Practice What I Preach?

November 26, 2012

 Last week I asked someone to help me do something.  While that might not sound like a big deal, it is.  Sometimes I call “flipping the coin” and being the exact opposite of codependent “recovery.”

I replace annoying neediness with fierce independence:  I can do it myself; don’t need any help; not going to be vulnerable to anyone.

That’s not recovery.  It is, as I just wrote, flipping to the other side of the codependent side of the codependent coin.

When I can step out of my reactions to my past, step beyond my fear and truly do something different?  That’s recovery. Not baby steps but big steps in my life.

It’s those moments when I remember to do different that make such a difference and I’ll tell you why if you can hang in here with me. The situation was complex and felt overwhelming.

I’m in California, stuck with a condo in Minnesota that I owe more on than it’s currently worth.  To sell it would mean sitting down at a closing and writing out a $50,000 check to pay off the mortgage.  Not for me.

About a year ago, I took the condo off the market.  Waiting and I didn’t know for what.  I know from the past that it takes time for the housing market to recycle.  Recently I decided to rent out the condo.

I resisted the idea at first because:  I’m half-way across the country from the property, unable to handle the calls in the middle of night about the garbage disposal not working or the toilet running.

But studying some online sites, I found a realtor who also takes care of renting out properties and he has a property manager that takes care of garbage disposals and toilets that don’t work in the middle of the night.

But my Minnesota condo was fully furnished. I was in a quandary (whatever a quandary looks like) about what to do with the furniture.  My California condo is furnished with furniture I like.

I have a small mobile vacation home in the desert but I bought that fully furnished with furniture I like. I decided to rent the Minnesota condo furnished.  According to all the statistics, someone would get divorced and need a new place to live and furniture too.

No such luck.  Everyone who looked at the condo wanted me to take out my furniture because he or she or they had their own. But even that wasn’t a problem because nobody stepped up to the plate with an offer – until recently.

A month before I’m scheduled to go to the desert and right when I’m scheduled for an important surgery and also right when the writing I’ve been struggling with finally begins to fall into place.  Not only did I write six words on the page, I know the order in which they should go.  Progress.  Right?

I talked to a friend and we came up with a plan. We’d drive together from California to Minnesota, rent a U-Haul, donate whatever furniture I didn’t want (carrying it down three flights of stairs first), load the rest in the U-Haul and find someone to uninstall the electronics and do what with them?

Didn’t know.  It would only take … counting, counting …. two or three weeks?  And cost, hmm.  thousands of dollars?  My friend had to work.  He could take some time off.  It felt messy, complicated and most of all – wrong.

I had to do something and do it now.  But, what? The words I had to say are the hardest for me to speak: I didn’t know.

This is where the title of this blog enters the picture.  I feel comfortable when I know the answer and hate it when I don’t about what to do to solve a problem.  The gap between knowing and not knowing is radical faith – faith that what I need will be provided even if I don’t see those provisions yet and even if I don’t know what the solution is.

I made one of the better decisions I’ve made for some time.  I decided to let go and do nothing, despite the realtor pressuring me and others wanting to know what I intended to do and when I would do it.  All I could say was the truth: I don’t know.

I made a clear decision not to do anything until what I decided to do felt right.

Huge.  Cataclysmically enormous for me, putting off a decision until some solution I couldn’t see fell into place meant taking a deep breath and Living in the Mystery.  That’s what the title of this blog means and what I did was practice what I preach.

I let go.

A few days later, I thought of a friend I knew in Minnesota.  Shipping was her thing.  She had been a trained professional.  She ran a shipping store the entire time her children were growing up – a family business.  Plus I knew she had moved frequently over the past years, since her children left home.  I also knew she got a good deal on moving vans.

I took a deep breath, looked through my email addresses and found hers.  I reached out and asked her for help.

She said yes, she would be glad to assist me.

In a matter of hours I saw what had been an insolvable problem began to get solved.  Each piece – from uninstalling the electronics, to selling them on E-Bay and what to charge, to shipping my furniture out to where I am without an exorbitant charge – fell into place.

Like magic.  Like a miracle.  Like an unspoken but felt prayer answered perfectly.  Blind or radical faith was the prayer.  The answer?  Getting the problem perfectly solved.

The moving van will be scheduled at an entirely reasonable price by the end of this week.  I’ll make enough money by her daughter selling the electronics (after paying her a commission) to pay for the moving van (this according to people who know what they’re talking about and triple-checked).

I don’t have to take two to three weeks out of my schedule to run around master-minding this when I can’t carry more than five pounds down three flights of steps.  My friend here won’t need to take off from work.

By letting go and doing nothing until what I did felt right, I found the perfect solution – even when that meant living with no solution at all for a while.

Sometimes living in the mystery hurts.  It means living with painful losses that I can’t explain and my Higher Power won’t. On other occasions, trusting what I don’t know yet feels good. This is one of those times.

Just a short reminder of something you probably already know but that’s easy to forget when we get stressed – a Holiday greeting of sorts. Keep breathing your way through the Season.

If what you’re doing doesn’t feel right, it’s okay to do nothing until what you do feels good to you. The answer will come; I know it will – the answer that’s perfect for you.

From the desk of Melody Beattie

Note: As much as Melody would love to respond to all comments, this sometimes isn't feasible with her busy schedule. Please feel free to leave a comment but do so knowing she will only be able to respond when she has some time away from writing. She does receive your comments and deeply cares about what you have to say so please do leave a comment if you are compelled to do so.