Trust in what’s difficult
New York is such a harrowing place sometimes. I have a very intense love hate relationship with this city. At the moment, with winter stretching on and on, it’s frankly hard not to feel sick of it. Yes I know it’s magical and cosmopolitan and exciting but it’s also cold and noisy and incessant. Life can feel hard here. It can be expensive, it’s packed with people. I think I mentioned the weather is brutal. I used to have this idea that if things in life were right, and are “meant” to be, then they would be easy, they would flow. But here in fickle New York, it can be hard to find that flow or that ease. So then given my beliefs I begin to wonder, is this place right for me? Is it just too hard?
Rillke said trust in what is difficult. By engaging with the difficulty, with the challenge, we learn and grow and create. In our greatest hardships and challenges are our biggest and brightest lessons. And those really become the gold that makes us who we are. Sometimes when we make choices in our lives, we are inclined to go for what’s easiest. But turning our backs on a life because it appears to be too difficult maybe allows you to avoid something about yourself. It can be so easy to say this person is too hard, this work is too much, this place is too intense but maybe it’s not actually the difficulty that is the problem.
Because we are all strong, capable, resilient beings. And we can handle a lot. Maybe we focus on the feeling of frustration around it all being too hard, too much and use that to tell ourselves that whatever it is, is not right. Maybe this is a more comfortable feeling for us rather than being confronted over and over with the reality that you are scared that you can’t have the life that you want. The fear and vulnerability around how much you want it to work, with the person, with the place, with the job can be intense. And of course we will look around us for signs and clues that everything is wrong because wouldn’t it be a relief sometimes to just throw your hands up and say enough is enough and just walk away. Maybe go somewhere quiet, remote and cheap and live a much simpler life. Leaving it all – people, jobs, places behind. Except of course in this most remote, quiet and peaceful place you find you will no doubt be challenged in other ways and again and still be confronted by your fears and vulnerabilities.
I don’t know if it’s because I’m a Capricorn but there is something that resonates for me in not always expecting life to be easy all the time. We’re a pretty gloomy bunch us Capricorns but we know a thing or too about drudgery and focusing on the long term triumphs rather than the short term troubles. If we have to work for the things we want in our lives, if we have to care for them and yearn for them and wait for them and tend to them then in all of these ways we are showing ourselves, the universe; how much our lives and the things that we want mean to us. Hard work in relationships where you keep recommitting over and over again to go through the darker, harder more vulnerable stuff, builds trust, commitment and deep profound love and respect. Going deep, opening dark places up, shining light on the heaviness, the fear, the worry is how all of that stuff transforms, becomes much less scary and allows light and love to seep in.
Back to New York and I guess I need to recommit to the city again. Yes it’s hard, yes it’s confronting, yes it’s bloody frustrating at times but, like a friend asked me the other day, where else in the world would I want to be? And even if I can’t explain it or don’t understand it, it really does seem like I want to be here. There’s a reason I came and am staying, and for that I will keep trusting it’s right. I just really hope winter will end soon!