Ten Thousand Days

When to Stop Digging

June 6, 2021

Photo: Michael Dziedzic

Day 2472 – Day 2485

This past week I had a bit of a meltdown.  There’s a lot going on in my life and there has been for awhile.

I realized that I am closing in on a big milestone in this work of TTDOG and I am frustrated with my failure to reach people.  Sure, people are interested in gratitude and joy and maybe even oneness and a few people are interested in service.  But there are so few that seem willing to engage with the material over the medium or long term.  I’m not sure why.  I posted a short video this week and I was afraid to do it because it was really positive and sweet.  I was afraid it would attract cynicism and well, disdain.  The fact that I was concerned made me profoundly sad.

The world is growing darker and I’ve witnessed the darkening, along with my spiritual community for almost 20 years.  Cynicism has taken root in humanity and we have become a truly me-first world where we treat people as disposable products and products as the source of all happiness.

This pandemic has shown the gaps in our belief in social responsibility, in civic duty and in our shared responsibility to one another, regardless of artificial borders.  Our faith in institutions like the government, policing, and even our currency is faltering.  When this happens, the history of development tells us that chaos and war are the next stage in our evolution. There is little cheer in that bleak outlook and it has left me wondering whether there is room, in the zeitgeist of the times, for what I have to offer.

I’m frustrated. People say they want to be happy and the way is right before them.  It’s free!  Yet it seems that nobody wants the solution right in front of them.  Or, maybe I just suck at capturing the attention of others and delivering the message.  The time I put into making my journey of TTDOG public is becoming unsustainable.

When you’re in a hole, you’ve got to recognize when to stop digging.

I reached out to my network, in my distress.

A friend said that this has been a horrendous year and a half.  Five years, I told her.  For the past 5 years, I have been in an unsustainable situation and the 5 people with whom I spend most of my time include people who are unsupportive, downright belittling and abusive, and treat me as if I don’t exist.  You cannot grow a flower in sand.  It’s been a hell of a hard 5 years, the grief for which I don’t think I can feel, until I’m in a new situation and I feel safe to feel it.

I thought about it more, later – this has not been a five-year struggle.  It’s been much longer.

About a decade ago, I experienced corporate bullying in a job that I had spent the previous decade working to attain.  I was in my dream job but in a nightmare situation.  I was working on the most important issues of our time and we had the potential to not only change the world, but to save the world from catastrophe.  It was an incredibly empowering position – from the perspective of the potential that it contained. I felt like I was on the brink of fulfilling my own greatest potential.

It astonishes me how some of the worst in people can be given power in places that attract people with the best of intentions.   I tried to do the right thing and take on the bully, only to learn the hard lesson that if a bully exists in a system, the system is inclined to support the bully.

I lost a lot of my faith in “the system.”

And soon it became clear that my clients really only cared about maintaining their political or cultural or capitalist hegemony in a world that was predicted to collapse around them.  They wanted to maintain their power when it collapsed, not to change their ways to prevent that collapse.

I lost a lot of my faith in organizations and institutions.

Not coincidentally, these issues, having been unaddressed in any real way for another decade, have now become the most important issues on the top of the minds of people around the world.

Too little now, and too late.

I lost a lot of my faith in a better future.

It may surprise you to know that I have lost a lot of my faith in the things of this world.  Having lost faith in systems, organizations institutions and a better future has left me with a lot of grief.  It is in keeping with my spiritual path to just allow things to fall away and witness the destruction.  I’m not sure I’ve been doing that.  I’ve been wrestling with the way I think it should be, stuck in my grief by not accepting and relinquishing the loss.

My frustration with this TTDOG work now tempts me to lose faith in humankind, and I really don’t want to do that.

I reached out to my amazingly accomplished network of friends because I don’t want to give up.  They held a mirror up to me so that I could see my own light and so that I could be reminded that it only takes a few lights to vanquish darkness.  And it is in the darkness that the light finds its purpose.

I’m going to have to come to terms with this cynical world and my own cynicism by simply allowing it to be.  There are options.  I looked at the writer Mark Manson and studied him a little bit.  He is saying the same things that I am saying, in many cases, and he has a massive following.  So, perhaps there is a hunger for this stuff.  What Manson does, however, is grab attention by meeting an angry and cynical world with confrontation.  Whether I’m willing to go that route or not is a question I need to ask myself.  It is a basic principle of polarity therapy that we must meet the client with their energy and mirror them.  I now have to decide if I want to and can live from a place of fire for the masses or if I’m best to serve from a place of water for the very very few.

And, maybe this isn’t the work I’m supposed to be doing.  And, maybe it is.  I have to be ready to let go of either possibility.


This was meant to be a very different post.  I have had another (much more uplifting) episode in mind to write about for a few weeks now, but it just isn’t where I’m at, in this moment, and I think it’s vitally important for anyone who is interested in happiness or (dare I say spiritual fulfillment) to not be afraid of loss and of sorrow.  There is nothing good to be gained in suffering and I’ve had enough of suffering.  But there is so much richness to be gained in experiencing and then letting go of the grief.

Don’t worry reader, I am still grateful.  I have a network of amazing people to whom I can turn.  I have a depth of strength within me that maybe was a gift of birth but I tend to believe is the product of a lifetime of obstacles.   And I’m grateful for the 7 years of this practice and a lifetime of spiritual practices that keeps my light burning and fuels that strength.

I have always known that when I am most at risk of losing faith in this physical world, I can take refuge in my faith in what I call God.  I’m very grateful that my spiritual group had a Zoom meeting today.  I realized that maybe this isn’t the work for me.  And if it is for me, it will unfold as it needs to unfold.  Sacrificial service includes giving up the way that we thing things should unfold.   

I am grateful that I have a daily spiritual group I can drop into on YouTube live, and that I have sacred books and texts from cherished teachers.  I have places I can go, that help me feel connected to the sacred, and I have practices to connect me to the teacher and the ultimate Source of all Light.

I believe that at some point we all ask if there is any more to life than this?  More often than not, meaning is found in the darkness at the bottom of the hole, where our tears turn the dirt to mud.  It’s time to wade through the mud and find that treasure that will help me to crawl out.  And when I’ve found what was meant for me down here, I know that it is my God’s hand that will reach down into that hole to help me climb out into the light and face whatever needs to unfold.

My polarity therapy teacher used to say that we would attract the cases with the issues that we most needed to heal in ourselves.  Perhaps not coincidentally, this week kicks off a month of focus, on my YouTube channel, on “Meaning.”


Photo: Iswanto Arif


For what are you most grateful, today?

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1 Comment

  • Reply Urspo June 6, 2021 at 11:00 pm

    yes this was one of your darker posts, but it reflects the matters most of us are feeling.

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