There is this old timer I know that reminds me of a far less smiley and a far less groomed Grizzly Adams. He wears blue denim overalls and speaks with a low soft growl. And in this low soft growl he shares a kind of wilderness wisdom - at least that’s how it strikes me.
He speaks of a time in his life when he had a giant empty hole inside of him. It was so large, he would explain, that you could stick a pickup truck in there and let it do 360s and it wouldn’t touch the sides.
At some point in his life he stretched out his hands, asked for help, and discovered what was missing all along.
A previous version of me would have quickly dismissed this description of an existential crisis as stupid. The kind of thing people say that has no real meaning or experience attached to it. But, I recently downloaded a new operating system. I find myself in uncharted territory for the first time in a long time.
It is a strange thing to hear something again for the first time. I have heard people say this kind of thing before, but I did not have the eyes to see and the ears to hear. Now I do.
I was not willing to see or to hear. Why not? Why is it that I have been so unwilling to admit to myself and to others that I need help too?
Ego is certainly at work here. It comes naturally with the territory of living a seemingly successful life. My ego simply disguises a deep seeded insecurity. I need to feel that I am better than others. Smarter than others. Funnier than others. If I believe this I can avoid the fact that I only want people to love me. And for some reason, I believe I am only worthy of love in so far as I am better than you, smarter than you, funnier than you.
Today, I will choose to believe differently.
How do I do that? The only way I know how to come to believe anything is to act upon it. Today I will choose to believe that I am worthy of love, better or not, smarter or not, funnier or not. Today I will act on that hope to believe. I will reach out my hands and ask for help. Belief will follow.
If Grizzly Adams can do it, so can I. So can we.