All I wanted was to break your walls. All you ever did was wreck me.Miley Cyrus
There was always one subject in school that I could never stay awake for: history. It’s not that I didn’t think it was important, it was just that I could never materialize its relevance to my life. What’s the point of reading about clinical stories that were written by the victors? I came, I saw, I conquered. Substitute the word “I” with your favorite historical figures. Big whoop.
But, I now realize the history of our world, our nations, and our lives are particularly rich and insightful for those who know where to dig. And that’s why I love reading autobiographies. The stories are relatable because they have happened to individual people. They are also brutally honest reenactments of someone’s personal life. Contained within are inspirational tidbits about the hardships they encountered and their journeys through them.
They don’t usually talk about adversity that can be solved by working harder. They talk about ones that are so much more intense – those that “wreck your life completely.”™ The kind of events that not only demolish the foundation of lives but also deform the underlying topography. In these situations, death is probably the most benign outcome compared to the possibility of years of torment.
These events don’t happen only to those that write autobiographies. Several of us have had first hand experiences of these earth-shattering, life-wrecking moments brought about by people, things, time, or ideas. The wreck might come fast and furious or it might come slow and placid. Its effects could be immediate or delayed. It doesn’t matter. Getting wrecked sucks and we have minimal say in the matter.
Fortunately, we can regain control. We can focus on rebuilding ourselves from scratch. After all, the hard work of tearing down our fortified walls and defenses has been done. This does not mean we rebuild using the same blueprints and materials salvaged from the rubble. If we did, we’d end up with the same exact structure burdened with the same exact weaknesses.
I’m often astonished at how afraid we are of these transformative moments. We’d rather avoid them instead of prepare for them. Even in the cases that we are able to become vulnerable enough to let a few bricks get dislodged, we quickly repair the damage and categorize our actions as yet another repair technique for our toolbox. That’s idiotic of us. Sometimes we need that damage to avalanche into every pore of our existence so that we get the opportunity to build a beautiful unified structure instead of repairing a patch-work abomination.
In these moments, I heavily value savasana, or corpse pose. It’s a pose that occurs during the closing sequence of a yoga class. It’s a moment for you to acknowledge the death of your former-self and the rise of a different, hopefully improved version of you. It’s no surprise that the transition out is through fetal position.
Go get wrecked.