One of the Hardest Things You'll Ever Have to Do
In an earlier post, I wrote about Vertigo and how it’s actually a symptom of misplaced focus.
If you missed that article, let me sum it up for you in one sentence.
You go where your attention goes.
Most of us know this, but that doesn't make it easy to pull your attention from what you don’t want in order to focus on what you DO want.
I speak from experience.
Because I’m doing this right along side you, my friend!
Every article I write is a little marker along my own path of self-discovery and I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t admit how HARD this work can be.
I’m talking ditch-digging hard.
I’ll give you an example.
Years ago, when I was still working for a design company, a woman showed up early for an appointment.
I told her there was a mix up, that her session wasn’t scheduled for another hour and a half.
I double-checked and told her that she wasn’t booked until noon.
She stared at me with pit-viper eyes.
“I don’t like being called a liar,” she said.
“I didn’t call you a liar,” I said. “There’s simply been a misunderstanding.”
And that, my dear friend, is when the carnival ride started its off-kilter spin . . .
“I don’t like your energy,” the lady told me, putting her face close to mine.
“In fact, I don’t like anything about you.”
“You don’t need to like me,” I said, speaking carefully, trying to come to terms with what was happening.
“Good, because I DON’T!”
And then, just to make it clear, she yelled,
“BECAUSE YOU’RE NOT A NICE PERSON!
There’s a lot more to this story, (a lot, lot, more) but I’m not going to tell you all the ugly details for two very good reasons.
1. This lady was in a great deal of emotional pain
2. I have a choice.
And ugly is not where I want to be looking.
I’ve got too many amazing people in my life to put my attention on such a small corner of unhappiness.
My life is so gorgeous it often overwhelms my heart.
And yet . . .
In those shaky moments right after this incident, it was the ONLY thing I wanted to talk about.
Even before the woman spun out of the parking lot, I was already on the phone, calling James, pulling him into all of the muck and the gore.
Then I called up my good friend Deb—because aren’t these the stories that bind us?
Don’t we secretly love the juicy, hair-raising, adrenaline-soaked stories that make our rebel hearts unite in one indignant yell?
For most of my life, this has been a resounding YES.
But this time, I noticed something.
Every time I told my story of drama, I felt more and more off-balance and less rooted in what I know to be true for my life.
So I dropped it.
And oooooooh, it was hard!
But the minute I let it go, I felt peace.
And I’m not saying that I’m never going to share my life experiences or indulge in a titillating tale from time to time.
I'm just making a conscious decision not to invest my energy in things that I don’t want to see more of.
Because as exciting as this story may be, I don’t want it to grow legs.
Once negative energy gains momentum, it can blot out everything else.
As soon as I take my eyes off all of the wonderful people in my life, I lose my footing and start creating from a skewed place of lack.
That's the problem with spending too much time on dramatic (or sad or scary) stories. We start believing them.
And when the brain believes something, it searches for more evidence to support it.
The evening news shines a spotlight on areas of madness and violence and the worst of humanity, amplifying it until we start to think that the human race is doomed.
And yet, there is love in everything.
There is light in everyone.
We have a capacity for kindness and compassion that can transcend pain in an instant.
I don't know about you, but THIS is what I want to be feeding!
What we focus on grows, my lovely.
So if you’re interested in cultivating a life filled with beauty and joy, I challenge you to do one really hard thing.
Drop your favourite story of victimization.
And start watching the magic that springs up in its place.
Sending you so much love,