Sometimes things seem to move along so slowly. We lack motivation to move forward. Our dreams take a back seat to the “necessary” things of every day life. Others in our lives distract us with their issues and problems. When we finally lay our heads down on the pillow at night, we take a deep breath and wonder “What Is Wrong With Me?
As a Life Coach I hear this often from clients. But, truth be told, I have been in this same place myself. In fact, lately I’ve been spending a lot of time there. Wondering. Searching. Trying to figure it out. Seeking the “magic” solution (no pun intended) to my problem that will get me out of my funk and move me forward quickly in the direction I want to go. To realize my dreams sooner rather than later. To have the life I’ve always wanted to have. To “arrive” at my destination and feel success and joy.
But today it dawned on me; I’ve missed the point.
Often when I feel something is wrong with me, it’s due to a few simple feelings:
I feel like I’m not in control;
I feel unmotivated and spiritually tired.
As I’ve struggled with these issues, a few bits of advice from The Daily Om helped me gain some perspective.
“Trying to maintain control in this life is a bit like trying to maintain control on a roller coaster. The ride has its own logic and is going to go its own way, regardless of how tightly you grip the bar. There is a thrill and a power in simply surrendering to the ride and fully feeling the ups and downs of it, letting the curves take you rather than fighting them. When you fight the ride, resisting what’s happening at every turn, your whole being becomes tense and anxiety is your close companion. When you go with the ride, accepting what you cannot control, freedom and joy will inevitably arise.”
As someone who has experienced failures in both relationships and career I can tell you that when the illusion of control is removed, it is a very traumatic experience. One of my favorite movie scenes is this one from Instinct with Anthony Hopkins & Cuba Gooding Jr. When we realize that control of everything in our lives is an illusion, we take the first step to understanding the true power we have over our lives.
While we may not be able to control everything that happens to us, we can always control how we choose to react in response. When we increase our awareness and surrender to what is in this moment, we have much more personal power available when it is time to choose our response.
Now this is not to say that we should sit back and not take any action to make our lives become what we would like no more than we would get on a roller coaster without connecting our safety harness. What it does mean is that we must overcome the fear and anxiety that causes us to just take any action so that we are at least doing something! When we can relinquish control and relax into this unknown experience, we may find that the results were not exactly what we hoped would happen but were exactly what was needed for us to take the next step in our journey. Put another way, that last hard right turn on the coaster may have been unexpected and startling, but it was all just part of the ride.
The way we remain a joyous rider of life’s roller coaster is to remain positive. There have been times where I have seen no good outcome possible for my particular situation only to be pleasantly surprised a short time later and it was all because I remained positive and open to the possibilities. I’ve also had times where I’ve repeated lessons and taken steps backwards for no other reason than that I believed things couldn’t possibly work out for me and that I was doomed to experience pain as punishment for my previous actions. Energy flows where attention goes and gaining peace with situations that feel “out of control” revolve primarily around our thoughts; the more we think we can have a great outcome, the more likely it becomes as our thoughts truly control our reality.
Motivation ties in closely with this feeling of control. After all, if we don’t have any control, then why should we even try? We should just sit back, let things happen and just live with the consequences, right? This type of thinking, whether we realize it or not, is no different than expecting things to go wrong for us. In addition, if we try to force something to happen, we are going against ourselves as the reason it has not materialized for us yet is that our higher self knows we’re not quite ready. Perhaps we need to learn something, meet someone or have another experience before we’ll be truly ready.
In the meantime, we should just enjoy the ride and the experiences we are having. In our fast paced society, we often feel uneasy if we are not “accomplishing” or “doing” something. Realizing that “making progress” cannot be forced allows us to transition from human “doings” to human “beings”…and sometimes just being is all that’s required.