No Full Stops

Musings on life, learning and soul searching…

No Regrets 3 February 2012

You know why I loathe decisions? Because to make one sets you off on one path never knowing what the other may have held. I seem to have this deep seated fear that I will miss out on something, so to make a life choice of some description is agonising, because I want to have it all. I don’t want to have regrets.

This has manifested in my life as opportunity taking. One comes along and I cannot resist taking it up, lest I miss something amazing. Sounds great doesn’t it? No regrets and all that. But what happens is my life becomes crowded and complicated, always busy and barely present. I end up with a wonderfully interesting and stimulating experience high on quantity and low on quality. My fear of missing out is realised. But I’m not missing out on one opportunity, I’m missing out on everything in my frantic state of doing-ness.

So I decide to simplify. First I get clear on what my values are and how I want to experience my life. Then I look at all aspects and inclusions of my life: career, relationships, social life, material needs, learning opportunities and me-time. These are all held accountable to one simple question. Does this serve me? It is a simple qualifier that determines whether this activity, person or experience is bringing me closer to my vision for myself or not. Then I take a deep breath and do what I know I have to do.

Life becomes simpler and I become more present within it. My experiences become more meaningful and I feel somehow lighter. But decisions and choices come along everyday and I still find it challenging. Particularly when one opportunity will serve my vision for myself, but I don’t feel the timing or the circumstances are quite right. I pass it up feeling sick to my stomach, tortured with the question of, ‘Am I copping out or making a conscious choice?’ Is this just finding a way of rationalising the low road because the high road is too hard?

But in making my choice, I know I have actually taken a high road, one of the many available. My rational mind can convince me of anything so it is not a trustworthy source of information in this situation. I know I have made the right choice because I feel lighter, I feel inspired and I feel free. I know that while the other paths and choices will not be mine at this time, the one that I experience is right for me now because it feels good. So simple. No regrets.

What makes up your experience of your life? Is it serving you? What regrets do you wish to avoid? Check out this awesome blog post by Bronnie Ware on the top five deathbed regrets:

Regrets of the Dying

I choose to have none of these as my own.

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The Duel of Love 27 January 2012

There are really only two driving forces in life… Love and fear. Any thought, feeling or emotion can be traced back to have either one of these at it’s core. When you begin to examine your thoughts, words, actions and choices to determine their driving force you will discover how you are living your life… Fearfully or lovingly. I found this extremely confronting several years back when I realised I had lived the majority of my life from a place of fear.

This realisation came at a point when things were at an all time low. I found myself buried in a life that did not fulfill me, did not energise me and seemed to be a constant struggle. That’s when I decided to laugh in the face of fear and choose love instead. I mean, things were not working for me anyway, so what could be the worst thing that could happen? And if that worst thing happened, what was the next worst thing? And would it really be any worse that where I was? It was from my darkest days, that I started to change because I just couldn’t bear to stay where I was.

Love did not come easily back then because my habitual driving force had been fear for so long. Fear that I was not worthy, fear of change, fear of the unknown and fear that I would have to see and own all that I was. What I knew I needed to do was to make up my mind to identify the core of my beliefs and behaviours, and then change them. In the process I learned that those fears can only be conquered by their polar opposite… Love.

Over the years I have come to see that presence of love in my life is completely under my control. I decide how much love I express, I decide how much love I accept and I decide how much love I feel in myself. And it is my opinion that love and fear cannot exist together. They are binaries. I am wholly responsible for the state of my life and how I experience it. Even when I face the greatest challenge or the darkest shadow side of myself… I know the choice is mine. Love or fear. And my resulting experience will come directly from that choice.

Love is not something you find. It is not something you get given. And it is not even something you share. It is purely and simply something you give. You give it to yourself and you give it to others. It is created by each individual and felt as their own. The limits and boundaries of love in your life are the limits and boundaries you place on yourself and on those around you. We are all playing our own game on the field of life, challenged to the duel of love vs fear. The question to ask yourself is… Which side are you playing for?

 

Choosing Sobriety 9 January 2012

Genre: Creative Non-fiction

In the past I used alcohol to escape my feelings, numb my mind and boost social confidence. The decision to release it as a coping mechanism was terrifying. Here is my story of making that decision.

