What stands between us and the peace and happiness we crave?
Before we blame any external circumstances for not having what we want, we have got to face the guy in the mirror. Foremost, our self is the number one obstacle we need to tackle. That and the reasons we invent that appear real to us, even though they are not universal truths, and are not obstacles for others.
Most people have said, “Part of me thinks one way, and part of me thinks just the opposite.” That’s a convoluted way to say, “I don’t know.” We think indecision is a safe place. It may be a place to perch for a short while as you figure things out, but when it is never-ending, it’s a living hell, and as far from the Happiness Highway as one can be.
Here’s the thing. We know. We always know. It is the speaking of it that is so difficult because once we own the answer, we can’t hide from it anymore. Once we out ourselves we are responsible for how we proceed. However scary that action may be, remaining in limbo is the antithesis of being “in happy.”
Indecision takes place between the authentic self and the inauthentic self. Our authentic self always knows what we want and occasionally gets bullied by the inauthentic self with thoughts like, “Yeah, but. What if? Come on, change? Really?”
I was listening to my girlfriend complaining about her thirty-year marriage. She was not happy. She mentioned her indecision on what to do next was leading her into nervous breakdown territory, and added, “Oh, yeah, there’s this other guy I really like a lot.”
As a happiness coach, I am compelled to lift people out of misery if I can and if they are willing. I asked her, “You appear stopped in your tracks. Would a temporary separation be helpful so you can sort things out?” The only bus out of limbo is action.
Her inauthentic self stepped up to the plate with reasons for staying stuck. It stated, “I fear what the future will look like and I try to avoid confrontation at all costs.” Our inauthentic self uses reasons to persuade us because it operates out of fear.
Reasons are not facts. They are excuses we invent to get off whatever proverbial hook we are facing. Reasons are the primary source of misery, and boy, do they appear real! Conversely, authenticity asks us to be true to our destiny, which is happiness.
I invited her to answer two of my favorite questions that I knew would bypass the inauthentic self’s need to butt in.
“Between now and your last breath on earth, is the current situation how you want to live out the rest of your life? The authentic self offered a definitive “No!”
Okay, that was clear. Then I asked, “Pretend you know what you should do. What would that be? Without delay, she said, “I’d leave my husband.” Being truthful is not always easy, but it is the beginning of freedom.
The point is, whatever we choose, go or stay, take this job or that one, happiness is our destiny. The authentic self always aligns with our chance for happiness and peace of mind. It always knows what we want, and it is patient while we listen to inauthentic me’s reasons and excuses… until we can’t take the unhappiness any longer.
We make mistakes throughout our lives. We grow and we learn from them. They don’t define us unless we perpetuate the mistake. Safety, certainty, and status quo are lies. If you think you want to maintain “the way things are,” something as unpredictable as a COVID- 19 will whip around the corner to bust that myth. Everything is just for now. Everything passes.
Life has never been about “I don’t love him,” or “I can picture myself with the other guy.” If we base our happiness on conditions, we will always be disappointed. We can only act in present time given what we know now. We can’t divine the future or control other people.
If you are proud of the choices you make, then Authentic You is driving the bus. It tells you, “Nanci, take a right up ahead and follow the road out of limbo.”
Hi! So sorry it took so long to respond. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your lovely response. I hope you are faring well and enjoying the bounty around us during this period of transformation. Good will come out of this. Again, I appreciate your comments more than you know. Every happiness…
Thank you for the beautiful share, I really like it.
It has much of the teachings of Eckhart Tolle and his book The Power of the Now.
You put it very beautifully that nothing remains the same.
It’s not about yesterday or tomorrow, but the present moment.
I especially love this line:
“The authentic self always aligns with our chance for happiness and peace of mind.”
Thank you for this Nancy.