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Hip Sobriety School, Day 16

"These are the days that must happen to me."

· Uncovery

So our incredible put-together leader Holly had one of those days. And honestly, listening to all that went down for her on the way back from Rome to New York City and beyond, I would have been sitting beside one of those black trash bags that show up around 5 PM in front of every business in Manhattan—weeping. She did mention needing to cry but being unable to let go, and I so get that. So correction: I would have been sitting beside a trash bag near the curb wanting to cry.

The lion's share of her angst was the emotional pain/drain of speaking her Truth loudly and clearly and enduring the inevitable backlash of hate emails. Some big beautiful supportive rounds of applause went out to her as well—but I don't care who you are or how much you've grown, knives are always going to cut sensitive, caring people. Bleeding will be involved. Pile on that a parade of logistical nightmares, lack of sleep, a digestive system that had seen four countries in two days, a tumble down some stairs—this was one mofo of a 24-hour assault on body, mind and emotions that made Alexander's Very Bad Day look like a magical romp through Disneyland.

And my first thought reading about all this might seem callous at best, but my heart wasn't pouring out a gush of "Poor Holly's." It hit me that days like this are the very reason so many of us hold back on living our highest Truth, leaping toward our most precious dreams, and creating a bold new reality that grabs life by it's biggest and most challenging horns. And I loved the fact that she wasn't pretending it to be anything other than what it was: It happened and it sucked and I moved through it with as much grace as I could muster. I look and feel like death right now, but I'm committed to this work even if I have to come crawling through the door in a muddy, blood-stained outfit smelling like the dog shit I rolled in when I fell down. (I'm paraphrasingdog shit was not involved but it would have been the perfect frosting on that particular cake.)

Not all of are being called to a large life, to be visible and vulnerable to massive waves of criticism as well as public admiration. But big dreams that involve reaching, inspiring, teaching, and facilitating healing for large numbers of people are by definition going to have some equally big challenges.

I was shocked by Marianne Williamson's comment in an interview after Return to Love had skyrocketed into an international sensation, that she was totally unprepared for the backlash of pure hatred directed her way. We all know any negativity would be far outweighed by the outpouring of love and gratitude and admiration from millions of other readers, but still. Who does that? Who sends hate mail about a book on love? And keep in mind, this was long before the breathtaking displays of hatred, cruelty, and ignorance that show up on the Internet and social media today.

From what Holly has shared about the period of time when self-abuse and substance-abuse were running rampant through her life, days like this were more like one long horrendous shit-show parade than an occasional "life happens." No matter how big or small our life and dreams might be, the work of transformation is worth any price we might pay during or after. It changes our habits and health and productivity and the glow of our skin but it also changes our relationships and the way we show up in the world. As a woman in AA once said: "The Promises of sobriety should include "You'll end up divorced." That can happen, but so can an entirely new life for a marriage that was on a gurney hooked up to life support.

We were never meant to walk through life numbed out and living a short distance from our bodies. We were created to shine like the sun, twinkle like the stars, fascinate like the moon, play like the dolphins, dance like sunlight on the waves, take wing like the birds, and reach for the sky like the trees. No matter what we do, days like this are always going to come—and go. So bring it all on. Let's step out of the shadows and be all about our Glory.