I’m not sure about you, but I feel like I’ve been looking for the easy life, my whole life…
Someone recently asked me; “James, what do you do when you don’t know what to do?”
It only took 2 seconds to think of 2 answers.
I wing it
It’s like these answers were held up inside me ready to leap out as soon as the trigger came.
Avoidance is not too dissimilar to Distraction, which is not too dissimilar to Denial. (My version of ADD)
Find something else to think about, pretend it doesn’t exist, put your head in the sand, and go do something else.
Or jump right in like the expert you’re not, making out like you’re an old hand at such simplicities, all the while quoting people who are experts with words as though they were your own.
Story of my life!
ADD is easier than facing what’s hard.
Lately I’ve come to realise that transformation is the prize, the holy grail so to speak of the healing & wholeness journey.
There’s a whole lotta people out there saying a whole lotta stuff (including me) about wellness so who are we supposed to believe and trust?
Who’s right when everyone sounds right?
Those who have transformed I say. Transformation is the fruit I’m looking for.
If someone hasn’t transformed and changed on their journey, then what they’re saying is just hot air, or at best, theory.
Transformation in my own life is how I know I’m working on the right stuff. I used to be one way, now I’m another, and still changing. (for the better I hope)
There’s a slight problem though…
Transformation is on the other side of what’s hard!
And I generally don’t do hard. (Although I must have done a little bit of hard to have had transformation so I will give myself some credit)
The same person who asked me; “What do you do when you don’t know what to do?” also asked me a second question;
“Have you ever considered asking for help when you don’t know what to do?”
After I finished choking on my coffee and a few rounds of CPR, I regained my composure only to say; “That’s a ridiculous idea!”
The question landed though, and I thought about it for days and weeks afterwards.
The more I thought about the question, the more naked I felt.
“Can I possibly be so independent that even the thought of asking for help makes my legs go numb?”
“How did this happen?”
To cut a really, really long story short I can sum it up in one word…
Growing up without my Dad in the arena of life with me, by default, I just had to work most things out on my own.
Which I did quite a good job of, considering the circumstances. I’m pretty handy at most things, and generally a good pragmatic problem solver.
However, independence becomes addictive, so the idea of asking for help feels like how Superman feels around Kryptonite!
Ask any man about how much they love to ask for directions…
So my resilience capacity has been mostly limited to what’s reasonably easy. When a task was really hard and I couldn’t wing my way through it, I avoided.
I still remember walking into my year 10 maths class and seeing a sum on the blackboard that took up the whole board. I turned around and walked out murmuring something about “relevance”, and “what would I ever need this for?” etc
Off to ‘vegie maths’ I went.
I didn’t see it until many years later, that I made an agreement that day. The agreement was “Why bother when it’s hard”
If only I could wind back the clock to 1985 and make a different choice, and a different agreement along with it.
And all the Back to the Future fans say; “You can!”
But this agreement has affected my life deeply, so I’ve cast my nets over to the other side.
I have now resolved to not run, avoid, bury, deny or wing things when they’re hard, or when I don’t know what to do.
I will firstly admit that it’s hard and I don’t know what to do.
I will secondly admit that I need to ask for help.
I will thirdly ask the right person to walk with me into it.
It’s not so bad
and it’s not so lonely…
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