The push-and-pull Print E-mail
News - Final Word
Monday, 26 January 2015 23:31
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Why set yourself up to fail? We all do it. Each and every January. I’m talking about New Year’s resolutions. Of course, at this stage of January, chances are that only a few of the pledges you made to yourself still feature on your daily horizon.

Teri Uktena writes that most of these resolutions are just self-abuse. She says that they are a weird exercise in futility or in self-validation of our inability to achieve. Instead of arranging concrete intentions for the year ahead, we raise the bar so high that we set ourselves up to fail.

She says that most people’s resolutions will initially take all of their time and attention, require them to let go of their regular lives, and they are unattainable to all but a very few.

“Then we can say we tried and yet be released from such a drastic change.”

Why do we do this to ourselves? Madisyn Taylor writes that we may find ourselves wanting to walk away from certain circumstances, but are not sure if we can. We may find ourselves stuck in a rut where we make the same choices over and over again because we don’t know how to choose otherwise.

“Rather than moving us forward, our personal paths may take us in a seemingly never-ending circle where our actions and choices lead us nowhere but to where we’ve already been.”

According to Madisyn, awareness is the first step to change. We simply have to start realising what we are doing. In any case, you cannot make a change unless you are aware that one needs to be made. Only then can you start understanding why you are doing what you are doing. This is the freedom that comes with awareness.

Still, even if you are no longer asleep to the truth behind your actions, you might not know what to do next. The time in the passage, after the one door has shut and before the next one opens, might be longer than you think.

“The old world falls apart but the new has not yet emerged,” writes Charles Eisenstein in ‘The more beautiful world our hearts know is possible’.

Charles graduated from Yale University with a degree in mathematics and philosophy; then went to Taiwan, learned Chinese and became an English-Chinese translator.

In his late twenties he entered a long period of intensifying crisis when it became intolerable to do work he didn’t care about. An irrepressible feeling of I-am-not-here-to-be-doing-this took control of his life.

“Everything that once seemed permanent and real is revealed as a kind of hallucination. You don’t know what to think, what to do; you don’t know what anything means anymore. The life trajectory you had plotted out seems absurd, and you can’t imagine another one. Everything is uncertain.”

Charles writes that during the next five years his old world dissolved, and everything that he once held onto collapsed. “Crises in health, marriage, and money forced me to let go of a ‘life under control’. In my helplessness, I accepted help, discovering a generous universe that has always met my needs, somehow, in unexpected ways.”

Today Charles is an author, speaker and counterculture revolutionary to be reckoned with. He says that the challenge in our culture is to allow yourself to be in the space between your previous story and your next one.

“Our culture wants us to move on, to do. The old story we leave behind . . . releases us with great reluctance. So please, if you are in the sacred space between stories, allow yourself to be there.”

Be still and open to whatever you might discover about yourself once your old structures of security have disappeared. It is in this space that you will start feeling the pull of possibility, however much you might have resented the push of difficulty.

Life coach Mary Morrissey speaks about this push-and-pull as that which guides us. You have to encounter a set of problems that is sufficiently challenging to teach you a way of overcoming them so that you can recognise that the answers are bigger than the problems.

In this way you discover a form of capacity and power that would have been unknown to you without the problem. And you will finally be free to move beyond your old limits.

You see, wherever you might have been, really has no control over where you can still go.


© 2020 Die/The Bronberger