“Every man has two lives, and the second life starts when he realizes he only has one,” Confucius. During the evolution of our lives, we will be faced with many choices. Taking ownership of our choices or placing blame. Learning the lesson or repeating the pattern. Staying who we think we are or becoming who we are meant to be. Knowing everything and preaching to the world or putting away what we think we know in favor of growth. Carrying the burden of lessons learned or leaving behind the weight of something that no longer matters. We can make these choices at any time and I guarantee, each of them will change the course.
As I’ve spouted many times, we are trained to attain certain goals, to be a certain way in order to be accepted. Every time something happens that doesn’t align with our true selves, we have an opportunity to let who we really are shine. And if we continue to push that back, we lose momentum. When we see/learn that we truly only have one shot, we approach our decisions differently. We learn to pause long enough to ask if that is what we really want to be doing and if that choice is really going to yield the result we are looking for. Eventually we get to the point where we no longer have to do that because our actions are aligned with who we are—and we simply ARE.
There is immense freedom in choosing to unburden ourselves. Sometimes we don’t realize exactly how many cases of crap we are truly carrying. I’ve gone through so many stages of letting go and putting things down and releasing, always thinking that I’ve “finally done it” only to find that I either have more stuff or I’ve picked up some of the old stuff again. Perhaps that is human nature—we get so used to handling a certain burden that it feels awkward without it. But all the different sizes of those burdens mean they can sneak up on us at any time and we have the choice to put them down in favor of something else.
My biggest distraction in putting things down is constantly picking things up. I have an active mind and I will constantly find something to do—it’s a blessing and a curse. I’m certainly never bored, but I feel exhausted all the time and there is often no completion to the thought or action (that is discussed more in tomorrow’s piece). I’m learning that I can’t pick things up simply to pick them up. Many of them aren’t mine and all they do is hold me back. The same is said for all of us.
We are gifted with one opportunity to live this life. We can choose our experience at any time. Learning to be intentional and aligned is the key. Learning the right questions to ask ourselves is what gets us there. It isn’t just about what we want, it’s about what we can contribute. It’s about the highest good. It’s about how we solve the greater problem using the skills we have and we can only do that when we understand that the story we tell ourselves may need to change. It’s about embracing who we are and calling the shots in a new way. Don’t give up that opportunity in favor of distraction or believing you can start tomorrow. Take every opportunity to simply be yourself. That is when life begins.