Not Done

September 23, 2012 § 54 Comments

I have been away.  Not in the ordinary sense.  Away as in disconnected from my sense of self.  Lost.

Last night was the worst.  I awoke in the dark with a rock sure sense of my unworthiness.  This blog, this book idea, this whole thing- all a big hoax.  I had nothing to say, really.  What was the point of it all? I composed in my head the final post, called it “Done.”   Thinking the pain would subside once I embraced my unworthiness.

Somehow I returned to sleep and awoke this morning feeling different.  Like a fever had broken.  The doubt and fear weren’t washed away but I thought- when the darkness has run its course, it will go.  You will find the strength again and carry on.

Struggle, I now understand, comes to me in two ways.  When great loss comes, or when my busy lethal mind beckons, I feel the battle rise.  But I am aware and ready.  I know that I will falter.  But I also know who I am.  This is good struggle.

But when I lose my sense of self, it’s different.  Nothing but the demons of anxiety and self-loathing battling against my blunt desire to be free of those horrors, a desire for relief in any form, at any cost.  In this battle, no peace can exist for me- only numbness.

Before the fever broke this morning, I was in the pit of bad struggle.  Fighting a battle that I could never win as I wasn’t really there.

Good struggle, even in its most daunting moments, is a great blessing.  A reminder that we are here- fully conscious of our self- seeking that way of being that is the great treasure.  A struggle that never ends and never should.

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§ 54 Responses to Not Done

  • annanimm says:

    I can see the value of struggle – in the sense of overcoming our limits, growth, expansion. But I confess, the most magical moments of my life have been those without struggle, when I felt in the flow and complete ease. And I’m having a lot more of them. So I’m not sure I would say that struggle never “should” end – but perhaps this resonates differently with every individual.

    • Thomas Ross says:

      Since writing this post, I have been moving more in your direction- seeking the effortless way.

      Thanks for your kind message and thoughtful response.


  • it’s this thing called Life… don’t give in!

  • Julianna says:

    What a gorgeous, thoughtful, kind, loving community you are fostering here! Wow. And it is because you have been truly YOU on these pages. I am so deeply happy for you. FYI – this is a time of tremendous transition, shedding, and shifting for many, many, many of us. Especially those who are aware, but even for those who aren’t. You are not alone. You are moving Energy daily, and you are learning to return to a place of peace. These are no small steps – in fact I suspect they’re the largest you’ve ever taken if you were to take a good look. Thank you for allowing me to be part of your journey – it is a privilege!

    • Thomas Ross says:


      Yes, the sense of community that has arisen for me here is as surprising as it is significant to me. I spend as much, or more, time reading and thinking about the replies here, as well as the writing that others are posting, as I do writing my own posts. And I have no doubt that the time is very well spent. I can feel the influence and the energy coming out of this community. Wondrous.

      Thanks so much for your constant support.


  • brendamarroy says:

    Hi Tom,
    Reading this reminded me of something I know for a certainty, even in the midst of all my uncertainty. It is this:
    Even at my most unaware times I am aware of how unaware I can be.

    As far as the book project. You sound like me. I spend too many moments wondering when I’m going to quit pretending I’m a writer and find something productive to do.

    The path to wholeness is fraught with uncertainty, doubt, disillusionment, and sometimes hopelessness. It’s part of the human condition and no matter how much I unfold and grow into my fullness, I still am on this planet in a human body with a mind that is filled with thoughts.

    I trust who you are, where you are on your journey, and the words that come out of your heart and onto the page. You’re awesome and I thank you for sharing “truth.” Love to you my dear brother, Brenda

    • Thomas Ross says:


      Sorry it’s taken a while to reply to your so kind and thoughtful message. Feeling steady and strong again now.

      You know I have the same feeling for your wondrous writing. Always open and honest and self-aware, filled with warmth and insight.

      I think it a very good and lucky thing that we have this connection.



  • Welcome back Tom…this reminds me of something I cam across a little while back.

    “The tiny seed knew that in order to grow it needed to be dropped in dirt, covered in darkness, and that it would struggle to reach the light.”

  • Sean J says:

    I feel like the sum of all such struggles we endure and conquer is wherever we are now, at this point in time. We’d not be the same person if it weren’t for them, and I think it’s a good thing. Strength to you, Tom. Thanks for sharing this personal piece.

  • jennlaurent (LiveThroughTheHeart) says:


    I so often feel this way too and want to just turn in the towel. I think we all go there sometimes. Your writing in all forms is a gift to us all. I think the struggle is part of what makes your words so powerful.

    • Thomas Ross says:


      Please do not throw in your towel. Your writing is so true and open and thoughtful.

      Our connection is very important to me. Sharing and supporting each other’s writing.

      Thank you.


