Consider the outcome for each of us when we live our lives pulled by beliefs which do not map to our own. For example, I always took exception to the idea espoused by one of my principals that if I gave my students control and power over some of the decision making processes in the classroom and regarding the work which they submitted, then I’d lose control of the class and turn the institution over to the inmates (now there’s a metaphor!). I could never figure out how us all moving in the same direction and at the same speed and toward the same goal was the only good thing.
I’m reminded of crabs in a bucket and the fact that when one of them attempts to escape the confines of that space, others will strive just as hard to pull that one errant crab back into the group. How many times have I allowed myself to be pulled back by others and to accept that that is what I should be doing?
And how many times in my life have I wanted the Coles notes version of things? How many times have I demanded answers NOW and, in that demanding, accepted and settled for an answer which, in my heart of hearts I knew was only obfuscation and a distraction?
I see my father who trained me very well to believe that only that which could be proved empirically was valid, only if I went out to work to earn an income was I doing something worthwhile, that the product was so much more important than any process. I’m struck with the thought that it’s no wonder we were at odds for so much of our time together. At my core, I just didn’t buy it and I couldn’t believably pretend that I did.
How often do we deceive ourselves so much that it makes it easier for us to better deceive each other? I’m so aware that there have been places in my life where I would not betray others and yet I would betray mySelf. No surprise that, for much of my life, I’ve felt at war with myself – trying to fit in and feel accepted and acceptable while knowing deep down that, for me, it was all a lie.
I know that more will be revealed to me as I continue to transform. The thought of ‘more’ as something potentially ominous looming on my horizon makes me laugh now. How many times over the last few years have I wondered why things cannot just settle down without ‘more’ coming to the fore – more questions, more confusion, more thoughts? And I’ve felt ‘Oh no! Here it comes again!’ when anything ‘more’ makes its presence known. How easy it would be to run from that. And I celebrate that I choose not to run. I choose not to go into coma. I choose mySelf.
As I’ve moved forward and chosen that which maps to the I AM that I AM, I’ve watched what’s happening in my world and seen it as an metaphor for what’s happening in each of us when we choose to abdicate our own author-ity. The older I get, the more I believe that people, no matter their age, learn to hide themselves from each other so well until they have even learned to hide themselves from themselves. They lose connection with their birthright. And even as I’ve found language for my thoughts over these last few years and as I’ve become comfortable with my right to put mySelf first, I know that I was lucky. Until 4 years ago, I was a very unhappy hamster stuck on a wheel not of my initial making and which, although it was comfortable and known, was increasingly painful to run. Now, I remind mySelf that my body and spirit will lead me in my path when I pay attention.
I continue to remove myself from ‘doing’ life – the right thing, what’s expected, what I’ve believed others hold as my role. I’m enjoying the freedom to express mySelf and to know that those who receive that are relating/responding/ receiving me in my reality. There’s inner silence in that and calm and joy without feeling any need to scramble around – only connection to the moment.
I’m choosing to live my life with relaxed rigour. That really describes what I feel – relaxing into my confusion and being willing to be okay with that and trusting that there will be discoveries and that they will be absolutely genius for me. Not running away from my confusion anymore – not creating work to fill the time and distract myself, not having ‘How about them Jays?’ conversations, or engaging in any of the distraction strategies which I’ve developed over my lifetime. I’m choosing to ‘do’ in such a different way now – not ‘doing’ to divert myself from choosing and ‘doing’ to answer my deeper intention.