How many things are there in your life that feel more like an obligation or a chore than a joy?
Stuff You Shouldn’t Be Doing
Trusting I’m enough, instead of being the perfect parent, perfect school mum, perfect friend, perfect daughter, I could go on and on, actually requires a bigger act of trust on my part than believing that there’s something bigger than me.
Yet if I believe there is something bigger than me, something powerful enough that lines up circumstances and events to bend to my desires, a trust in life that results in things always working out for me (at least in the end), it should follow that I must be worthy of these?
That is a big disconnect for most of us, resulting from years of having our behaviour corrected and being told – often in well-meaning and certainly in many guises - we are not good enough.
This results in many of us acting out of fear, shame and guilt, doing things we think we really should ‘if we were a good person’; I often have to stop and question these in my quest for authenticity. Right now I’m contending with the annual school fair that the parents at my kids’ school are required to run. I not only feel the pressure myself but see it in so many around me.
There is so much to do to get ready for it (it’s a big community event), and too many people dancing to the beat of someone else’s drum, instead of looking at it through the lenses of what they’d like to contribute, the things that would give them satisfaction and joy. Shame and guilt feature prominently in the landscape of already overwhelmed parents.
And that is just a poxy fair (not to diminish our wonderful event, but you get what I mean). It takes courage to say no, and to do that without any defense. If you are finding yourself justifying what you’re saying no to, you are still in defense mode. Practice focusing on what you can and want to do instead. I call it win-win-win giving. When you can do that it creates more space in your life for what’s truly important.
Stuff You Really Should Be Doing
This is about your goals and dreams, the stuff that is both big and small. Do you even know who you’d rather be and what you’d rather do beyond all those obligations you feel? Another way of asking is whether you are acquainted with the person you were born to be?
Knowing who I am and what I want, truly, and feeling like that is enough or that I’m brave enough or worthy are ongoing for me. It started with a deliberate journey to authenticity, now well documented, but it continues to be something that takes practice.
One of my kids’ favourite story series is about a young brother and sister who time-travel in a magic tree house. I love listening to the stories as the kids (both mine and the characters in the stories) learn so much from their missions. There have been many stories where they’ve helped famous figures in history connect in with their greatness long before it was recognised.
In the one we are listening to now, Jack and Annie have gone back to a time when Florence Nightingale is a just young lady, before she ever served on the battlefields, she was an aristocrat spurned by her circle for not acting the way a lady of her breeding should, and certainly it was unthinkable that she should be a nurse. There have also been the stories of helping Wolfgang Amadeus connect in with his musical talent and Leonardo Da Vinci and Louis Armstrong and many others beside believe in themselves.
While these are just fictional accounts, albeit written with great mastery, they are a great reminder that the world would have missed out on some amazing inventions, contributions and people if we were simply born to comply with other people’s expectations of us.
I will continue to beat the drum of worthiness in my own ears and those of anyone who will listen.
If you can trust that you are enough, and ditch any defense and time wasting crap, and trust that the universe will always find ways you can’t even think of to deliver your desires, even just some of the time, you will start to open yourself up to the best version of your life.
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