Whew! So that was a whirlwind week. Long days, short nights, fast sleeps. And through it all, miracles unfolding with every breath. It was amazing.
On Wednesday, when the trainees walk into the room the air is filled with anticipation and… big dollops of fear, anger, resistance, disbelief, trepidation, skepticism – you name it, the emotion is present. Why wouldn’t it be? It’s a new situation. The unknown. The suspicious. The curious. What are they really going to ask of me? Will they really make me change? Will they really be able to help me? Will they have answers for me? You know the questions. They’re always there when we are asked to step into the unknown and delve into our inner world — not knowing what me may find on the other side. And that’s scary.
The mind is a funny place. It likes to make up reasons why we can’t do something. And walking into the room where the unknown awaits is the perfect breeding ground for self-doubt, fear, anxiety and a host of other emotions to arise.
I remember the first time I walked into the training room 7 years ago this month. I was curious, and fearful. I was also a little big smug. I didn’t think I needed to be there. In fact, I thought I’d already ‘done’ all my work. I thought I’d fixed myself — and the only reason I needed to be there was because my girlfriend who’d help save my life when I was in a relationship that was killing me, had asked me to go. She had been the month before and wanted me to support her in her journey towards more whole-hearted living. How could I refuse?
How little I know how wrong I am when I’m busy proving myself right.
I didn’t need to be there, I told myself, but for her, I will sit it out and see what I found of worth. What I couldn’t see on that first afternoon was how my life would be enriched, and how my daughters lives would be impacted by my presence. All I could see was a room full of people equally as apprehensive, sceptical and resistant as me.
Seven years later, I embrace the truth I found in that room. It is in that room that I find myself again and again coming back to who I am when I let go of believing I need to be anyone else but me. It is in that room that I feel myself expanding out into all that I am when I breathe into the limitless possibilities of my life beyond the restrictions of my comfort zone that would have me hold back from leaping into the unknown — just because I can’t see into the future.
Which is kind of funny. I can see the past pretty clearly. I can see the present with clarity only to the degree to which I am willing to be honest, open and truthful with myself. But I cannot, and will never be able to see the future with any confidence if all I do is look behind me at where I’ve been and judge myself as lacking in this moment now.
Life, like a river, never flows backwards. It is by its very nature forward seeking.
Me. Well, I can sometimes get stuck pedalling backwards, constantly seeking the safety exit, the fire escape, the easy way out, as if life itself were the thing I had to fear the most. I can sometimes be so busy trying to back away from the edge of possibility that I don’t see the impossibility of going backwards in time. Heck! I can be so entrenched in defending my right to stay stuck I don’t even notice that it’s the fact I’m holding my breath that’s keeping me from breathing freely!
For the past five days I have had the gift of living on purpose. Of being in the moment, feeling my way through each second as those around me stepped into the unknown only to discover — there really, truly is nothing to fear but fear itself. Because, in the end, beneath all the pain and tears, sorrow and grief, fear and anxiety, there is only one truth that can exist within each of our hearts, within every molecule of our human being.
No matter who we think we are. No matter who we believe we’ve become. No matter what has been done to us, what we’ve done to ourselves and others that would convince us we are not worthy or undeserving, or whatever other lie we tell ourselves — We are worthy. We are deserving. We are magnificent.
Seven years ago I walked into the Choices training room thinking I’d find answers that would help me help a friend.
What I found is to help another, I must first take care of myself.
To be the best that I can be, I must first trust I have the answers to who I am and who I want to be, within me.
No one else has my answers. No one else has yours. The answer to living life to the fullest, to being all that you want to be, to dreaming your dreams alive does not exist somewhere out there. The answers are within you.
And just as we needed help in learning to ride a bike or tie our shoelaces, sometimes, we need help in learning how to forgive, or let go, or stand up again after a fall. Sometimes, we need help in remembering our magnificence.
And that’s why I go back again and again, because I never want to forget, we are each unique. Fascinating. Inspiring. We are all worthy of love. Giving and receiving. We are each of us human beings, here to live our magnificence and be all that we are meant to be, all that we desire in a world of wonder.