My husband and co-founder (Greg Dickson) of Life Origami wrote recently in his article “Beyond the Shadow of Sadness, Sorrow and Grief”.
As I read a few of the paragraphs on Greg’s blog, I am reminded of my journey and the similarities between what we both experienced.
So when listening to Greg’s story, I think the decisions that I made also put me in my predicaments leading all up to 2016. I didn’t feel I had the power to make the decisions that I needed to make to get happy and healthy. Nor did I believe I deserved or had the right to make these choices. I stayed stuck in a perpetual balance scale mode of weighing out the good and bad.
I wondered …What deal-breakers were evident enough for me to make a clean break from dysfunctional relationships with family, friends or a particular religion? I could never make a decision as to when I’d had enough.
I was in an emotionally intense affair with my own ambivalence. And this distance only served to make the ambivalence worse. It’s like the ambivalence had taken on a life of its own. But I was painfully aware that I was depressed and sick because of my high anxiety and panic levels. I was unaware of what the underlying root of all the inner drama was and so I decided to take a look at what was happening in depth and then make some solid choices for good. As I called it, “jumping off the fence onto the other side where I was always yearning to go.”
So I engaged in a long 3 month process of observing my situation, getting to the heart of my feelings without shame, guilt, or blame – and then I looked at where the thoughts came from and how I perpetuated them in my daily live subconsciously. However once I could see what the common theme was that was pulling me down, it all suddenly became clear what needed to be done. And when I could see where the source of my depression and anxiety came from, I now had something to work with.
Upon confronting and examining my situation, I found out that the people hurting me were doing so because they had problems, not because I wasn’t enough or broken, and needed to be fixed. That was liberating to see how I was duped and why it had happened. It appeared to be just a natural flow based on my lifelong experiences and thus patterns that developed. So I could see what the roadblock was to getting what I wanted in life. And that was a long list I learned. It was simple. I had to make an initial 4 decisions. And with those taken care of and getting into action mode, everything else fell into place like pieces of a puzzle.
It felt uncomfortable to do this examination but I did it in the quiet of my home where I took 3 days to ponder and didn’t answer any calls or the door, just so I’d have the time to look at things without feeling someone was watching over me. And I was determined to look at things like a scientist observes the findings of a lab experiment. And it worked. Painful? – Sure. Worth it?- Hell Yeah!
If we had the hindsight before something happened, then we’d need our own personal time travel capsule. And that couldn’t happen. We had to go through our life as it unfolded in order to reach the objectivity and wisdom that comes from those lifelong experiences. So we couldn’t have known everything and probably as younger people are, we wouldn’t have listened anyway because we wanted to “do things ourself”. So it is what it was. And no beating up necessary for what went wrong. The past has nothing to do with the choices we make today.
We aren’t who we were a long ways back. Not even the same person as yesterday. People change moment by moment with all the thousands of thoughts we have in a day. Yes if we hadn’t settled things would have been different. But there’s no guarantee things would have been optimal either because who knows what may have taken place instead if we made other choices. No guarantees and there’s no magic in worrying, second guessing, or living in the past.
Yes – it didn’t happen in one giant leap. Each step up the walking path got me to where I wanted to go. Then when I arrived at my destination and saw how far I’d hiked, it was breathtaking, the view. To look back down the path from where I’d hiked, it looked so far down and I wondered how I made that steep track. But I did, one step at a time.
Also … I’d call that looking back down the trail “hindsight” – but its not worth the energy to spend time gazing down that path to examine every rock I crossed, and looking for how I could have climbed better. Its a waste of time to be looking back.
The secret to looking into our current situations and how they arose based on our past, is to only visit that difficult street long enough to get the info – and then pack it out of there quick onto easy road again. You only need so much information. You don’t need to have a long list of what you did wrong or how awful you felt. There’s no guarantees things would have been tickety boo even if I had made other choices. So that was the key and I only look forward to the good things to come.