Sometimes, delusion and denial can serve us for a time; often, we need it to keep us safe and functioning. At some point, though, it just keeps us stuck. And when we feel paralyzed or stuck and know we've been hiding (either from others or from ourselves) it's likely time to look within to see if there is something(s) we are resisting or at least failing to acknowledge. Since what we resist persists, and also robs us of precious energy, the first and most important action is to truly acknowledge that we have, in fact, been resisting, denying, ignoring or otherwise not dealing with what we know is so. There is simply no real movement before we take this step. Even if doing this feels really icky, painful, uncomfortable and heavy, it will weigh much less than denying its existence and carrying it around, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. What is that it? Whatever IT is for you. We will all have more than one it throughout our lives. It will change and/or recur. And I submit that we cannot actually hit bottom until we wake up and own whatever it is we've been squashing down because IT has been squashing us down too.
Your own hitting bottom need not necessarily involve drugs or alcohol, near-death, serious injury, hospitalization, incarceration, or homelessness, but sometimes it is that stark. It doesn't have to be. Bottom for you may just be the day you look up and say, "How the hell did I get here and who is this person who looks like me but isn't?" If you do find yourself in that place, after you go through whatever personal process is needed, then it's time to celebrate, because if you've determined that you've "hit rock bottom", there is only one way to go from there! Perhaps you could put on some music and rock YOUR bottom!
I don’t know about you, but I’m very grateful for any reminder to just breathe, be present and to simply notice and appreciate the little things in life. When you think about it, what else is there? And, being present to what is as much as we can is not mutually exclusive with having hope and vision for the future or planning as necessary. The problem is that when we spend much more time in the past and the future than in the present, we aren't truly experiencing our lives. On the flip side, having a dependence on staying in the moment to avoid dealing with the icky stuff in our lives also creates problems. Like everything else, it's about finding the right balance.
If you need a bit of evidence about the benefits and power of staying present, try this little exercise:
Recall a few specific times in your life when you felt pure joy. Just think of moments in time. They can be recently, long ago or anywhere in-between. I predict that you'll find they were often, if not always, when you were completely present and aware right in that moment.
Did you ever notice that simply by changing the position of one letter, the word SCARED becomes the word SACRED?
That gave me pause. I don't know why I never noticed it before. So I started thinking (dangerous, I know) Not being a particularly religious person, though fairly spiritual, I had to look up the actual definition. I do this pretty frequently, even when I know or think I know what a word means, to make sure it's being used correctly and to look for nuance.
Everyone probably knows the most common meaning of the word sacred as it relates to religion, deity, and as a synonym for holy. Although I didn't learn anything new from my visit with Mr. Webster, the reminders were appreciated and resonant. In no particular order:
- devoted exclusively to one service or use (as of a person or purpose);
- entitled to reverence and respect; and,
- highly valued and important
When I thought about the word sacred with its various meanings, and how being scared could be and likely IS in the way of my having or achieving certain things I deem highly important, I was a little bit surprised. It's not that I've never examined how fear has been or is an obstacle for me; it's that simply by changing the language, I looked at it a bit differently which was, and continues to be enlightening for me. It's a great reminder that changing our PERSPECTIVE can sometimes be the most effective tool we have. I've always loved words and language, so for me, this is just another reason to appreciate semantics. Nuance is important.
If looking at this issue (how fear is in your way) changes at all when you re-phrase the question to How does being scared prevent or preclude the sacred in my life?, I'd love to hear about it.
So, on a rainy Thursday morning, I'm raising my coffee mug to language, semantics and to creating more of whatever we hold as sacred in our lives!
- ON CONQUERING PROCRASTINATION
- Rock Your Bottom?
- MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR SUMMER
- From SCARED to SACRED
- NO MORE RESOLUTIONS!
- BACK TO WORK
- GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION
- OCTOBER IS ADHD AWARENESS MONTH!
- DID YOU KNOW...
- JUST SAY OOPS AND MOVE ON