i have this theory. this is a phenomenon that i first noticed as i when i was writing & publishing my book... watching and learning from other authors. i named this phenomenon writer’s wreck but now that i've been noticing and watching for it i feel like it happens in more areas of life & work & self, than just when we write a book. in fact i've noticed it again this month in my own life.
here is what i have seen happen over and over again… we experience a big “wreck” ( a crash and burn, a rock bottom, a complete fail ) with the very thing we are here to share or do or teach.
the book topic you are writing about, the stuff you are teaching, the community you’ve started, the expertise you help others with, the thing everyone says you are soooo good at… suddenly yourself experience a big "fail" at that very thing.
- the author writing about love goes through a bad breakup of their marriage
- the expert teaching people about balance and calm experiences a massive period of stress, overwhelm, and unbalance
- the spiritual mentor sharing a message to trust that the universe has your back has a complete crisis of faith and trust, feeling alone and unsupported
- the friend who is always such a go-getter and action taker has a period of depression and can’t do much of anything
- the entrepreneur who has an online community to help people shine their light finds herself absolutely lost in the darkness
that's the wreck.
writer's wreck, teacher's wreck, speaker's wreck... a biz wreck, a spiritual wreck, a relationship wreck. call it whatever you like... it's a crash and burn in the very thing you're 'supposed to' have sorted.
the wreck can feel like you’ve lost your mojo for the very thing you are passionate about, it can feel like you are a failure at the thing you are supposed to be good about, it can feel like you’ve become a fraud because you can’t manage yourself, how are you supposed to help others?
knowing that the wreck is actually a thing people go through – and i promise you they do! – can be quite comforting. you realise that there is not something wrong with you (you aren’t a failure or a fraud) but rather it’s just part of the journey we are on.
why is it part of the journey? why does it happen? here’s my theory…
we experience the wreck so that we know how it feels to be in the shoes of the people we are here to help, inspire, teach, or touch.
our capacity to find our way through to the other side – how we get unstuck, how we shift the obstacles in our way, how we clear the fog from our windows – becomes what you are here to share. in other words your wreck becomes your gift... your darkness becomes the light you shine.
plus the wreck occurs to force us to walk the talk, to practice what we preach, to use our own tools… perhaps in ways we haven’t even had to yet. it is a sort of upleveling, an opportunity to stretch ourselves, to rise... these are the tools you swear by, ok let’s put them to the test!
once we see the wreck for what it is – an opportunity – we can become more compassionate with ourselves, gentle on ourselves. we can be curious – hmmmm, i wonder why this is happening now? i wonder what i am meant to learn or experience? we can be grateful for the opportunity to practice our own gifts. we can be open to allowing even new gifts and skills and tools and capacity to emerge.
in other words, we can treat ourselves with the very intention that we hold for others.
this is the true gift of the wreck.
think about it. if you are here to help someone heal or learn or grow or play or explore or shine, in any way at all, how would you treat them? knowing how tricky life can be, what would you most want them to know?
the wreck is the opportunity not only to experience the very problem you long to solve... but even more important, the opportunity to treat yourself with the compassion that you hold for others.
the next time you find yourself crashing & burning in some way… instead of judging yourself harshly, remember that it might be happening for a reason. it might be exactly what you are meant to experience next on the journey.
this is a chapter from my upcoming new book! as i mentioned, i experienced the wreck in a big way this month: the very thing i was meant to be teaching was the very thing i was struggling with myself the most. when you see the wreck for what it is - an opportunity to rise up once again, stronger than ever - you can have so much more compassion for yourself... loving yourself up through the fall, rather than beating yourself down even further.
i'm sharing this now - even though the book is no where near ready to share - in the hopes that you may recognise your own 'wrecks' and have a greater capacity for self-compassion in the process. with love... xo