I kept telling myself over the break that in 2019 I was going to be lighter, more airy in my writing. I was going to write far more about ease, joy and the simplicity and appreciation of a purring cat or piling warm, freshly dried laundry on yourself and enjoying the heat.
The truth is that I have written about those things but I am a deep thinker. I get way down in the rabbit hole for a bit with things, ideas, concepts and when I come back up I want to share it. I want to share because, like love, the only way you keep it is by giving it away.
Early in December, I read this post on Instagram from Caleb Campbell (who PS you should follow). He said, “when it comes to your inner healing, the “aha” moment, the insight, is just the beginning.” He goes on to say that “these moments of insights are invitations, doors of opportunity, for you to begin to explore what’s really happening at the root level — what’s really keeping you stuck in the past and unable to step into the new.”
He suggests that insight without action is just a higher way of coping. At first we may ask, what’s wrong with coping until we get clear on what that really means. Other words for coping are:
None of these are words I want to describe my life. At times, we have to do this but I don’t want a higher form of coping as my default position. I want healing and freedom so I can stop surviving and start thriving. So I’ve been working with this idea and as I arrive at these mini-epiphanies I think “how am I taking action with this?”
Then earlier this week, I saw this: Overthinking is not the problem; it’s the symptom. The problem is fear. Deal with the fear. ~ Craig Harper
Bam! Followed quickly by, “ouch!” I thought, yes, that’s for sure and I was spinning around in the glee of that until I realized, “oh crap.” I now have to apply that or I fall right back into coping. It may be spiritualized, high-brow coping but coping all the same. Now I gotta do the work. Face the fear of whatever is keeping me stuck and overthinking so I don’t have to feel it. Truth sets you free but it can be a real buzzkill. Being transparent with ourselves about how we operate, avoid, obfuscate, (you know, cope), is difficult. Sometimes you have to start with your eyes covered and just peeking out between your fingers. Then slowly you pull your hands away from your eyes and really look at what you are doing.
It’s like Psychotherapist Nicole Sachs says, life isn’t about choosing between what hurts and what’s awesome. It’s choosing between what hurts and what hurts worse.
We only ever move, really move, when we’re forced. When we’re pushed. When staying the same is far more painful than changing. It’s why we don’t lose the weight, write the book, quit the job, start the job, leave the marriage, get married, work on the marriage, confront, concede…unless pushed.
Because right now staying isn’t more painful than changing… Until it is we don’t change we just temporarily try on a new way of being until it gets hard. And then going back is easier than sticking with the new, than sticking with the work that the thing we say we want requires.
The reality of this remains in the simplest and most complicated of ways.
It’s why addicts get clean: they are sick and tired of being sick and tired.
It’s why you finish a marathon because not finishing, in the end, hurts worse.
So the “aha” moment is merely the noticing that the doorbell has been rung. It’s hearing your name has been called. The difference, the game changer, is in the answering.
If you made a resolution this year and you’re already faltering, here are some things to consider:
1. Change is never linear. Just because you made a mistake(s) is not a sign to quit.
2. Is it too painful to stay where you are yet? If so, get to work.
Show up. Do your work so you can do more than cope, you can move into hope. Hope becomes faith and and faith becomes reality.
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G