Most of my life I have been doing things that I haven’t really wanted to do.
I studied mechanical engineering, which was completely unfulfilling and I thought about leaving all the time. On my wedding night, I had thoughts of “I don’t think I want to be married to this person” and ended up staying with him a decade longer and having two children.
Why did I do these things that I didn’t really want to do?
In retrospect, I can see how childhood abuse set me up for this pattern and I’m working to change it. I was threatened and intimidated by my abuser. I learned to give my power away at a young age, looking outside myself for validation and direction.
I didn’t leave engineering school because I was afraid of the unknown and I was afraid of taking responsibility for myself. I let other people make my decisions. I didn’t leave my marriage right away for similar reasons.
One of the biggest decisions that I made that was my own decision was to leave my familiar and known hometown in spite of the fact that people were discouraging me to and didn’t understand my choice. How could you leave now? You have two babies and you are a single mother! they would say. This was the first step on my path of healing myself.
The decision was made from a deep inner knowing and a deep inner desire and a deep confidence. It has been one of the best decision’s that I have made in my life.
Tonight while driving home from ballet, my daughter innocently asked me, “mom, when are you going to start substitute teaching again?” (I stopped subbing to facilitate Women Who Write Rock, a virtual writing retreat last month.)
This question landed within me and what happened was incredible. I felt my being start trembling. I felt my heart bursting open. Tears came into my eyes. And I spoke my truth. I let my emotions flow freely. And it was so clear to me, in that moment, that I will not substitute teach again.
Because the idea of it did not make my heart leap for joy. It felt painful to think about subbing again. It felt as if I were being abused all over again. But this time, I’d be abusing myself. Because I’d being doing something that I don’t want to do.
When we make choices to do things that we really do not want and desire to be doing, our light grows dim, our brilliance fades, we are indeed abusing ourselves. It’s time for the abuse to end.
Right now, we are being asked to operate and participate in the world in a new way, in a different way.
We are being called to move in the direction of love.
We are being called to find pleasure in every life experience. We are being called to listen to those momentary glimmers when we hear our inner voice say, “I don’t really want to be doing that. This experience doesn’t feel good to me.”
We are being called to let un-pleasurable experiences guide us more fully into our heart space by acknowledging and honoring those experiences, and making changes.
We are being called to trust that we will have what we need to not only survive, but thrive.
We are being called to lean into the earth, the universe, the soft cushion of support that exists around us.
We are being called to take the leap of faith away from every un-pleasurable experience and into pleasurable experiences. Because pleasure, authentic pleasure, feel-good experiences, nurturing experiences, self-care practices all move our beings into a space of love. And right now our world needs a little more love, well, a lot more love.
And it starts right now with you. Our world needs you to move into a space of love right now.
What if we all started living this way right now?
What if we all moved in the direction of pleasure and love?
What would you change in your life?
Is sex with your partner unenjoyable or even distasteful? Is your job draining and leaving you angry or burnt out?
Can you let go of the fear of the unknown factors and leap into your heart fully and completely?
Our heads cannot wrap around the idea of leaving unfulfilling relationships or jobs, but what is your heart telling you? How is your heart guiding you to make changes in your life?
Because right now, in order to move forward, to evolve, to reach our fullest potential, we are being asked to follow our hearts to move in the direction of love.
Our heads say: How will I pay my bills? What will people say? How will I support myself or my children? Will I survive?
Right now, we can choose to listen to our head or we can choose to listen to our heart.
This is your choice because it is your life. You are responsible for your life and you can make any decision that you want.
You are responsible for your happiness.
You are responsible for creating your own life. It’s up to you. Only you can make it happen. Only you can set yourself free.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Apprentice Editor: Kimby Maxson/Editor: Catherine Monkman