How did I begin thinking about my life as compost?
Well, I had a lot of garbage in my life: betrayals, incest, losses, adversities, failures, and set-backs. What do you do with all that?
I was one of the lucky ones who found story. I was offered chances by people who knew the secret of how to take the coffee grounds and orange peels of my life and see the makings of the rich, fertile soil of experience. Did it happen overnight? No. Did it take a lot of work? More than I ever could have imagined. Am I glad I did it? I had no choice. It was that or nothing. So, yes.
Here’s the thing: once you have the guts to inquire into life’s wide array of mishaps you end up with some genuinely useful stuff. All that decaying, smelly garbage can transform into compost to fertilize purposeful, engaging identities and self-expression we have yet to create. Our stories then become failure transformed to victory, fear to bravery, uncertainty to clarity, and so on.
You might be saying: “I have the garbage, but how do I get to compost?”
Start here: Invite whichever garbage-y part of your story to sit with you. See it for what it is: stuff that’s meant to grow you. Decide how you might wish to grow and thrive once you let the compost of your life do its fertilizing, nourishing thing. And then begin to write that story.
Why? Because what matters in our life is not what happens to us but how we respond, transform the difficulty into advantage, and live that story.