The Rainbow Sparkle Poop of Your Dreams
There’s a damaging myth out there that goes something like this:
That if you’re ‘living your purpose’,… ‘in your authentic power’,… drinking your green smoothies, doing your gratitudes, and generally law-of-attraction-ing the crap out of life…
Then everything will be easy…
You’ll fly effortlessly out of bed every morning. You’ll hustle your face off and ‘crush’ your goals. Yeah, you’ll be a real ‘rockstar’.
And YOU WILL NEVER STRUGGLE AGAIN.
It’s an oh-so seductive message.
The end of struggle!
The end of all pain!
I mean, hells yeah sign me up! I want that! Don’t you? No more pain!
But let’s be clear: it ain’t REAL.
These memes are spun and sold by personal development gurus with a vested interest in selling their programs and filling their courses.
By Instagram models trading your likes for big-brand deals.
By companies that need you to buy their latest useless widget.
And while I don’t doubt there are a lot of people and products out there who CAN help us with our problems, I also know there’s a lot of people out there cashing in on our insecurities and selling a fantasy.
They’re selling ‘the dream’, and we’re buying it.
Because it’s one thing to be inspirational: to encourage us to take responsibility for the trajectory of our lives. To uplift and motivate us in embracing the things that are most important. To support us in feeling truly inspired, passionate and alive.
‘Cause yeah, as a species we could do with a whole lot more of that.
And I’ll sing the praises all day long for those inspirational leaders, big-change-makers, compassionate healers and way-showers that truly care.
But it’s something else entirely to manipulate people and sell them on the happily-ever-after rainbow sparkle poop of their dreams.
It’s like an inspirational high five with one hand and a punch in the guts with the other.
It makes our gut-wrenching feelings that we’re ‘not enough’ feel a whole lot worse. ‘Cause “you’re not doing it right”, right?
My experience is this:
Even though I’m someone who DOES feel like I’m ‘living my purpose’, that sparkle poop fantasy is FAR from a reality.
Well, OK. Maybe I haven’t taken the right course yet, or cleared all my limiting beliefs. Maybe I should align my chakras, eat more kale,.. Or…
Or maybe the simple truth is that no matter how you live it, life is often really challenging. And by ‘really challenging’ I mean “oh-my-god-I’m-such-a-fucking-loser-how-can-i-even-get-out-of-bed-today-I-just-want-to-disappear” kind of challenging.
That’s the shit that no one talks about when they’re busy selling the dream:
That life is still life.
You’re still you.
And that courageously pursuing your meaningful life will be one of the most difficult things you will do.
Whether that’s raising your kids, creating a nourishing relationship, doing your soul’s work or nurturing your creative pursuits.
There’ll be times when you’re faced with impossible choices.
When you’re forced to sit with those parts of yourself that you see as disgusting, unlovable and unworthy.
When the overwhelming noise of all your past failures will scream with exquisite, gory detail why you’re never going to make it.
When you finally realise there’s no secret shortcut besides confronting yourself day after day after exhausting day.
Some of those days the next small step will be easy and effortless.
On other days you’ll bitch and moan and suffer through all your whingy shit, yet take the step anyway.
Then other days you’ll fall into a figurative (or literal) heap on the floor and question ‘what’s it all for’ and ‘who am I to think I can do this/deserve this anyway?’
Because the unfortunate (or perhaps it’s fortunate) truth is this:
You don’t get the power then do the thing.
You get the power by doing the thing.
(well you have the power already, but that’s a story for another day)
Easy? Hell no.
And that’s the danger.
Easy is alluring.
Easy is convenient.
And I get it. I want the solution to all my problems to be easy too. Sometimes I desperately want that.
And while I could make this the part where I insert a glib, ‘but easy is boring’, or a more profound ‘the challenges are what give our life texture and meaning’…
At the end of the day, ‘easy’ is not honest. It’s not real.
And I’d rather have the inconveniently stinky truth of reality, over the rainbow sparkle poop of my dreams any day.
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