There’s this girl I’ve known a few years now. She’s highly motivated, knows exactly what to say and when reads the right books, has a good circle of friends and on the outside to the world, she appears to be sorted and her social media accounts highlight her well-being. Except that only she knows she isn’t any of those things. Her struggle is from the moment she wakes up (late mornings mostly) to the time she’s supposed to get to bed and is unable to sleep. In her 30’s, she does not have a man, a barely-there career to speak of and she is constantly filled with self-doubt, paralyzing fear, delays, procrastination inability to finish tasks she’s picked up due to loss of interest and feeling lost. She’s petrified of falling in love and committing to anyone too. When I met her initially, she kept saying she does not know what she’s come to see me for. She didn’t feel she needed therapy or coaching, that things are ok-ok, could be better and the only feeling was that she’s missing something in life but does not know what it is.
She was missing herself. The real self. For the past decade, she had fallen prey to an image she was busy building for herself so that she could escape who she really is and never deal with it. It was the ultimate escape plan. And the best way to never get on with life. Pretending to live. Not really living. She was completely in her own way.
Building this image of ourselves to the world is an amazing thing because it gives us a place to go into where unicorns poop rainbows and life is great. It never let us see how much baggage we try to brush under the carpet in order to never visit it and release it so we could be free. Trying to maintain these two inner and outer worlds drain us of time, energy, mind space, heart space, and throwing us off our journey. It is the ultimate self-sabotage project.
When a deeply conflicted inner world is not paid attention to over a prolonged period of time, it grows. And when it reaches a critical mass, it explodes. And the outer rainbow world is destroyed and we are left with bleakness and that feeling of missing something or being lost.
Disconnection with ourself is one of the biggest illnesses and lifestyle disease. Following the herd and having a cookie-cutter insta-life where there is barely any individuality unless you come from the arts is the trap many of us fall into. We want to get with it, have it awesome like others, and in order to fit that, we dismiss our inner self with all its expectations and demands and become a whole different person. Now, with so much to manage, who has time to actually create anything worthwhile and long-lasting? We are so busy fighting within our inner self that all of our resources are being used up in this and we are left with barely anything to be contributive assets to the world. Add to this mix, a fertile imagination, creative ideas, a sense of how things should be, wanting things from the world and we have ourselves situations like anxiety, depression, mood swings, low immunity, chronic fatigue and worse case, some illnesses.
Getting IN your own way is easy. Do exactly what I have described above and if you are already doing it, then well, now you know and have a choice to undo it.
My first question to anyone who connects with me is “what do you want?” And therein lies the trick. I have spent an average of 2-3 sessions at times with clients because they have no idea what they truly want. It’s either a very long list of too many conflicting things or a shrug of shoulders and no words. Either way, it’s a starting point to getting out of your own way.
If you answer “to get out of my own way” well…that is a given. But my question is more to do with your entire life. What do you truly want? After reading this blog, please ask yourself this. Not just once or twice, but for a few days in a row till something starts to take birth there. It will be energy at first, then maybe visuals or words depending on what faculty you perceive the world from. Then comes a clear sense of it and maybe it talks to you. And the final part is where you become its tool or medium. This could take days or weeks or even months. Be patient. It will come to you.
The greatest creators and contributors in the world were plugged in. They were real. They were true to themselves and yes, they all have inner demons of self-doubt, fear, procrastination, anxiety and so on. There are no human beings in the world without it. But what they did differently from you and I is, that they never hid it. They kept it in plain sight for themselves to see, to not make it bigger than them, to not push it under the carpet and avoid dealing with it, they didn’t make fake rainbow pooped worlds to escape to, they didn’t try to prove who they are to others, they never tried anything other than this idea they had of what they wanted. Sometimes these amazing people did fall prey to their inner darkness, but they still listened to that idea that wanted to come through them. It’s almost as if that idea and its birth were a billion times greater than them and it just HAD to be created and they were chosen to do it. So, they were passionate, committed, singular and focused…almost obsessed.
People who are busy creating fake versions of themselves are incapable of creating multiple worlds and universes. They are too much in their own way. They allow insignificant and irrelevant illusory things to have a stronger hold over them than being astounded by what comes through when you are plugged into the universe and become its instrument of creation. I have been deeply awed by some brilliant artists who created multiple worlds and universes and when I read about their life story, I learned that they were plagued by enormous amounts of self-doubt and mind-numbing fear. But they never let that creative child within wither and die. They created art that deeply inspires and moves people even today. The creator of “Calvin and Hobbes”, Bill Waterson is one such hero of mine, who was a shy meek man and through his art taught the philosophy of life through his two cartoon characters, a 6-year-old boy and his stuffed tiger. Another is Stan Lee, the creator of Marvel comics and films. I cried when both died. Their loss was personal. And that was their power.
You can create multiple worlds when you get out of your own way. And you may want to argue at this point that not everyone is destined to be a Stan Lee or one of your own heroes. But then I’d like to say that yes, you are destined to create your own version of it, however small or big you allow yourself to become. That is entirely in your hands. As long as you give credence to the inner demons and make them bigger, they will rule your life. You are not the victim to them. They are your creation. The more the energy you give them, the bigger the chunk of your life they take on. These inner voices may never be silenced and that is ok. You only need to know that it is ok. It is ok you have them. It is ok that they may never shut up. It is ok that you are still creating worlds that inspire and yet these demons don’t disappear. And it is ok that they will be silenced only when you rest in peace.
Getting out of your way is a huge part of our journey in the human form. To know that we can surge ahead in spite of our own illusory ideas of what we feel we are not. To think of ourselves small, insignificant and worthless is more common than you know. In the 14 years of my work, I have come to realize that there are no people I have met with any new problems. Our thoughts about who we are, what we are capable of or incapable of, what others think of us and what we can or can’t create become the pain points of almost 100% of the people I’ve met.
We are united by our inner self-beliefs about ourselves. We are divided by our capacity to create outside. There, we are unique and different. Our inner worlds are similar. Our outer worlds are a blank canvas on which we paint. The choice is yours. There are no ifs and buts. The only butt is the one you are sitting on and staying in your own way.
Self-acceptance of who you are, where you come from, what baggage you bring, how you let it go, what you create from that space of having let it go, can be your unique story. Rescripting it is your job. Be authentic. Be real. It’s a lesser load to carry. Laugh at yourself and the events in your life. Love everything that happens in it. That is true surrender. You are then willing to be the instrument of the universe. My prayer for you is that you see this as your glory, legacy, and beauty in this world.
And finally, answer that question. “WHAT DO YOU WANT?”
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