February 17, 2021

There is nobody for whom nothing works


Everyone has something that just doesn’t work for them.

No matter how popular it is, no matter how many celebrities swear by it, and no matter how many times their friends and family and coworkers recommend that thing as a potential source for healing and happiness, it simply doesn’t click.

Here is a brief list. See if you can find the ones that resonate, or this case, don’t resonate with you:

Maybe smoking pot doesn’t work for you because it makes you paranoid, lethargic and antisocial.

Maybe support groups don’t work for you because you’re emotionally porous and don’t have strong defenses against toxicity coming into you.

Maybe books don’t work for you because they fail to address the depth of your despair.

Maybe going to seminars and retreats don’t work for you because you’re an introvert who prefers independent exploration.

Maybe stillness meditation doesn’t work for you because you have a racing brain that prefers to relax through active forms of mindfulness like manual labor or exercise.

Maybe yoga doesn’t work for you because you have limitations in your joints and really terrible gas.

Maybe therapy doesn’t work for you because opening your heart up to someone you pay by the hour doesn’t sit well with your moral compass.

Maybe masterminds don’t work for you because accountability comes natural to you and other people’s expectations aren’t a strong motivator for change.

Maybe taking medication doesn’t work for you because the side effects are devastating to your body and not worth the trouble.

Maybe coffee dates don’t work for you because they leave you feeling drained, violated or taken hostage by the other person’s negativity or gossip.

Maybe coaching doesn’t work for you because of you don’t take criticism well or had a coach in high school who beat you with a golf club.

It’s okay. Not everything works for everybody. You can make peace with this fact about your existence, and redirect your energy into finding what does work to alleviate your suffering.

Woody Allen’s brilliant and dark movie about living the life you always dreamed ends with the following monologue:

We all take what little pleasure we can find in this chamber of horrors. Whatever love we can get and give, whatever happiness we can filch or provide, every temporary measure of grace, whatever works.

The good news is, there is nobody for whom nothing works.

Trust that there will be something. It may take more trial and error than you’d like, and it may turn out that whatever wounds your body and mind might forbid easy healing, but there will be something.

What if you were able to use what worked, and leave the rest?

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