Wowza! Last week was full of challenges, sharp edges, tender spots prodded. At first, I was lamenting why this was happening to me and why many life situations seemed at tipping points. I wish I could tell you exactly how or why this perspective shifted for me suddenly, probably the result of reading many self-help books on emotional maturity, perspective, boundaries, and the like.
Even if I can’t trace the origin, I am thankful for it because what I thought unexpectedly was: Hang on, what if this is everything I have been asking for? What if these situations are asking me to create healthier limitations in my life? What if being pushed to pause and take breaks is an opportunity to practice all I have learned?
One of the steps I took last week was re-evaluating a class that I have been teaching for years. I have sensed that I have been overextending myself for months. I tend to push myself to the edge of my limits. That’s not anyone else’s responsibility. That’s mine. As the saying goes, we teach people how to treat us. We teach them what we will tolerate. And truth be told, I have been an overly permissive teacher in my life. I have struggled to say no. I often am a people-pleaser, even when nobody is asking. These situations were simply reflecting my lack of boundaries, my unwillingness to say no, my compunction to be liked.
Here I was being offered the chance to choose again. It felt messy and complicated. I was fearful of disappointing others. I still am to some degree. But then I remembered inspiration from a guided meditation I have been following daily by Sarah Blondin:
“What we are trying so hard to avoid or hold in place may, in fact, be our dreams trying to come into form. There will be moments in your life where all will seem in chaos and disharmony, and in those moments, you remember the universe is re-ordering your life to match more of what you’re calling forth.”
In the last 8-10 days, I have repeatedly asked myself, what if this is the universe re-ordering my life to match more of what I have been warning? This is where I run up against my penchant for resistance. I do not flow with life as smoothly and efficiently as I hope to someday. My default is to dig my heels in. Yet this week, even though it was full of clenched moments, I found myself opening up to the idea that these challenging moments were also full of possibility. That may be, for once in my life; the best choice was to let go. If my hands are so full of what has been, they cannot possibly catch what could be. Right?
How many times have we wished for something new, and then at the prospect of losing what we have, we panic? We cling tighter to the thing that we said we wanted to relinquish. (Me, that’s me. I am raising my hand)
I have been saying that I wanted more space to follow through with new dreams and ideas. Then I had the moment present itself, and I took it instead of doing what I usually do, which is to hold tightly. I opened my hands and told myself, “let’s try something new.”
This may sound fluid and serendipitous, and possibly it was, but make no mistake, it was also full of self-doubt, anxiety, and angst. We always imagine, or at least I do, that my dreams coming true will feel like a cool breeze on a warm day at the beach. But it’s far more like having sand in your bathing suit. It’s uncomfortable. It’s awkward, and you aren’t sure how it’s going to shake out.
In so many ways, it reminds me of the day our book went on sale on Amazon. It was so exciting. A day we had worked toward for more than a year had finally reached its culmination. I was also terrified. The day we had worked for had finally arrived, and now everyone who had Amazon Prime was going to be reading our words in 2 days!!!
Be careful what you wish for; you may get it! Are you ready for that? Getting what we want and work for requires us to let go of what we have currently, which more than anything is certainty. Knowing what to expect maybe dull, but it also feels safe.
Could we all learn to recognize forms of chaos and disharmony as the re-ordering of our life for more of what we have asked for? In addition, much like the serenity prayer, let us also have the wisdom to discern good chaos from bad.
I don’t know that I have that discernment just yet. I also don’t understand how the choices I made this week will turn out. But I did make decisions based on my values, on healthier boundaries, and not out of a desperate need to be liked. That feels like a better order in my life. I will keep you posted about the rest.
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G