Ever feel the need to shake your life up and rearrange the pieces?
A few years ago I was lost.
My life wasn't going the way I had always thought it would. I was at the age I once thought of as "old" and I had always assumed that wisdom and contentment came with that big number. Being accomplished, settled and happy came along as well, or so I thought.
But I wasn't any of those things, except happy in my marriage. My well organized life lacked purpose and deeper meaning and weirdly enough instead of feeling wise with age, I felt like a naive 17 year old.
My confusion permeated everything. My job. My relationship with my kids. How I felt about myself. And wondering what my real life's purpose was weighed heavy on my heart and my mind. At that time my oldest had just left for college and I was reeling with the change it brought to my identity. Who was I if not busy mom anymore?
I started making some small changes to get out of my slump, distancing myself from things I had always done and rethinking ways of being that were ingrained in me. It worked for a while. On the surface I was more alive, but deep down I still wondered why everyone else seemed so happy and questioned why I was not.
I really dislike feeling stuck.
I wished for my life to feel right from the inside instead of always worrying about how it looked from the outside. I made a bold move and tried shaking things up by changing jobs and leaving the one I had held for nearly 24 years. It proved to be all things a highly sensitive person should not do---and halfway through my first year I was both mentally and physically exhausted, and very negative.
What helped me out of my slump the most was to begin writing again. Which after years of NOT writing anything, felt great even if the writing wasn't. It was an outlet to share my truth and I wrote it solely for me. But others read it and let me know that it resonated with them.
So it did give me some clarity, but it also led to more confusion. And when I am confused or unable to grasp something, I ask more questions. Then if I don't understand after the answers, I get frustrated (patience was never my virtue) and then overwhelm sets in and I give up. That leads to some serious negativity.
My mean voice found the fuel she needed to take over and paralyze me with the fear of doing it wrong. I became so afraid of doing anything wrong that I just stayed safe and coasted along -- alternately controlling things, and then getting exasperated when they didn't work out the way I envisioned and then giving up. But never growing forward.
Staying safe I now realize, is another name for staying stuck. No forward movement = frozen, stagnant, trapped. My biggest fear.
I didn't yet understand that the power was within me to change my life. One baby step at a time. The only way to get unstuck is to move forward, a step at a time -- don't try to solve everything in one move, just begin making the necessary changes to open up doors.
I read the book entitled Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway and it made me see that what I feared most was moving out of my comfort zone and not being able to handle it. The whole book can be summed up like this: What is the worst thing you can imagine, now if that happens, can you handle it? Then, if you can handle that, you can handle anything.
Too easy? Not really. Thinking in that way made me see that it is okay to fail. To try again. To fall flat. The world does not end. Just because I fail does not mean that I am a failure--my mean voice had me so tricked into thinking it meant exactly that!
Stop looking outside yourself to make the changes you need to make from within. Stop giving away your power to others: bosses, friends, situations, history, or the mean voice in your head.
Take a step forward. Shake it up. Create a kerfluffle*.
You may find that is exactly what your spirit needs to find the sunny side of the street.