as well. They're a comfort, actually, for many reasons ... and familiar in a lot of ways. You're very gifted and inspiring.

      And thanks for reading.