Click here to read the story: Unsocially Sober

Now many months later, I actively choose to experience and feel life in the fullest way possible, meaning alcohol no longer plays a part.

 

Feasting on All That I Am 7 January 2012

Have you ever really embraced all that you are? And I mean all of it, no censoring, no compromise and without a thought to anything or anyone outside of you. I know this is something I had never done, or even really thought was possible, let alone something  I wanted or needed to do. Yet I have tasted this particular type of freedom very recently and I am now feasting from its abundant supply. The sad thing is that I never even knew how starved and emaciated  I was before.

All of my life I have played up or down different aspects of myself in order to just fit and be loved. And I have played with this formula many times without knowing it, changing and growing in different directions, with different people and circumstances gravitating around me. Don’t get me wrong… I have never faked anything… But I just worked with the ingredients of me instead of the entire recipe.

What I have come to understand now though, is that whatever I am… I get. So when I play small for others or even try to play up certain parts to be bigger than they are, all I get is a set of reflective people and events that are eventually and inevitably unsatisfying. This then enslaves me to what some people refer to as the human drama, where I feel things are happening to me, instead of created by me.

So why not be all that I am? I think it’s because this is the most frightening thing any of us face in the human experience, until of course you do it. Something finally broke inside of me and I could no longer contain any part of me, or even dilute it for popular consumption. I just didn’t care anymore. I was underfed and spent. But as all of me began to express, and just be… my spirit became nourished and began to re-energise.

As I regain my essential self, I feel full to bursting, with morsels of myself spilling out into the world. People seem to sense this and join me with appreciation at the table of myself. I don’t hang around waiting for invitations anymore, I’m the main event of my own life. Seems crazy that it was ever any other way.

In the words of Maryanne Williamson and used by Nelson Mandela in his inauguration speech:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us: it’s in everyone. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

 

Finding Fear 21 November 2011

Filed under: Creating Love,Writing Life — Rachael @ 9:45 am
Tags: , , , ,

I was recently asked what my greatest fear is. Simple question that should have elicited a simple response, however I found that I went completely blank. This was somewhat disconcerting to me as I do not perceive myself as a fearless person, and would be more inclined to describe myself a little on the cautious side.  So what is it that I fear? I was so stumped at this question that I was forced to go back to my much younger years to get any kind of answer. And from my memory archives came a rich back catalog of fear.

Much of my past self fear has been seen and conquered and therefore no longer relevant in the fear category. It seems that fears faced, or even thrust upon us as a realisation of our projected worst case scenarios, are an effective antidote. And acknowledging all the past fear that I am no longer defined by allowed me to realign my perception of self and appreciate more fully who I had become. But I did find a few remnant fears that I was still able to identify with, even though they had been warped by time.

I realised that I had spent most of my life under the control of a fear that people wouldn’t like me, or even love me. This resulted in much of my life so far spent providing an entertaining performance of myself. I perceived what it was that made people laugh, made them feel good, made them want to be around me and even made them want to be like me. That was how I shaped who I was. Until I was left watching the performance along with everyone else, with no connection to who I really was. Ironically, it also meant that the people who loved me had no real connection to who I really was either.

Of course, for all the performance, it was largely informed by the values of the person I would always be, so that was all I had to go by when I decided to put fear aside and live as the person I was, and wanted to be. My life then began to grow out of my values. They informed my choices, my activities and the people I wanted to be around. This shift began a long and ongoing period of recreation and redefining how I would be in the world.

I did lose friends (and lovers), and I did find that not everyone would or could love me. But I no longer cared enough to give it any fear. The people who now see me, see the real me, all of it. That attracts people that resonate with my values and repels people who do not. It’s a pretty perfect equation to be honest. So I no longer fear that people won’t love me, I just trust that some will love me on my terms and the rest will either look to themselves or some other fearful person to make them feel good.

So my old fear that people won’t love me was set aside by my own love. The cure of the fear was not in proving it a baseless fear, that of course people will love me. Doing that only perpetuated it for many years. It was in overcoming the fear that I as a person was not lovable. And in overcoming that, the fear just doesn’t matter anymore.

 

 
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