Please tell me I’m not the only one who feels like a cracked pot from time to time.
What are the symptoms, you ask? The major ones for me are discontentment, overwhelm, fragility, sensitivity and generalized disconnection.
When I’m not seeing things as they are, I take things personally and indeed, everything is about me. My bubbly personality turns brooding; my entire being kind of turns in on itself.
And I miss my mom horribly. She’s been gone nearly five years now and I still struggle with learning to mother myself, to give myself the safety and security that a mother’s love gives.
Wanting vs. willing
Saturday night was date night and we went to a huge citywide 12-step meeting. The speaker was funny and entertaining; he had definitely transformed from a cracked pot into a stable and transparent person in long-term recovery.
He reiterated something that has stayed with me. He said (and I’m paraphrasing), “Wanting to and willingness are not the same things.”
How often do you really, really want something–to exercise, eat less sugar, get more sleep, buy fewer shoes, pens or purses–but the wanting doesn’t seem to get the job done? Why? Because you’re not willing to repurpose yourself.
To repurpose is to think differently. When you think differently, your actions shift. And when your actions shift, the thing you want tends to happen.
Bottom line: You have to be willing to go all-in to get what you truly want.
Repurposing your cracked pot
Has it occurred to you that your pot is cracked for a reason? That’s a tough one for this perfectionist. When my pot gets cracked, I want to throw it out or just get a new one. But what if the cracks are meant to serve a purpose?
Paulo Coelho tells the story of the man who used to tote two large pitchers of water fastened to a piece of wood and carried across his shoulders to his village every day.
One pitcher was new and perfect and never ceased to do its job of serving as a vessel full of water. It was proud to provide water for the village and took its duties very seriously, so much so that it was certain it was made for just that purpose.
The other pitcher was older and had several cracks so that water dribbled out as the man made his return trip to the village. By the time he arrived, the cracked pitcher released only a small amount of water to the village and did so with great shame, despite the fact that it had served the village well for many, many years.
One day, the old pitcher felt so inferior that as the man was scooping up water, the pitcher decided to speak.
It apologized for its age and its inability to serve as it once had.
The man smiled and asked the pitcher to look closely at its side of the path as they made the trip home. Sure enough, the water that seeped through the cracked pitcher provided nourishment for the vegetables and flowers the man had planted.
“Do you see how much more beautiful nature is on your side of the road?” the man asked the pitcher.
“If you were not the way you are, I could never have done this. We all, at some point, grow old and acquire other qualities, and these can always be turned to good advantage.”
The moral of this story–read on the take-out brown bag from Chipotle–is our cracked selves are still useful. We just need the willingness–the all-in quality–to repurpose ourselves and determine what soil we want to sink into next.
Photo courtesy of timetocraft.co.uk and bobvilla.com