Written by Tanur Badgley (PoP’s Creator and Host)
I recently met a girl who worked on the election campaigns, and her job is ending soon. She has no idea when it will end, but she knows it will have an expiration date. Her reaction to this was to apply for 40 jobs.
When I asked her why she responded that she does not know what to do with herself if she is not working -- it would be too wearisome and embarrassing to return home to her family and not have a job. She doesn't want to be unemployed and feel like she had hit “rock bottom”.
I asked her what it may be like if she were to hit rock bottom.
She knows deep down that she will be fine. But she would have to face things about herself that she doesn’t want to face. She would not want to go through this experience alone in her apartment, didn’t want to tell family and friends that she’s unemployed. But she also wouldn’t want to sit with the shame alone. Instead, she would face rock bottom at home with her family. She fears she would mindlessly consume media and be bored out of her mind, as some of her other 24-year-old friends expressed was the case for them.
I have hit rock bottom twice.
The first time was when I was tumbling down the mountain at Yosemite national park at 19 years old, broke some bones, and heavily concussed. Luckily I was rescued the following morning. I was a few degrees of rotation away from dying the second time when I concussed for the fourth time, and so I spent four weeks in a darkroom as ordered by doctors.
It can be beneficial to hit rock bottom not because it is desirable but because it teaches you the deepest and most significant life lessons. After hitting rock bottom, you will realize how to design your way forward and build yourself back up greater, stronger, and clearer in your vision than ever before.
My second time hitting rock-bottom was when I got stuck in holding up a status around my job, income, and proving myself to other people. Much out of proportion to learning who I was and proving to myself I was committed to exploring my truest path from the deepest roots I was born.
Before hitting rock bottom, I was not as loving, generous, and forgiving to myself as I am today.
I fear hardly anything, and I rarely feel anxiety. When you have already lost it all, you will recognize what your anxiety or fear tells you -- it is a nightmare. You don’t want to feel that way. But you will know that these feelings propel you to your highest heights, and that is what you have to focus on if the worst was to happen.
It can be essential to hit rock bottom because it gives you a perspective on your life you would have never been granted.
It shows you how you stayed coasting in cruise control, unconscious of your drivers and your aversions, and the ways this had limited your potential. A lot of people are stuck with what we consider to be healthier aversions - avoiding unemployment, forcing a decision on where they are living, committing to a career path intellectually before committing to their heart and soul.
I want us to be very careful about if we are doing those things for other people and for ourselves to avoid confronting our truest, deepest, most vulnerable, and honest nature from blooming.
Hitting rock-bottom is when this nature is exposed, and it is when you get to begin a beautiful process of putting yourself together according to your greatest gifts, callings, and yearnings at the deepest levels of your heart and soul. Let us not prevent ourselves from receiving the greatest gift of knowing who we are at the most authentic level.
My thoughts are in no way an advocation that we should force rock-bottom in our life. I am saying that the quest to avoid Rock-bottoms comes with a price that you will never be aware of if you never get the chance to start over again.