To let ‘more’ in we have to surrender the lack and get into the sense of ‘already having’.
On the face of it, it sounds like juxtaposition. But if you look back on your own life you will see the truth of it. I was listening to an interview with Oprah this week where she was talking about her part in the film ‘The Color Purple’. It was a part she had wanted more than anything she’s ever wanted because of the affinity she felt with the story; right from reading the book review through to being invited to audition.
However, later, one of the casters all but told her she hadn’t a hope because there were “real actresses” up for the part. This caused pain and confusion as there had just been so many signs that had seemed to point to the part being meant for her, it had felt so cruel.
For a long time she struggled to let it go. First there was anger and confusion, then there was begrudging acceptance, then she got to a point where she felt that she could even be magnanimous enough that she’d be able to look the actress (she thought had got the part) in the eye and genuinely say (and mean) that she had played the part better than Oprah ever could. The minute she felt that, and had truly let go the ‘lack’ of the thing she had desperately wanted, that very day she got a call to come and play the part.
There are times when we really want something very badly although, for some, even beginning to believe we can have our desires – and be happy – is a stretch. So when we do get into that place of wanting something and believing we can have it, there is a cruelty when it just evades us.
The process of trying to conceive made this clear in my life. My daughters are pregnancies 5 and 6, I desperately wanted children and month after month for years I would feel so disappointed. Well meaning people used to say “just relax and forget about it and it will happen”. Anyone who is trying or has tried for a baby will know how infuriating that piece of advice is, especially with a relentless monthly reminder of your ‘lack’.
“to think and feel the lack of something is what stops it coming into your life”
Thinking and feeling lack while desiring more is futile. There’s a lot of literature our there now on the process of dreaming big, being able to be and do anything. This is true, and believing you can is a big part of it happening. But believing and allowing are two different things. Oprah believed she could have the part, I believed that I could have a baby, but until that thing you desperately want is part of your reality, there is a tendency to feel the lack of it. This is exactly what stops it from coming into your life.
When I turned 38 I finally let go of the feeling of ‘lack’ in regard to having kids. We had a really relaxing break with friends over new years and that holiday had given me perspective. The wanting of children had featured so strongly in my list of goals for so long; I’d really neglected other areas of my life.
So that year I turned my attention to my health in a more holistic way and committed to better eating and more regular exercise. We were also on the list for IVF treatment and were considering adoption as an alternative, and that took the focus away from the ‘trying’ in the traditional sense.
Meanwhile my partner had a client with a young baby, who swore by the treatment of a particular naturopath. He passed the number to me and I recall the irony of the situation, as he is not a fan of alternative therapies. I duly contacted the naturopath, feeling a dull sense of inevitability at being given a diet to follow and prescribed supplements; I was past all these vain hopes. However, I was impressed enough by the guy to give the diet and supplements a go, particularly since he was recommending a diet aligned with a book I’d just read by Dee McCaffrey (on flourless and sugarless living) that had made a great deal of sense to me.
The next month I became pregnant with my first daughter. I could attribute it wholly to the diet, to the supplements and the naturopath. However, more than anything, I know it was the ‘letting go’ that allowed all of that to happen. I hadn’t let go of a desire for children, but I had let go of how it was all going to come about.
The best way to let what you want in, is to feel that you already have it. To do that you have to get to the highest perspective of why you want it. Whether it’s wanting a part in a movie, wanting kids, wanting a new car or wanting to make an income from your life’s purpose, you have to ask ‘why’, how do you want to feel? And you may have to ask several times to get to the overall feeling you are seeking in pursuit of your desires.
As another example, for most of this year my articles have dipped in and out of my journey to living a life of purpose. Interestingly, in her interview, Oprah was emphatic in saying “if you are not living your purpose, or in the process of trying to uncover it, all you are doing is just ‘rattling around’ in your life”. She describes her own journey to purpose so eloquently, and the knowing she’d found it as a feeling of ‘coming home’; an apt description.
As readers of my previous articles will know, I’ve taken a rather arduous path. First there was the contrasting experience of knowing what my purpose was not – an experience I stayed in for far too long simply because I didn’t know what would be any better. Eventually I let go of needing to know the answer before jumping, because the contrasting experience of what I didn’t want was so bad.
Even after finally getting up the courage to publish articles and ‘out’ the thoughts swirling around in my head, I’m still making my way towards living my life’s purpose. Being a writer doesn’t entirely fit, it’s more correct for me to say that I love love love the process of personal growth and sharing that with others who are ready to grow.
More than anything I’d like to merge this with a way of making an income, so I can focus wholly on doing what I love. For a while I looked at how to make money writing, and started to think of all the ways that could manifest in my life – the cursed ‘hows’- all the while knowing I didn’t have it in my life. But now I have let go.
This week I have settled into a sense of calm and peace, the feeling of ‘lack’ has dissipated to a large extent. Making an income is necessary, but I look at the process of that (in its current form of consulting) as an opportunity for me to be out in the world growing, something I love doing. Writing about what I’ve learned is a wonderful outlet that gives me a sense of ‘coming home’.
I also realized, I am home in many ways; I have my kids (who teach me something new every day), an income and a creative outlet. One day the latter two will be one and the same, but it is in a process of unfolding and I am at peace with that.
So what do you want and why do you want it? Really take time to understand the biggest picture of 'why' and how that will feel. It’s time to let go of the ‘how’ and focus on the feelings of already having it. Are there things already in your life – or things you can do - that will give you the same feeling you want that you can tune into?
So much of what you truly desire is sitting just beyond your reach, just one happy coincidence away, if only you were tuned to the right frequency to receive it. Do whatever it takes to surrender the feeling of lack, and retune into the good vibes, and you too can have what you most want.
This article was originally published on LinkedIn.
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/66728752@N00/15607483956">P1100937</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)</a>
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