It’s Saturday morning – dark, early – and I’m in a hotel room in the desert. I’m eating a Twix bar in bed and drinking English Breakfast tea. A tiny fire burns in the tiny fireplace, fed by a fake log.
That’s my Here, that’s my Now, and I’m not thinking about the fires burning in my life.
Friends help. God helps. God helps through friends. Self-help books help.
Here’s a passage that makes me smile from one I’m loving right now, You Are Here *For Now by Adam J. Kurtz…
You Can Do It (Probably)
You are essentially a pile of bones and mush thrown into a skin bag with a face. There is no reason that you, a bunch of lumpy pieces, should come together and work. Literally at this very moment a bunch of gross parts are working in tandem to scan these shapes (letters) and combinations (words) and translate them into cohesive information that you can digest in your brain, and it all happens near instantly. I’m not a scientist but I think I can speak on behalf of the entire scientific community when I say that in some way, on some level, you are magical.
Most of us don’t spend too much time thinking about how the basic elements of our lived experience come together. We take it for granted, because it just “is,” or because thinking about it for too long can start to feel stressful. But honestly how does this all come together? Why can your skeleton move around and do stuff? Where are we in relation to the moon and planets and universe? What is the point of it all? Is there a god? Ooops, too real!
Let’s dial it back down for a second. We are here, in towns or cities, in countries, on a planet, in a solar system, in space. These are facts and we can think about them without spiraling into a full-blown existential crisis. More facts: We are bodies made up of bones and organs and tissue, and it all comes together in a package that can actually be quite attractive and do things like breathe and move and communicate. Some bodies can run very fast or carry heavy things. Some bodies innately move to the rhythm though others definitely do not. Some bodies can literally produce other bodies! It is both incomprehensible and happens a thousand times a day.
Why does this happen? How does this happen? Sure, science. Science is real and science explains the possibility and truth around our existence and the existence of things around us and the existence of things long gone and the existence of things that may come to be. But just because we understand HOW does not mean we understand WHY. The why is part of what feels like magic. Why do any of us need to be here? Why do any of us do anything? It is truly wild.
All this to say, you are here (“for now,” as established). You are alive. You are breathing and reading and moving and making and doing and sharing and being. Every single day you are essentially living a miracle, defying odds, and doing things that might be explainable but are still kind of phenomenal in the grand scheme of the universe. Which is why I can say with some level of certainty that you possess power. Innate, deeply rooted, human ability. You possess the imagination to define a dream, the intelligence to conceptualize each step, the resourcefulness to find the tools you need, and the inner strength to keep trying.
You’re already doing magical things and defying odds. This whole being-alive thing is slightly mind-boggling if you think about it too hard (which again we are NOT doing). And all this is how I know, with a degree of certainty, that you can do it.
You can do it! You can do it. Whatever it is. You can accomplish a task that feels impossible to you now, because everything else you’re doing should be impossible too, but isn’t. You can get through this difficult time because you have defied the odds after a hundred thousand years of human evolution. You can reach the heights of your imagination because you’ve avoided falling rocks and cold weather and dinosaurs and the continents pulling apart and floating out across the earth. You can finish the difficult assignments because you invented fire. Not to be hyperbolic but if we can figure out how to fly three hundred people around the world while offering a selection of recently released movies for their entertainment, you can reply to that intimidating email or whatever your thing is today.
There’s so much we’ve chosen to no longer internalize on a day-to-day basis. We breathe constantly, so it stops being incredible. We move from place to place, so now it’s just “that thing” our body can do. To a degree we are choosing to ignore miracles just to save time, which I think is okay in order to exist without stopping to marvel at the endless possibility of The Universe every few seconds. So why are we instead internalizing fear around things we can’t do? Why are we clearing out necessary mental space and then filling it with negative self-esteem and a nagging voice that doesn’t believe in us despite all the evidence and near- constant proof that we are living miracles?
It’s not quite so simple. You can’t 100 percent just “stop doubting yourself” or we’d all stop doubting ourselves. I’d love to stop doubting myself! It would honestly be such a great help, and I would get a lot more done and also have more fun doing it. I am still human and susceptible to all the less-miraculous but innately human things like self-doubt, fear, and anxiety. It’s hard to stop all that negative self-talk at will. But one thing that’s easy, or at least easier, is to do more of literally everything else. Am I still nervous about things I might not be able to do? Yes. Can I take a moment to remember that my own magical skeleton defies gravity every time it gets out of bed? Also yes.
We do great and special things every single day without thinking twice about it. So what if we all just thought about it a little more? What if we considered the things we take for granted, inspected the pieces that we’ve stopped counting, and analyzed some of those parts of being alive on this planet that make us feel a little spirally sometimes? Against all odds, you are here. You do amazing things every day. Whatever the next challenge is, you can do it. Whatever it is. Probably.