What I know now,
that I didn't know before:
An option is just AN option.
testimonial Tuesday #12
AN. As in, ‘a’, but grammatically correct when placed before a vowel becomes ‘an’. A, as in singular. As in, one. AN option is just ONE option. It is not the ONLY option. It is just one of many, many, MANY options. And, what’s more, odds are pretty good that beyond the many, many, MANY options, there are many, many, many MORE options that do not even pop up on our radar, as our brains are only capable of using imagery from our past experiences to create the images of our future. Point being, just because you pursue AN option, it does not mean that you have to stop there, or that all of the other ones disappear.
Odds are good that for most of my adult life, I have been perceived as flakey. At least, by the people who don’t really know how I operate. This has to do mostly with the fact that I have made commitments time and time again for the WRONG reasons (to please/impress/satisfy/whatever other people), and then repeatedly backed out or cancelled at the last minute because I knew (all along) in my heart of hearts that I didn’t actually want to do those things to begin with. By definition, my actions have -at times- been rather flakey. But this does not make me a flake. Quite the opposite. As Rachael reminded me of in our session just moments before I sat down to write this; my personal definition of commitment and follow through is defined by my ability to listen to and abide by my instincts and what I perceive to be clues from the Universe, ***NOT in my ability to show up on time for a dinner date that I have been dreading but agreed to participate in because I wanted to make someone ELSE happy.*
My mission in this life is not to make one single choice or declaration and then follow through, nose to the ground, no matter how it might feel seconds, minutes, hours, days or years after making the initial decision.
My mission is to stay true to mySELF.
To my HEART.
Even when I don’t understand it.
Even when I am totally certain that today I am going to do ____________________, if that changes…my mission is to listen to the change.
To pay attention to what is asking to be done, and then to follow through with what my heart or gut or intuition is asking for next.
THAT, to me, is follow through.
That is commitment. And while that may not make sense to everyone on the entire planet, it doesn’t really matter, because no one else has to live my life. And I, in turn, do not have to live anyone else’s. Again, an option, which is just one of many.
Rachael compares this creation of subjective meaning to learning a language. The idea being that, quite often, we learn by comparison. Or rather, that we must first depend on others to teach us how to communicate, and then, eventually, it is up to us to use the words we have learned as tools in creating our OWN forms of expression and communication. It is up to us to look at all of the 'options', and choose the ones that best fit US. For instance; as a baby, I learned the language of my parents. Then as I grew, I started to incorporate other languages. Some literal, picking up bits of Spanish and French along the way, and some of them more visceral, like learning what a loving touch feels like from a parent vs. a lover. Without knowing one, I would not be able to discern the next, just as we need the darkness to experience the light, and the bad to truly relish in the good. I first had to learn the language of ‘traditional’ follow through to understand how it differs from MY definition, and why it is important for me to commit to that definition; mostly, because doing anything else makes me sick and resentful. Also, because ***who wants to have dinner with someone who doesn’t want to have dinner with them?*
When it comes time to make changes in life, we start with the options that we are familiar with. We investigate the potential of new options by using the tools that already exist in our tool box. But what if along the way somewhere, we find that one of our familiar options leads us down an unexpected road? What if someone handed you an entirely new kind of screwdriver and a completely new set of screws to start building with? Would you stop before you even begin, simply for the fact that you were unfamiliar with the tools ? Would you see them, but refuse to acknowledge them because the mere existence of something totally new makes you incredibly uncomfortable? Or would you move ahead, embracing the fact that there could be more where that came from? There could me many more new and wonderful, undiscovered options...does that make you excited to explore what might lie ahead, and eager to learn the words to describe it all?
At the very least, consider this: for most of us, the toilet water has flushed the same way for our entire lives. However, there is a whole other half of the planet upon which the same is true, but opposite.
What else might be waiting for us, beyond what we can see?
Beyond what we have the 'tools' to comprehend?
And perhaps, most importantly, do you want to know?
When was the last time that following the options right in front of you led you to something or somewhere you never would have dreamed?
What do YOU know now,
that you didn’t know before?