  • Cassie says:

    I was wondering where you had been and I’m glad you are back! The book will happen; it is meant to be. However, I think it might end up being slightly different from how you first imagined, and it will be even better for that. 🙂

  • Anne says:

    Tom I truly believe that you will continue with The Book Project. The Struggle you have in life is propelling you forward, each episode of struggle, making you stronger, allowing you to share your gift of writing with others. In each Post I see the strength, strengthen in you.You are a unique gift in this world, and your light shines through your struggles. Keep on keeping on. Sending you Peace Light Love and Healing. (Great Spirit Give me strength, Not to be stronger than my brother, But to fight my greatest enemy; myself)



  • chrisbkm says:

    Good morning Tom,

    Considering your post made me think about balance and the precarious nature of “purpose” on this way that we travel. Sometimes it’s good to step back, let it all go so that we can pick it up again (sometimes a night’s rest is enough).
    Then, I thought about No. 30 (you know the book I mean). I always drop the words “in governing men” from the first line and go with “Whoever relies on the Tao doesn’t try to force issues…” I alter the references to enemies, arms and violence to read more in terms of personal struggle, or simply how we deal with others on a day-to-day basis. In any case I find it a valuable reminder at times.

    Trust and be gentle with yourself.


    • Thomas Ross says:


      Thank you for this very thoughtful reply.

      Trust, acceptance, letting go. To cease resistance, to give up illusion. Yes, this is it.

      Your message is as warm as it is insightful.

      Thank you.


  • smithdavid says:

    i try not to use logic in times of doubt and when i feel unworthy, tom. logic only fuels the fire. i try and just observe the feelings and know that they will pass. keep up the good work with the blog – it’s great to know i’m not alone….dave

    • Thomas Ross says:


      Same here. I have never felt less alone than in the months I have been writing here. So many good people showing up and reading and leaving their insights and their support. It’s an amazing and blessed thing.



  • Bless you on your journey. I really like your poetic style of writing. I can relate to what you say.

    • Thomas Ross says:


      Thank you for the blessing and for the great compliment about the “poetic style.” I do try to make each word count in the post. At the same time wanting to leave space for the reader to fill in.

      Thank you.


  • Archana says:

    I am glad that the moment passed. And ‘Done’ has been put away.
    The greatest strength lies in not giving into such moments, and fighting em. You have it in you, i know Tom!

  • Robyn Lee says:

    Oh Dearest Tom… I am thinking about what happens when we become “disconnected” — It has happened to most of us — sort of a coming ‘undone’ …usually suddenly, and without warning as you describe. I think there is so much work in staying connected — daily work – dedication to self – focus on self – appreciation of self. Every now and then life gets complicated, and we neglect self… and we get ‘disconnected’. I so much feel for your recent ordeal — and know you have already regained your connection and are likely stronger than ever there… I have heard that we do often come back to “source” in our sleep (as it seems you did!) — it’s where we most often ‘release resistance’ which is usually all it takes to realign. You have done that – and I’m thrilled. You have so much to give and to offer — I know your book will be a wonderful masterpiece — and touch many souls. Keep on top of taking care of you my friend – that is the MOST important thing …. Much Love ~ Robyn

    • Thomas Ross says:


      I’m sorry that I didn’t reply sooner. But I’m feeling a lot stronger now.

      It’s hard for me to express adequately my gratitude. You have such a clear sense of my thought and my feelings. It helps me so much to read and think about the messages you leave for me here.

      Thank you.


  • Gigi wanders says:

    You are a big hoax. A fraud.
    You don’t have anything new to say, really.
    There’s no point to it.
    You MUST do as you intend and post your final post, aptly calling it “Done.”
    Because, Tom, you are unworthy.
    And you are loathsome.

    • Gigi wanders says:

      Hey Tom
      My first comment (still awaiting moderation) was an exercise for you.
      I used all the negative thoughts/words you used to describe yourself.
      I wanted to know whether, when you read these words, you felt defensive, shocked, hurt and wounded, sad, angry … in short, what was your first reaction?
      And then, to know that the reaction you have within yourself when you self-malign, is equal if not greater in damage you do to yourself.
      That was all. (I see that my earlier comment has not been approved, and is still awaiting moderation).
      It would have been good to see other people’s reaction when they had not been privy to the ‘hoax’.
      Oh well. Foiled again.

    • Gigi wanders says:

      We are often outraged when others malign us, yet we find it quite acceptable to do it to ourselves. Repeatedly, I might add.

    • chrisbkm says:

      When I first saw this, I was surprised that it slipped through the spam filter… then the brilliance of it dawned on me. And then of course I saw the followup. Or maybe I saw the follow up before the dawning. In any case – a fresh and bright reminder to be on alert for the monster within. It’s worth paying attention to where Gigi wanders.

