Have you ever noticed how, out of the blue, you can experience a moment of joy, for no reason whatsoever? When it happens to me I can provide no explanation. Like this morning. Walking out to my car and glancing north, the sky was golden – not splashy and vibrant but subtle and transparent and for those few seconds I felt what can only be described as a joyful, optimistic confidence, welling up inside. Was it the light? The day of the week? How I slept? Who knows?
Last night, by contrast, I was working side-by-side with discouragement – working hard on developing a 5 minute Podcast series and after many dozens of “takes” I was tired and bored with my own voice and message. Nothing satisfied me. I wanted to be better than I was. Finally I chose to say, “good enough,” and went to bed.
What interests me is that my morning experience was naturally welcome, yet last night, I was fully engaged both in the learning process and my purpose for persevering, even while working along side discouragement and self-doubt. I wanted to keep going and I wanted to do a good job. My inborn critic, on the other hand, was in full power mode and wanted to derail me, for good. I was very aware of my “mind chatter” and I ramped up my determination to do the work. Note – I didn’t put any effort into getting rid of the chatter. I have learned that this is a lost cause and an unnecessary distraction.
As I sit here now, late Tuesday morning, writing this blog post, I can no longer judge the “joyful” experience to be better than the “discouraging” experience from the night before. Both were unasked for and both made my life better for entirely different reasons.
And here is the critical point. When we allow our feeling state to be in charge of what happens next, we limit our options. Had I given up last night I would not have had the satisfaction of completing the task I had set for myself. We have all experienced the confidence that comes from doing what we set out to do. Even the beauty of the light does not outshine it.
The entire question of purpose comes into play. And purpose is one of the critical tools to fall back on when we are going through challenging times. In those kinds of times we have so much going on that is out of our control. Things we have to do, dictated by our urgent and important circumstances.
It can make a difference when we remember other reasons to get up in the morning, which have nothing to do with treatment and tests, and all the other things weighing on us. Short term purposes that we have direct control over, not the assistant at the Doctors office.
These kind of purposes, each of us get to decide for ourselves.
they are doable, right now, with things as they are
they tend to lift our spirits
you can do them by yourself, if you choose
they may move a precious project along, even a little bit
Oh yes, a one hour nap in the hammock can be a useful and important purpose at certain times. So can a walk or a hike. There is no expert out there who knows what is best for you to do. You get to decide.
Truth is, life is short. What do you really have to lose by putting it out there – who you are and what you want to do or be. You may try something new and fail. Guess what? Failure is always part of the package when we try new things and being willing to risk failure is a passport to living fully.
Note 1: My 52 week program is almost ready for registration. I will be so happy to let you know when it is open. Thank you all so very much for reading these posts. See you next week, Trudy