Let Your Breakdowns Be Your Medicine.
About four years ago started a phase of continued crisis and breakdowns for me.
As soon as I’d recovered from one, the next one would already approach.
I ended many things, started anew, fumbling my way through the unknown, through some bouts of existential crisis, found some of my gifts along the way, tried new things, and held a promise that I didn’t even fully realize I’d made to myself: I would not compromise on being me, I’d keep going, I’d keep trusting and loving, and I’d always have my back.
So over the past few months, there was no drama anymore to speak of, no breakdowns. I found a sense of calm, and of inner and outer stability. I’ve grown up a lot.
I gave myself permission to hit Pause on my coaching practice. I continued working in a farm (chop wood, carry water lifestyle), which I love, really exhausting the physical body. Entrepreneurial Me kept doing freelance editing, which I still enjoy as well.
Just this month, my income increased significantly, because I didn’t say Yes to what was offered, but asked for what felt like a satisfying compensation for my time and energy.
This also reflects my progress in terms of establishing a loving and nurturing relationship with my weird, lovely, crazy self.
All the noise and disobedience morphed into a quiet revolution, a steady quest to be myself.
A friend recently told me that he thought I was a great role model for my daughter, because I follow my intuition, because I take up a lot of space to be myself, and because I don’t obey the rules.
I forge my own path. That had me face a lot of difficulties, it cost me relationships and many comforts of life, but in exchange, I’d rather comfortably rest in myself now.
The breakdowns I had were powerful medicine. They helped me find myself again.
They were also incredibly humbling experiences. They helped me see the gold in everything, and be grateful for simple things like a deep belly breath or massaging my daughter’s feet and feeling her stress melt away and her heart relax in my hands.
I no longer need drama to feel alive. It’s been a slow process, but a very rewarding one.
One reason I stopped coaching is that from my understanding and experience, the only guidance and advice you really need is your own. And you’ll always get the right dose at the perfect moment, but only if you stop distracting yourself, stop seeking outside yourself, and listen.
Many people reach out to me in despair, hoping that working with me will fix their misery. That’s not the case.
With a mindset of “I want the discomfort, the pain, the strain, the confusion, the issues, the depression, etc. gone already,” you actually demand a shortcut. And that’s not how life works.
The important part is to be in that place for as long as it takes. That’s where the gold is. And you should not try to rush through that phase to be able to harvest the benefits, the lessons, the progress, and growth that come with it.
If you rush through, know that the Universe has its ways to get you right back into the place you thought you’d escaped.
Don’t try to avoid the medicine. The medicine of pain, of discomfort, depression, heartbreak, drama is what you came for. It’s what will guide you towards becoming whole in and as yourself.
We don’t learn this in times when everything is just right, those are plateaus where we can rest for a bit.
Oftentimes breakdowns make us want to quit, but if we persist, we gain resilience, and get to break through eventually.
Difficulties are nothing bad. They are the best learning opportunities.
For example, if it weren’t for some dysfunctional and manipulative romantic relationships, I’d have never seen how little I had of my own back, how much I was dependent on other people’s love and approval.
It led me to isolate myself, go through a very dark time where my sense of self got pretty much deconstructed and rebuilt, from very destructive to loving and supportive.
Pain, difficulty, depression, and suffering have been huge building blocks in my early life. Those are my scars, and I have a deep passion and fascination when it comes to those topics.
I want to tell folks that it’s okay, and important, to know pain.
It’s like the charcoal that suffers under extreme pressure for a fucking long time, or the caterpillar that dissolves into some gooey substance inside its cocoon, but both get transformed in the process.
Can you imagine what a diamond or a butterfly would look like if they could skip the critical part of pressure? What would creation be without the transformational oomph of discomfort? Creation would not happen. Stagnation and decay would be our normal.
I know for sure that I would not be who I’ve become so far, without the pain I’ve endured, and that helped transmute and purge old stuff that was blocking my evolution.
Ask yourself: What’s something you could lean into, accept, or own instead of wanting it gone? Who would you be without the drama and the story around that feeling or situation?
Lina Boldt is a coach and writer. She has a Ninja-warrior survival record, and can often be found in the thick of deep transformational work, which made her gain quite some expertise in breakdowns and breakthroughs. Her current mission is all about surrender, and she can’t live without chocolate. You can connect with her via her website or Facebook, where she also hosts a ‘Disobey with grace’ group.