Sometimes I don’t really feel inspired, smart or really sure of where I’m going. I question my calling and if I’m doing the work I’m meant to be doing.
I wonder if there’s something I’m missing or need to tweak. I just can’t quite get to a sense of clarity and surety of where I am in my life. I’m disoriented and don’t really know if I’m on the right track. I don’t feel the confidence and conviction I once had in the past.
It’s frustrating to be back in this place as it makes me question if I really did make any traction in my life. I also question what I’ve done and if it really made a difference or was worth anything.
It’s like I’m back in school, managing new classes and unfamiliar material. Worried I won’t pass the exams and be doomed to repeat the same lessons over and over like a hamster on a wheel.
Maybe I’ll never really achieve anything of meaning and get ‘there’ I think. Then I wonder what ‘there’ even is. I don’t even know where I want to get to anymore.
How could I be here after all that work and reflection?
I should be in a better place.
What did I do wrong?
Taking Stock of Where I Am
I know when I’m in this place it’s time to get present and feel into what is there. So recently when I found myself in this place, I started to pay closer attention. I noticed the self-judgement and frozen feeling in my body. I acknowledged where I was and what I was feeling. Under the judgement and frozen feeling was fear, anxiety. I curated my social life so I was only around people who feel safe or nurturing because I was feeling so vulnerable. When I couldn’t help but be around people that didn’t feel safe, I was on guard and my defences were up because this is what was needed.
I allowed myself to feel all my feelings, even the defensiveness, numbness and disorientation. They are all welcome. They are all needed. They are part of my humanity.
I allowed myself to give up. I indulged in the defeat. It was a relief to not have to pretend that I was on top of things and stop resisting the inner dissolution and unravelling.
I did what needed to get done but nothing more.
Making a meal felt like a lot but I did it anyway because this was what I could do to nourish and care for myself. I acknowledged that there were times in the past when I could not even muster the ability to cook. It was different this time. I could still cook. This was something to notice, be grateful for and appreciate.
I watched way too much Netflix and got lost in YouTube. I spent hours looking for new tv shows and movies to watch because it gave me joy. I love story in this form. I made pancakes for myself for breakfast and ate them with Canadian maple syrup because it made me happy.
When things started to settle, I reflected on what was drawing my attention. I noticed that I was watching crime documentaries a lot. But only the ones where there was a resolution or an escape. I didn’t like the ones where people disappeared and didn’t get found or the perpetrators of the crimes weren’t caught. I especially liked the ones where as a result of their experiences, the victims went into law enforcement or set up organisations to change laws to protect the safety of children or advocate for victims. This reminded me that there is light that can come from the dark.
I also watched as many Bill Hader videos as I could find on YouTube. I liked to hear his story and about how much work he’d done to get to where he is today. How anxious he was when he first started on Saturday Night Live and still is at times. How he manages his anxiety with meditation and acceptance that this is how it is for him. I love that his new shows have been nominated for 21 Emmy awards. Bill Murray said that he was the best cast member on Saturday Night Live and that he was ‘extraordinary’, even though ‘it took him a while to get going’.
This reminds me that it takes time to learn and get better, to grow and attain mastery. That nobody starts out in a place of mastery and competence and the path there is filled with much trying. That we work from where we are, through uncertainty, anxiety, self-doubt and much more failure than we think we should have or can take but that doesn’t mean that we can’t then become extraordinary.
Somehow I felt lighter after this reflection and allowing. I continued to ask for help from others and share what was happening for me. I journalled and got healing therapeutic support.
Then one day, there it is, the willingness to try again. It snuck in without me even realising. Within it was a glimmer of inspiration. My heart was ready to put itself out there once more and dare to hope. I had space inside me for whatever may come. The good, the bad and the ugly.
There was light on my path again.
I realise now that I needed to stop, be still and take stock so I could recalibrate where I was going in my life and how I would get there. It was time to streamline so that I could be freer to move forward in a way that is true, with clearer intentions and a fresher focus.
I’ve reoriented in an honest and real way now, trusting my instincts and inner urgings, allowing for more of the life I truly want to live. A life that might take time to get going but could just become extraordinary.
1. Think of times in your life when you felt low energy, disoriented or defeated. What are the resources and tools that helped you through?
2. What were the lessons that you learned or the insight that you gained?
If you wish you may like to share your answers in the comments below.