As I continue to struggle with this decision that I’m trying to make, I have become aware that my need for clarity in the situation and clear direction about the right path to take is less about my own internal need for certainty and more about needing to able to clearly defend my choice to others.
I’ve been giving myself such a hard time for needing so much certainty before I decide, but I suspect that’s not the real issue at all. The real issue is letting go of what other people may think of my decision.
“I’m not sure one can remain safe and grow at the same time.” ~Judith Hanson Lasater
I participated in a yoga teacher webinar with Judith Hanson Lasater tonight as part of my ongoing continuing education as a yoga teacher. This particular class was about teaching beginning students, and she made the comment above in the context of encouraging students to continue to stretch beyond the comfort zones (within reason) in order to grow in their practice of yoga. However, it struck me as a very powerful truth about life in general.
Growth is always about pushing beyond that which we already are. This is inherently risky—and therefore is never safe. To grow is to risk, so I can’t stay safe and grow at the same time.
“Make a decision and then make the decision right. Line up your Energy with it. In most cases, it doesn’t really matter what you decide. Just decide. There are endless options that would serve you enormously well, and all or any one of them is better than no decision.” ~Abraham
I am not good with decisions. I mean really, really not good with decisions. I can over-analyze my options to death until the choices wind up disappearing without me ever picking one.
I recently had a situation where a decision I had made was tested by another very tempting opportunity being offered to me that would cause me to undo my original decision. I really struggled with the question of whether to stick with my original decision or change my mind in order to take advantage of this new option. Both options had their pros and cons, but after much debate, I decided to stick with my original choice based on my gut feel even though logic would have argued that I take the new option. Once I had chosen to stick with my original decision, it felt like I had passed a test by showing my commitment to my choice.
We had a line of thunderstorms blow through town this evening. The day had been quite warm with brilliant blue skies dotted with puffy white clouds. There was a bit of a breeze, and the ground is dry and thirsty from too little rain for too long. It was a lovely day to be outside enjoying a summer weekend.
As the storms approached, it rapidly went from blue sky to black. Street lights came on early. The temperature dropped 25 degrees in a matter of minutes, and the wind became fierce. I heard at least one sizable tree limb hit the roof, and leaves rained down from the trees. Thunder, lightning and heavy rains quickly followed. Although the storm blew through rather quickly and we did not get nearly as much rain as we needed, I was struck tonight at how clearly the storm paralleled the way changes can appear in our lives and overturn everything in what seems like minutes.
“Just because others choose to make it complicated, stressful and painful doesn’t mean I need to buy into that reality. Other people’s judgements and opinions are often a reflection of what they feel about themselves and the state of their own lives. I’m loving my life even through the lessons and challenges. In gratitude for every breath my body takes!” ~Tevya Jones
I’ve spent most of my years finding life to be complicated, stressful, and painful. In fact, I often had the impression that the more important/real/valuable/lovable I was, the more life would be complicated, stressful, and painful. After all, don’t most of us make connections around complaining about how hard our lives are?
I had a bit of an epiphany today. I was thinking about a conversation I had recently had with friend who had been really beating herself up (verbally). As I thought about her tendency to engage in this kind of self-talk, an unexpected question popped into my mind: “What’s she getting out of doing that?” Because I have the same tendency myself, this immediately became a mirror to ask myself, “What am I getting (or hoping to get) out of doing that?” Ouch.
After my initial surprise at such a seemingly harsh question appearing out of nowhere had subsided somewhat, I found myself pondering the question a little more deeply. I am becoming increasingly convinced that all of our choices are made (consciously or unconsciously) in terms of what we believe will bring us the greatest benefit, so even my friend’s choice to bad-mouth herself was a choice made in terms of what she believed (unconsciously in this case, I think) would bring her the most positive result.
On the surface that seems crazy! But it really does make sense if you think about it a little bit …
“It’s an open acknowledgment of a tendency we all have: to make things much more complicated than they need to be. After all, it’s much more fun – and still leaves room for other addictions, like procrastination, perfection and control – to engage in mental masturbation.” ~Beth Buelow, The Introvert Entrepreneur
Clearly I still needed another gentle push to jump today after my post of yesterday. I came home from work today to find Beth’s post entitled How to Kick Your Paralysis by Analysis Addiction (from which the quote above is taken) waiting for me in my RSS reader. Talk about a timely message!