The Rut

person with his hand filled with rocks

Photo by Alan Cabello on

“The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth of the hole.” (Unknown, heard from The Buried Life). Those words sent me in a tailspin.  When we are making changes, there inevitably comes a point where we are faced with the challenge of either continuing forward or with reverting to what makes us comfortable.  We can find ourselves dealing with fears as we enter a new phase of life and it is easiest to take the path of least resistance.  But if we want to make something worthwhile and more meaningful, we need to face those fears head on and try something new.

I’ve spent the last two months diving into my projects and developing things that I’m really excited about.  But I’ve found myself enveloped in personal drama with my husband as well as at my full time job.  This is a precipice, a pivotal moment where I can make decision about how I want to behave.  And that all depends on the future I want to see.  I know the issues I’m facing right now I don’t want to repeat.  I’m thrilled to be working on the things that give me purpose and drive and it is a feeling I don’t want to give up.  So in making the choice to continue focusing on this endeavor, I know that I am making decisions to NOT partake in other things in my life.

When people see us changing it is scary for them so they often push back with the same old behaviors, forcing us to either revert to the relationship we had or to make the decision to stop.  As I feel the pressure increasing to remain the same in my personal life, I came across the opening quote.  My breath caught in my throat and I swear that my heart skipped a beat: repeating the same patterns in my relationships (personal or professional) have created a rut.  I don’t want to make that rut my grave.

I had to re-evaluate what was going on in my life and I looked at the common thread in nearly every situation.  It was me.  My pushing, my drive, my desire to create more.  I know at a minimum I need a pause.  And I know this isn’t sustainable as I’m going.  So I’m giving up.  I’m giving up the impulse to push everyone around me and I’m going to continue to work on the things at my pace.  The people who are meant to be in my life will be there and as I change those who can’t keep up will fall away.  I’m giving up making people be something they aren’t.  This also means I’m giving up the ideas that I had for the future.  Sometimes the players you think will be with you change.  And I’m giving up the idea that things will magically get better.

It’s time for me to let go of the reins and focus on what I can do rather than force people to play along.  I will be honest that it hurts. I have this compulsion repeating in my mind that “if only the played along and just did X, we’d be fine!”  But we are dealing with humans and they all have free will.  Growth is painful because you find yourself looking at the pieces of yourself that are hidden.  It’s also painful because sometimes you’ve been holding onto something for so long that you’re stuck in that position.  It’s like when you’ve been holding onto the gallon of milk and you’ve got to carry it up four flights of stairs to get home.  When you let go, your hands ache as your muscles relax.  Letting go of an image you’ve held onto for so long is similarly painful.

The relief comes after you readjust and reacclimate to the lesser weight.  That too, is the same for your mind.  We carry so much clutter that we don’t realize how much we NEED the relief until we feel the pain of letting go.  The key in all of that is that the relief does come.  You just have to learn to adapt to the new sensations from the loss.  Don’t fight the release.

I’ve been tired for a long time.  So tired I didn’t realize I was tired at all.  I want to be in a place that excites me and to be surrounded by people who are excited by my success.  I need to be heard.  I want to be loved, not merely tolerated.  I no longer want to be it all, handling everyone else’s expectations.  I’m working on creating a loving and supportive environment where respect flows.  I’m not living in competition anymore.  I’m putting down control and fear in favor of creativity and encouragement.  Just Be.  The rest will take care of itself.

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