We stay—for just a bit. Live in the truth of your own choices. Know that you were the creator of your life. Now, instead of choosing something to medicate whatever uncomfort you are experiencing—stay with it and create something new. Create the direction that you really want to go in. Do you want to create a relationship of true intimacy with your partner? Stay and be boldly vulnerable there, in that space. Do you want to find out what it's like to truly be yourself and be at ease in the world? Set that intention and tell someone you love about it. Creativity is the opposite of co-dependency. Stay and be creative. Try it.
You could hear a pin drop. The once lively discussion that the group of us were having moved to reality and we all sat with his words.
There was no judgement. We ALL knew exactly what he was talking about.
You see, there is real life going on all around us and somewhere along the way we were taught that avoiding truth and avoiding our feelings will keep us safe. Really? Do you feel safe? Do you feel at ease?
This is a big deal. There are people in intense pain at every turn. We self-medicate with TV, with food, with alcohol, and prescription drugs. We also do it in more outwardly "healthy" ways like exercise and work.
I feel deeply for my friend. He doesn't want to be alone. He's willing to endure misery in order to ensure that he doesn't have to be alone. At least he has the courage to admit it. To admit that it's his choice—he knows that it's a fool's bargain—but it's his bargain and the only one he knows how to make right now. We've all been there. I would venture to guess that we are all there right now—one way or another.
So what do we do now?
My life is dedicated to moving towards deeper meaning—for me, my family, my friends, and my clients. This poem by John O'Donahue really resonated with me as I thought about the courage to take that first step for me. I hope it inspires you as you move along your journey.
For a New Beginning
In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.
For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.
It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.
Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.
Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life's desire.
Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.
~ John O'Donohue