  • DIRNDL SKIRT says:

    I wish I could leave a wise reply, but all I can do is offer sincere empathy. On a regular basis I find myself doubting my worth, prejudging in a negative way the outcomes of projects, dreams, goals, and beating myself up for my shortcomings. And then, somehow, it passes. I do agree with David Kanigan’s comment, all of it. And I am happy that the title of this post is “Not Done.”

    • Thomas Ross says:


      It’s taken me a while to reply but things much better now- steadier for sure.

      To take the time to read and then to extend your empathy is the gift you give- a gift you have consistently offered to me, again and again.

      Thank you.


  • Dear Tom,
    I have felt the way you have described often. Where I want to delete my blog, delete my writing and wash my hands of the whole thing. Throw it all away. And those times I’ve felt that way, I’ve thought of your writing and how strong it is. Your writing is a true blessing to us all, a gift. That’s the truth. And what a gift your book will be. Thank you so much for taking us all along on this journey with you. Sincerely, Elizabeth

    • Thomas Ross says:


      Hard to know what to say. I’ll stumble if I really try to express how much your thoughtful, and constant, attention and caring means to me.

      Your own writing is so soulful and eloquent. But more than that, you are such a kind person.

      I can only say- thank you, Elizabeth. Thank you so much.


  • SprinklinThoughts says:

    Been feeling that way myself for past couple of weeks. Hang in there…

    • Thomas Ross says:


      You too.

      The great thing is that we know change will come- that’s the only sure thing.

      Thanks for the read and reply. The time that you give to my work is a gift that I don’t take for granted.


  • It’s hard to believe in the very depths of a ‘bad struggle’ but as soon as it’s over the lesson of impermanence screams at you 🙂
    this too shall pass… /\

  • Our greatest struggle, or battle if you will, is within ourselves. We have so many conflicting voices, that it’s hard to sort through it all to find the true and correct message. Through it all we fight the good fight and most often find our way. 🙂

    • Thomas Ross says:


      We will find our way. And the attention and support we give to each other provides an energy and strength to each of us. What an amazing community I have entered!

      Thanks for being part of all this.


  • fgassette says:

    I remember reading this somewhere and I hope it helps you at this time. God could have kept Daniel out of the lion’s den. He could have kept Paul and Silas out of jail. He could have kept the three Hebrew children out of the fiery furnace. But God has never promised to keep us out of hard places. What He has promised is to go with us through every hard place, and to bring us through victoriously. Know that you always have people in the blogging community that are praying for you and wishing you well in all that you do. Your struggles will produce a fine book for us all to read.


    • Thomas Ross says:


      The time and care you took to reply to my post means so much to me. I can feel the encouragement and blessing from your direction.

      I am drawing much energy from the support of the kind and gentle people who come here. I am truly blessed.

      Thank you.


  • artyelf says:

    I had wondered where you were, and was glad to see your post in my Reader today. Sorry you have been struggling, but your attitude to this time is very encouraging.
    So good the fever has broken, and we can read your beautiful words again.
    Love to you, Elyn ♡

    • Thomas Ross says:


      Thank you so much for those words. I am much better and feeling great energy.

      Sharing our writing has meant a great deal to me- these honest, personal, and sometimes painful writings we each have posted. I feel the influence of your work in my own.

      Thank you, Elyn.


  • dadirri7 says:

    yes Tom, the good struggle is worth every moment, you will come through because you are not those thoughts …… travelling has thrown up opportunities for me to fall into little puddles of doubt, sadness, self-pity, and so on …. much more than in the familiar life at home …. but now it is like splashing through a puddle, in another moment or two things are solid again, equlibrium is restored …. i love your writing, your words are always an invitation to reflect and learn, thank you, much love, Christine

    • Thomas Ross says:


      The reflection and learning is going in both directions here. I find myself spending as much time reading and thinking about the conversations back and forth here as I do writing the blog posts. I never imagined how this would actually work- a community of writers and readers, thoughtful and honest exchange. Generosity and insight abound.

      I’m blessed to be part of this community- and to have you part of it.



  • Susan P. Koniak says:

    Sending much love.

  • Stretching into new territory brings high degrees of discomfort and anxiety. It is also a sure signal that you are on the path to personal growth. With your talent, you’ll bust through this phase and not look back. I want to read your book. Onward and forward Tom.

    • Thomas Ross says:


      I like the phrase “bust through.” Often in my life, I’ve approached something hard but significant and let self-doubt steer me away. This time I do intend to bust through. Will take time and there will be some stumbling, but no veering off.

      Thanks for the continued support.


  • aallegoric says:

    You’re strong and you’ll win these battles and struggles eventually. I can find your strength in every word you write.

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