The lovely, witty, funny, and talented Amanda Insidethelifeofmoi allowed ME to write the following Guest Post for her hugely successful blog! If your one of the few who are not already following her, please check her out! Thanks again Amanda!
This may seem a bit selfish at first glance. The “me, me, me,” of my inner two year old, but au contraire my darlings.
A good portion of my life has been spent reacting. Something happens, big or small, and I am veered off in that direction. I’m not talking about having an attention disorder or OCD, such as in a typical day of mine: Making my way to the bathroom, spot a piece of lint on the carpet, must pick up. Walk by the laundry room; should really stop and throw a load in. Walk by the kitchen, “Did someone leave their plate out?” Better clean that up. The pillows on the couch are smooshed; must fluff! Eventually my bladder says to me, “Hey lady, can we make it to the bathroom at some point here?” Oh, right!
I am talking about life on a grander scale, like those pesky things called relationships, careers, and dreams. When we don’t know what we want in life, we simply follow along with whatever comes our way. We may even have a muffled whisper deep down trying desperately to communicate with us, but we are too afraid to listen. We may even make excuses like me, an expert at talking myself into anything! Here are a few pernicious examples from my life:
1. I really wanted to finish my Bachelor’s Degree in Communications. I had made it so far but I had a fiance now and didn’t really need to work, so I quit. I told myself I was tired of school and the money it cost would be a waste if I wasn’t going to get a job anyway. Lazy ass.
2. My inner voice, “You need to write.” My all-controlling mind, “You should help your husband with his business and spend all day on the computer doing work you hate because at least you will be useful.” How did I talk myself into that one?
3. After my divorce, I told myself that I really wanted to be with someone who has the same spiritual views as me. Met someone. Did not have the same views. Oh well…he gets along so great with my kids; it must be right! Insert eye roll.
4. Years ago, I had numerous “unexplainable” health issues. I didn’t want to think or believe that it was my jacked-up life causing these problems, or my inner soul desperately sending me wake-up calls. So I reacted to my body and focused on 1. Freaking out and 2. Visiting every western and eastern medicine doctor within a 100 mile radius.
There have often been times when I am so out-of-tune with myself that I was truly only reacting to life. Almost hoping, waiting for something or someone to come along to fill the void and lead the way for me.
Years ago, I was asked by a well-known author and spiritual leader, “What is it you want my dear?”
“Ummm…,” I said, looking somewhat like a deer caught in head lights. This was also in front of a large group of people which did not help in the least. They all seemed to look at me, just waiting. I could only imagine them thinking, “Who doesn’t know what they want? Loser.”
He told me that we were going to take a break, I could think about it, and we would continue discussing it when we all returned.
I went back to my hotel room and thought about it. I thought about it for so long and with no results, that I began to panic. What was wrong with me? I never did come up with an answer. When we all reconvened and I had nothing of worthiness to report, I thought I sensed the questioner’s slight disappointment. It was humiliating. I felt like a total failure.
If we don’t know what we want, we will simply live a life of reaction to everything and everyone around us. Every ache or pain will become our focus. Every person that annoys us will distract us. Every little blip in the road will be greeted with our undivided attention. We will allow ourselves to be dragged into other people’s drama. The options for distractions are endless.
How can we know what to do and where to go if we really have no idea what we truly want?
At the beginning of the year, I had to make a change (remember that work I hated?), but I seriously had NO clue what to do! I asked and I listened (OK, maybe I pleaded a bit) with no answer, but I decided that I had to have faith and believe that it would come. And it did. I wanted to teach Pilates and I wanted to finally sit down and write. Within seven months, I completed my training and am now teaching. I also started my blog….I am finally writing.
I have to be honest though, some of my “life diversions” have led me to grander things and seemed to have served some purpose to where I am now. Maybe it’s more about knowing when to get off the path that has become too treacherous than getting on; however, I also think we often take the back winding country roads, when we could have taken the expressway.
Every day I am practicing to be aware and to “read the signs,” because they are there. Life is speaking to us every moment in every way imaginable and unimaginable. If we would only stop and listen.