I'm guessing, if you haven't watched the indy film Entropy, with Stephen Dorff and Judith Godrèche, you are probably scratching your heads right now and have no clue what I'm talking about. Okay, here is the narrative. Dorff's life as a successful film producer goes off the deep end when he attempts to balance his life between being a producer and being a good partner to his steamy co-star Godrèche who plays Stella, a mysterious, kind, and charming model. What is entropy? The word, what is it? What does it mean? You must be asking. Entropy is lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder -- randomness leading to chaos basically. YES! And yes, I am telling you to embrace the chaos of your life! If you are like me and something is going awry you spend all of your energy focused on fixing it versus riding the wave. If it was a disagreement, I used to want to solve the problem with that person right away. I needed to be liked. Someone hating me or even not liking me was so stressful and in my mind that was not okay. We would have to talk...like, right now! When issued would accumulate in my life and pile on high, I would breakdown. Whether it was personal or professional issues or problems, I continually beat myself up with horrible negative self-talk. Do you do this too?
It was a combination of things but they all hit a few years ago; my work life, my personal life, my relationship, my physical and emotional state were all in dire straits. I was dealing with a work comp case going solo against an attorney who was dedicated to making my life a living hell. To top it all off, I was hit by a car while riding my bike. This was when it "hit" ME. I was laying on the ground, concrete and gravel imbedded in one leg and metal from my bike jabbing into both. There was a vague remembrance of a women saying she was sorry she wasn't looking and was on the phone and her husband, the driver, saying he just plain wasn't looking my way (the way he was driving) even though I had the right of way. I could NOT believe my life. How had so many bad things happened to me? Definitely, someone somewhere must be punishing me, be it some god or angel or spirit, or universal creature out there in the cosmos. This was really happening. Then I thought about my body...wait?! I can move. I can move! No broken bones. Mind you after heading into the doctors office and chiropractor, I did find out I had four, YES four ribs out of place. My bones were bruised and I was going to be out of commission again. This could not be happening! Low and behold 364 days before this very event (That does mean almost an exact year after I was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis and was told I was temporarily disabled), I was dealing with yet another injury. WHYYYY!
One thing that injuries do is make everything stop around you. It gives you time to reflect on what matters in life -- what is really important. I could have died that day. In fact, looking throughout my life, there were several times I could have kicked the bucket but I survived. Somehow, I survived and I told myself, there must be a reason I am still here, some purpose. 'I am going to make it through this, I will learn, I will grow, I will become the person I was always meant to be to help others through these awful moments'. That's what I would say. The moments they want to give up I am going to tell them, I made it through this and so can you. Noted: in order for me to actually say those things, I had to go through the experience and heal. So I did. I embraced the chaos, the entropy, all of the muck. From not having my dream job and having all my friends more financially successful, to not being the weight I wanted to be, to not physically being fit to do all that I loved to do, to dealing with a nasty attorney born to make my life hell, to my relationship with both myself and my partner being very rocking -- I embraced it all. I started looking at this as a lesson. In fact, I looked at all of my major injuries starting from my first year with my boyfriend up to that moment. What are the lessons I am meant to take from each one? Each chaotic event meant something.
With plantar fasciitis, so many things happened and lessons came with all of them.
With my car accident I realized much too.
Knock on wood, I haven't had any major injuries since then and I am doing all I can to keep it that way. Expect the unexpected. If a million chaotic things are happening, embrace them, for they are lessons to help you on your way to who you are meant to become.
Serving My Happiness
For a long time now, I have shared my story with close friends, loved ones and yes, even therapists. When they hear my story a similar comment has come up, "You should write a blog!" The reality is that I have collaborated on blogs, I have written about other women and their lives, I have covered topics focused on advocacy and online communications but when asked to write about myself, I felt stunted. LinkedIn even shows I have high 85 people who have endorsed my blogging skills. The idea of a personal blog was...well...so personal and, as I am sure many people feel, it is exposing. However, there are parts of my life which appear very relevant for others, could possibly help them and so, I decided to buckle down and write this blog. I will say that if you read the beginning and stop, you may find me shallow, uncaring, heartless even, but if you read what I have to share in its entirety, a completely different picture may arise in your mind.
So, here is the reality, I am going to say what you aren't supposed to say. It goes against several theories and beliefs on how to serve the world best, but I am going to share it anyway. Forget your friends, loved ones and humanity, if you are not serving yourself to your highest power, you are doing a disservice to the world, and you will not be as effective at your craft if you do not explore WHO YOU ARE. Who you are is relative to many things and can be psycho-analyzed in many different ways.
For years, I have associated my mindset with that of an advocate. I wanted to serve my community in several different capacities. I have served through running a non-profit, owning women empowerment businesses, doing online communications for local and statewide political campaigns, and sitting on steering committees focused on advocating for youth of color and youth impacted by poverty. I hosted an Undoing Institutional Racism workshop for the city of Tacoma and aided with a national Race and Pedagogy conference. It was a few years ago that a thought began to percolate in my mind, 'What if I am not serving my community and those I love to the best of my ability? Am I staying in negative situations because I believe I am serving a greater good? Is that even healthy?!' The thought which I am sure many millennials before me have had, and most likely other generations before me will detest was, "What about MY happiness?! What about ME?!" Then an idea popped into my head.
Serving My Happiness is a thought that came to fruition at a very low point in my life. I was drained, tired, had given my all and lost, failed, and now it was time to pick myself up again. However, this time I wanted life to be different. I didn't want to fall down the same rabbit hole. I wanted to rise and serve my highest purpose. What I have found is that by honoring that feeling and following my gut instincts, I am now serving my happiness -- something few people do for themselves in a lifetime. I realized that the more I served my best interests, the more I was available to purposefully help others.
A Blog Focused on Happiness and Healing
Tasha Ina Church