In her book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, Elizabeth Gilbert talks about the s**t sandwich that accompanies everything wonderful and exciting that we may want to do. She says:
“What’s your favorite flavor of s**t sandwich?” What Manson means is that every single pursuit—no matter how wonderful and exciting and glamorous it may initially seem—comes with its own brand of s**t sandwich, its own lousy side effects. As Manson writes with profound wisdom: “Everything sucks, some of the time.” You just have to decide what sort of suckage you’re willing to deal with. So the question is not so much “What are you passionate about?” The question is “What are you passionate enough about that you can endure the most disagreeable aspects of the work?” Manson explains it this way: “If you want to be a professional artist, but you aren’t willing to see your work rejected hundreds, if not thousands, of times, then you’re done before you start. If you want to be a hotshot court lawyer, but can’t stand the eighty-hour workweeks, then I’ve got bad news for you.” Because if you love and want something enough—whatever it is—then you don’t really mind eating the s**t sandwich that comes with it.”
I find real connection with fellow beings to be wonderful and exciting and I look for it in every person I interact with. It is both my strength and my Achille’s heel. I don’t understand the meaning of our lives on this planet if we aren’t going to function as what we actually are: one. Connected.
This week one of my core values- that of being a compassionate human being – has been under attack. From many angles. Denied, put to test and ultimately deemed useless. I am at a point where I am asking myself if my passion connecting with people is strong enough to support me when I will be served another sandwich of the aforementioned kind. Because I know I will.
I think it is so easy to give up on people. People do it every single day. I am not sure though what scares me more right now: remaining open, therefore inviting the next s**t sandwich soon enough or deciding people are not worth it and taking two steps back to “protect” myself.
Photo: Tim Mossholder on Unsplash