some things can’t be fixed

by michelle on January 24, 2012

Recently I was asked to consider a perspective different from my own:

Sometimes there are things or feelings that can’t be made better.
Is there a little relief in knowing that something can’t be fixed?

I’ve been sitting with this idea for the past month. Not sure if there is relief in this, but perhaps a hint of acceptance that there is some pain that is simply meant to be experienced. Not fixed. Which also means not avoided.

For me these are feelings of grief, aloneness, not belonging.

Is there something you’re struggling with that can’t be fixed? Would that in some way be a relief? That you don’t have to do anything about it?


{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Robert Webster January 24, 2012 at 6:40 pm

You “belong” more than you know… Elizabeth Kubler-Ross pegged it years ago in her “Five Stages of Grief”.


michelle January 26, 2012 at 9:36 pm

thank you, robert. <3


Denice January 24, 2012 at 7:35 pm

It’s the observing but not engaging that’s the struggle for me. Staying present through the very dark night of the soul in order to winnow out that little kernel of something that wants to present itself. Seeing it but not owning it. Examining it but not hauling out the tractor to make sure it gets planted just right…as only I can.
and hugs


michelle January 26, 2012 at 9:37 pm

staying present… as only you can… beautiful. xo


Kelley January 24, 2012 at 9:22 pm

I have issues with my relationship to my parents. Load of therapy sessions have perhaps led me to the essence of your quote….sometimes there is nothing you can do and once you accept that it seems like the healing begins and the relief comes. It isn’t as easy as it sounds. But I’m on the right side now of learning how to accept my feelings and only change me. That’s all I have control over, right?

P.S. If you’re lonely I would love to visit with you sometime. You belong and have a huge community. Trust me, in 6 months everything will LOOK different. It will!


michelle January 26, 2012 at 9:38 pm

acceptance is huge. thanks, kel. (yes, we still need to have tea…) xo


Alicia January 24, 2012 at 9:26 pm

This reminds me of the David Whyte interview we just listened to when he says (paraphrasing),” a form of enlightenment is to understand you will never feel at home in this world and you’re not meant to be”. I don’t think that is very comforting when we feel deep pain or alienation, but it is a reminder and a relief to know that we all suffer and are not alone experiencing sadness. Xoxo


michelle January 26, 2012 at 9:40 pm

yes, alicia… it is similar, huh? the reminder that we are not alone in our suffering — just to see the tenderness of another, or the fragility of another… i find that comforting. that we are all incredibly strong and delicate at the same time. thank you :) xo


Jenna January 25, 2012 at 12:22 am

I hear you. It is a strange idea for us, especially Americans, to be with something that doesn’t have a solution. Life is full of these situations because some things, like illness, tragedy, etc., can’t be fixed and we cannot avoid them all even though we try hard to do so. xo


michelle January 26, 2012 at 9:42 pm

great point, jenna. we are kind of solution-obsessed, huh?! to think there is no solution…. hmmm…. xoxo


Jenna January 31, 2012 at 1:30 am

Yes, the idea that there is no solution is freeing, isn’t it?! :)


Mel January 25, 2012 at 9:56 am

Thinking. It feels a tiny bit freeing, if painful. Nothing to be done. It just is. Love to you. Thank you for this.


michelle January 26, 2012 at 9:42 pm

nothing to be done. thanks, mel <3


emma January 26, 2012 at 3:33 pm

maybe they can’t be “made better” or “fixed” but our feelings/how we look at the situation can.

taught on this idea today, thank you.


michelle January 26, 2012 at 9:43 pm

how true, emma! it’s all about outlook, approach, response, relationship to…. glad this provided some fodder. xoxo


Elizabeth January 26, 2012 at 11:18 pm

Huh. I wonder. I tend to go into things wanting to find the solution, to make it better, to make something go away. Like, even the feeling is a way to find the solution, because I think that by feeling it, I will move it out. I might want to think about this more.

I am working on belonging myself, so much empathy for that one.

Sending love to you.


michelle January 27, 2012 at 11:51 pm

Hmmm, yes. I do that, too. almost everything i do is in order to change something i don’t like. “belonging to myself” — may we all. <3


ashley January 27, 2012 at 1:37 am

hey michelle,
my name is ashley and i’ve never been to your yoga studio, but i’ve been following your blog for about 3 months now. i didn’t have a car during that time, but do now, so i hope to make it to a class soon (i’ve previously practiced in santa cruz and davis). i’ve been deeply moved by some of the things you have posted and written. they’ve helped me get through a very hard time in my life. this last post made me reflect upon the past 6 months of my life during which i’ve experienced and created quite a bit of pain and chaos. i’m coming out of all that now and hoping to in some way find meaning in all of this. i’m facing the aftermath of the storm i created and learning that i am not what i’ve done. the past (and the sadness, shame, and hurt that went along with it) is one of the things i cannot change. i’m not sure if i see the relief in that…but maybe it is nice to know that there’s nothing to do or change at this point. the only thing left to do is ride out the wave and let it be.


michelle January 28, 2012 at 12:07 am

hi ashley,
thank you so much for the comment, and for sharing about your journey. it sounds like you have a little distance from the situation from which to see things more broadly. which i imagine brings it’s own kind of relief or acceptance. perspective is huge — “facing the aftermath of the storm” as you describe is so much different than being in the middle of the storm. I really love your statement “i am not what i have done.” wow. i hope to meet you sometime — meanwhile we’ll ride those waves and let it be… thanks again. xo


Tami -- Teacher Goes Back to School January 27, 2012 at 11:29 pm

relief? i can see that, but the kind that comes with the absolute gutting pain of loss totally blows.

i would very much like to give you a hug right now.

ok, when i no longer have this nasty cough.

i love you, friend.


michelle January 29, 2012 at 6:10 pm

blows. i would take a hug even with the cough <3 xoxo


Alison January 29, 2012 at 10:36 am

This reminds me of what you once said about yoga….to think about coming to yoga just to feel, not to feel better….yoga is life.


michelle January 29, 2012 at 6:09 pm

ooooo, that’s so good, alison! thanks for the reminder :) xoxo


Corey February 13, 2012 at 1:09 am

May I offer this – “You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should …”
Desiderata, Max Ehrmann


Corey February 13, 2012 at 1:10 am
michelle February 16, 2012 at 12:43 pm

corey – for years i had a poster of this in my bedroom. i used to have it memorized. thank you for the reminder… xo


Kate March 4, 2012 at 12:17 pm

I had it on my wall too, Michelle. In it there is also this,

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

So as you always urge us, be gentle with yourself. As far as belonging, you are the center of an amazing community – if only you knew!!!


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