I could really make the argument that I have been doing this my entire life. Admittedly, badly at times. More destruction, less creativity and a lot of unfocused, self obsessed time.
That would be true also.
We are all pulling it apart and building it up all the time. Everyone. No exceptions. I am coming to believe that the most successful people, and also perhaps the happiest people are the ones who embrace this ongoing paradox and just accept it as reality, all the time. They do not spend time trying to lock into the “good” times or avoid, like the plague, the “bad”times. They are able to find contentment within the ongoing life struggle of things being created and destroyed all the damn time.
I am at an attorney conference right now in Palm Springs which is what gave me today’s blog title. Not the first time I heard about the concept, but the first time I sat in a room full of people attempting to embrace it and learn how to apply the wisdom to their business, personal life and relationships. It was kind of cool.
You could see the room fractured. Some people were absolutely flummoxed by the concept. Could not accept that the past versions of themselves that helped them get to the right here and now was flawed and had made some pretty egregious mistakes and that no matter what they did and how well they did it, they would never be able to prevent themselves from doing the exact same thing, maybe right fucking now.
There were others who were on their phone, checking emails, and likely working. Completely owned by the creative destruction happening at their law firms miles away. The fact that it was a Saturday and the office was not open was lost on them.
Then there were others, those people who perhaps already knew or at least suspected that they were idiots and were ok with that. They had made peace with their prior idiot selves and were content knowing that right that minute they were likely engaging in some sort of idiotic behavior that in relatively short order, like in this lifetime, they would see that their ability to own their mistakes and see that they were just part of the process was just how life goes. No need to struggle, blame, wring hands, cry, bemoan, sigh loudly, or make pledges (written and oral) that they would never make THAT mistake again.
For me, I am so familiar with my flaws and imperfections. I mean I literally write about them here every single day and share them with anyone bored enough to read them. So this idea that I am an idiot is intimately familiar to me. I see all the ways I am acting not in my own best interest, all the ways that I am fucking things and my life up on the regular. I see it. Sometimes I really wish I couldn’t. I wish that I could be quite delusional for awhile. And I am sure I am about some things. But on the topic of being an idiot, of routinely screwing things up, on that point, I see my own dysfunction in stark relief.
So I embrace this whole concept of creative destruction. I am doing what I know, daily. I see the things falling apart in my life and I see the creative forces at work all the same. Life is always building and falling apart. And I love the idea that since this is what is happening anyway, just join it. Embrace it. Make it work for you, instead of bemoaning all the shit that is going wrong in your life. All the shit that is falling apart is your becoming...really!
It is my experience that the stuff that is going wrong is there to teach you things you didn’t know. And provide you opportunities to do it better, more completely and hopefully more profitably. But a lot of people never get there because they allow themselves to become mired in all the falling apart and lose sight of two things: things must fall apart because that is life, and when they fall apart, it is a supreme opportunity for you to rebuild.
The falling apart isn’t fun. I am there right now. The last eighteen months have been hard and I have felt more like a mess than I have in a very long time. I don’t really know who I am anymore and I have come to the conclusion that is ok. I am being provided many (sometimes it feels like too many) opportunities to change my world, from the inside out.
There are many forces at work in our lives. Creative destruction is available to us all the time. And its natural resources are our fuck ups, our miscues, our over extensions, our failures to thrive, or lack of dominion over which we believe we should have control...these are the places ripe with growth. These are the places where real change, fundamental life altering change comes.
And the best news ever is that it will come for you no matter what you do, no matter how well you do it, no matter how much you believe you are above it all. So why not stop running from all you are afraid to admit you are fucking up, and just own it and then use it to launch you into a better future?
I have and continue to learn from my mistakes. And I know that right now I am making at least five that I am pretty sure are not the right decision. But after considering all my other options, these likely mistakes are still the best decisions I can make right now. And while I pray there are no dire consequences, I believe I will be ok no matter what. I am adaptable. I change all the time. And this creative destruction has brought amazing things into my life. Repeatedly. So after all this time, I am finally to a point where I can accept it and sometimes, on my most healthy days, just be grateful to have another opportunity to do it differently. To take the ruin and grow it into something better for myself...in fact, now that I think about it, most of my creativity has only come because of all the things that have fallen apart in my life...so I am going to embrace the fuck out of all the messy, unattractive shit that is going down and do my best to shape it into something that affirms my life, my path and my being.