sometimes i ask to sneak a closer look
skip to the final chapter of the book
and then maybe steer us clear from some of the pain it took
to get us where we are this far
but the question drowns in its futility
and even i have got to laugh at me
no one gets to miss the storm of what will be
just holding on for the ride
the wood is tired and the wood is old
we’ll make it fine if the weather holds
but if the weather holds we’ll have missed the point
that’s where i need to go

Indigo Girls

Lately, I have been finding myself snared by an incredible, efficient thinking-person’s trap. “Here is a reasoned explanation of why this circumstance is not fair, isn’t my fault, there’s nothing I can do, I don’t know what to do, i’m exhausted from all this responsibility so i’m giving up” trap.

It starts by not seeing these as excuses snatching me away from taking on the weather of living my life wild, way out beyond conventional expectations.

I don’t see them as excuses because I have been believing that excuses are like lies, that i’ll l be able to spot an excuse, a way i’m letting myself off the hook or defeating myself by the mark of untruth in what i’m saying. I put all my focus on uncovering the fallacies and self-deceit all the while the excuses sit in plain sight as completely legitimate accountings of the difficulties and unfairnesses and uncertainties in the rigour of being who i say i want to be and doing what i say i want to do.

I *am* tired. And scared. Bruised and battered and forgetting over and over that I choose to be way out here where there are less rules and less people who can see what you need or what you’re trying to do. It’s true that i’m having lonely moments and feeling thin and flayed. It’s true that a lot of it is unfair, that it’s hard. And that I don’t always know what to do.

But just because they are *true* doesn’t mean they aren’t excuses.

I *like* my intelligence. It has been one of my strongest and most reliable allies in my inner growth and general achievement in life. But it has this pitfall: my reasoning for why i can’t do something (or shouldn’t have to) or for procrastinating are air-tight, inarguably accurate representations of the snares, conundrums, complexities and obstacles that are inherent in achieving the stuff that matters.

I have a really hard time with this. Not that the stuff that matters is hard, but that it sticks my nose in the stench of life’s unfairness, it’s un-answer-ables and how we struggle and hurt for it -any excuse I make to get out of this trail of despair and out of responsibility for doing it anyway and bring the wonder, be the source of what i want – takes me out of my integrity.

Whenever I say ‘it’s not fair? what am i supposed to do?’ I become unqualified for the job of being who I want to be since a fundamental part of that job is figuring out what to do whether it’s fair or not.

Whenever I get into a conversation with someone about why I’m not avoiding something – the more scared i am of what is being asked of me the more likely i am to win the argument in defense of my limitations. the better i am at spotting incredibly *good* reasons to avoid the challenge all together.

And at first, and for a while, it feels reassuring to be able to win that conversation that talks me out of being able to move forward or doing anything at all or stay mired in self-pity or self-reproach, I don’t have to bear full responsibility, which is an instant form of relief when i’m in any form of panic or uncertainty. All without admitting to being scared or feeling helpless – you see, it’s not *my* fault – it’s these very good reasons. I still get to keep my self image of being capable, or strong or brave or honest and showing up to the subtler and more intense layers that are left to me now because excuses are lies we tell ourself and i’m just addressing real issues. A self-image that drains of any substance or evidence the more I stay bound to my reasons.

and no matter how many times i hear the lesson that successful people don’t make excuses, that successful people feel the fear and do it anyway, successful people don’t say ‘i just need more time’ or ‘i need this thing to change first’ or ‘i need to know how it will turn out first’ It never really applies to me because i’m not making excuses – i’d know if i was because excuses are dishonest and i’m just perceiving the realities, the limitations as they are. There’s nothing I can do.

But there’s a voice in me that isn’t concerned much with success or being right. A wild voice that is more like weather than words. It sings me this song

It tells me that my tears and fears and ‘i don’t wanna’s are just part of the weather. It tells me whether i’m right or not, not to miss the point.

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