Innocence Lost Part 2
As we get older, many of us can’t figure out why dreams and goals are harder to achieve than at 20.
The reason is the word: “experience.”
As mentioned in my previous post, we give meaning to experiences and place those in OUR backpack.
And when the same outcome shows up to our experiences, we allow it to define us.
There are a variety of experiences in life; we ONLY give meaning to the ones that fit OUR perception of ourselves. We let other events, which could give us a different definition of our lives, slide by without notice or giving credit to them.
As we get older, we just see more of the same.
The words “every, always and never” have become a permanent part of our vocabulary: He ALWAYS does that! She NEVER listens! EVERY time I eat here they screw something up!
Is life really all about absolutes?
Do these things ALWAYS happen to you EVERY time, while believing deep, down inside that your dream will NEVER come true?
There are many examples, everyday, of life giving us what we believe we deserve. And at the same time life gives us new opportunities for what we want. But, when they don’t fit OUR picture of life or patterns of how we operate; we dismiss them altogether.
Love and life can be different, RIGHT NOW. Opening ourselves to SEEING, FEELING and BEING available to other experiences, people and opportunities is the ONLY way we don’t end up bitter, sad and alone.
It takes courage to walk on hot coals in a place you’ve never been emotionally, but when you commit to it on the deepest level, it is where miracles happen.
Commit to walk through your own sludge (Just like moving through cement) and open your heart and mind.
When you meet someone new, try not to judge them right off the bat by placing them into a category. Be open to what they can bring to your life. People surprise us all the time, if we let them.
Do yourself and those in your life a favor; remove their labels of NEVER, ALWAYS or EVERY and set them free. Watch for the differences. The times she does listen, the times he doesn’t do that and the times when your order comes out perfectly fine.
We see life as a bit more balanced this way, allowing us to unload the backpack. If we do it often enough, we start getting rid of all that luggage we’ve been collecting…
Give life and people a chance, give them more chances…but, most of all give yourself a chance.
Each time you walk on hot coals by being honest with yourself, you’re rewarded with well-being, happiness, relief, and knowing there really is no other way to live.
All the ideas you have about life are subject to change if you let them.
Where did you get the idea that you were invisible, unworthy, bad, unlovable, stupid, etc…? Take a second and see if you can remember when it happened. You gave meaning and power to this event, it labeled or handicapped you in some way, can you see its lack of validity?
Can you see that it was a moment in time, in which as a child or as I like to say a “human sponge” you soaked up the experience? You let it define you. Maybe an adult told you “How many times do I have to tell you not to run through the sprinklers in your school clothes? You never listen, you always do what you want and I’m sick of you and telling you this every time! You’re bad!”
Or something like that….
And you made a label for yourself. Except that label covered ONE thing at the time, but BECAUSE we believed it, we created other situations to prove to ourselves its truth. “See, they are right; I’m bad, ugly, boring, mean, etc…no one is ever gonna like me.”
The event could’ve been big or small. Maybe you were teased all the time? Or you were the bully? Or you were the quiet one? The smart one? Etc…this is how we go through life.
And we can always change it, and what do we have to lose by changing our definition of our LIMITED selves?
We LOSE a comfort zone, a place to wallow, hide, be angry, sad, bitter, alone and stay stuck in growing misery. A misery, that if we don’t challenge our views on our self, love and life, will just suck the life out of us as we get older.
You gave meaning to events that may have been more neutral than you originally thought, right? You personalized them, because it may have been an authority in your life who gave you the label. And maybe they were mistaken?
I’m sure there is a fairly decent amount of evidence showing you the opposite has been true all along.
And when you see truth, you start unloading more luggage. You can’t avoid pain, but when you feel it, allow it, so you receive equal parts of joy.
Life is never perfect, there is always something(s) we want to change. Recognize it, but don’t let it mean something bad about you, because it’ll stop you from taking new action.
Taking new action for happiness can be like swimming through cement. If it feels like cement (a wall), then it needs to go. And the only way it goes, is if you go through it…doing what you have never done or doing what you did a long time ago when it failed and now you know it was a ONE time event, which can have a different outcome.
So, get the jackhammer out, start chipping away at those old experiences that shaped your view.
Then strap on a parachute (much lighter than a backpack) and take a leap of faith into the unknown with different action. Jump off the cliff, give life a chance to show you it’s already different, it was just waiting for you to put on different glasses.