It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged and if you don’t mind – let me indulge myself on you as I tell you a little about the journey I’ve been on. My dad passed away a year and half ago. His passing left me, what shall I say…in a tailspin of sorts. He was one of my best friends. Now that wasn’t always true, but the years since my mother passed, my dad and I formed a new and strong bond as well as a deep and loving friendship. He was my go-to-guy. When he passed it left a hole in my life that sent me right back into a journey of self-discovery. Thus, I put away my blog, grieved, and focused on what I needed to learn. From this experience I also wrote the 2nd edition of my book Finding Me Again with a new title, Messy Intentionality: The Imperfect Journey of Self-Awareness, which will be released in the next month or two from Tate Publishing.
In my practice, I see so many people struggling with the very same feelings I felt when my father passed: lack of direction, not sure what life means, passionless, and low energy. What most clinicians would diagnose as depression, I see something different. With many life experiences under my belt, I don’t knee-jerk into a depression diagnosis. Instead I see an opportunity for a new layer of life to burst through. The problem is (as it was for me) they are stuck and feel cannot make the choice to do something different. The process of becoming “unstuck” is long and difficult, but necessary.
Choosing to embrace the pain and start to make a little movement in your world – physically, emotionally, and/or spiritually. Just a wiggle. Do something new. Start to go deep with your feelings. Take a risk. Go on an adventure. And you will discover something new. It won’t replace the past, but it will bring you back to the good in the present. The only way out of being stuck is to be aware of all you are feeling, seeing, thinking, feeling, touching, and smelling…being fully present and fully awake. I call this the “aware life” in my book.
Most people want to stay in their comfort zone – in the familiar. But this doesn’t work when one experiences the lows of life; it comes down to making a decision over and over again. The decision to stay present and experience the fullness of life. Not to recoil into a slumber. People stay stuck because they are paralyzed by the hurt from the past or fearful of the future. They believe if they just stay put and don’t make any noise they will be safe from harm. Yet, that decision is anything but safe. It takes away your joy, peace, and purpose, and replaces them with a dull, stressed, “asleep” life.
On the journey after my dad passed – I started a new layer of self-awareness I had never experienced before. It was the process of identifying who was I now and what I wanted to leave behind when my time came. Deep thoughts – I know. What I found was glorious and filled with grace. It was simply that I wanted to leave “love” behind. In my imperfect journey of self-awareness there have been many messes, but one thing for sure…there has been a lot of love.
So, when you hit a low in life – take the risk and start to discover something new about yourself and what your life can be. Choose to live fully aware, awake and on purpose. Ask yourself this question. What do I hope to discover in myself and in my world if I choose to be fully aware and awake? Then go for it. I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences.