I've been thinking a lot recently about an article I read on 'why lying broken in a pile on your bedroom floor is a good idea'. I've had different view points on this depending on where I'm at in my life. I see people every day coping with massive challenges and just 'getting on with it', and yet I also see people hiding their problems only to find they explode later on. What is the best way?
We live in a culture where we are proud to 'Keep Calm and Carry On', despite the challenges we meet along the way. We try not to burden others with our problems and we try our hardest not to let the cracks show. But sometimes this is the worst possible thing to do. There are times in life when you just need to keep going. However, when the emotion builds up it needs a release, whether it's through talking to a friend, exercising, doing something creative. A lot of the time we hold on just long enough and then let go in an unhealthy way through drinking, eating or partying (excessively), and then carry on again doing the same thing we were doing before and feeling the same way. There is no change, just keep going, escape a little, keep going.
As a culture, we often look at vulnerability as a weakness and try not to show it. We think we should 'carry on' because that's what we have been indoctrinated to do! However, letting yourself to break down is empowering because it allows you to build yourself up again, and that's when the fun starts. My favourite line from a song is 'when you have nothing you have nothing to lose', I have been on the best adventures and had the most amazing experiences as a result of this mindset, using the downs to fuel me on to the ups and help me change the situation. Embrace the collapse because when you are broken, when you have nothing... you have all the possibilities and nothing holding you back!
There is a Hindu goddess called Akhilandeshwari, 'The Goddess of Never Not Broken', who teaches us this important lesson. She is in constant flux, breaking apart, spinning herself into a whirlwind in an attempt to get closer to God, and riding a crocodile as a symbol of the fear inside us, our reptilian brain. Rather than give in to this fear she rides it. And rather than hold it all together, she embraces the breaking apart and uses her fear to literally ride forward in her life.
So, I don't think 'Keep Calm and Carry On' is a very good mantra! Fall apart, embrace the fear, and move forward every time! Life isn't about carrying on it's about change, and without challenge there wouldn't be any change.