Many of us seem to aspire to an alternative life, almost without our current self, as we are, within it. We have an idea of how it could look If Only we aren’t the way we are.
The life we’ll have When we’ve done all the work on ourselves. When we’ve addressed all the habits we want to change and When we’ve created new ones. When we’ve found the right thing.
A different life Without sabotaging ourselves, reacting to others or getting triggered. Without criticising ourselves, thinking about what’s wrong with us or ruminating on what we should have done better. Without thinking about what we need stop doing and need to do instead. Without feeling we aren’t progressing, or failing to resolve the same old patterns.
A life Without that, “here I am again” feeling. A life Without that “nothing’s changed” feeling, Without the same old. A life Without that “is this it?” feeling.
A Different life, Doing things Differently, Being Different.
That’s the life we seem to want: not everything the same.
We may aspire to become emotionally constant, level, non-reactive. To mange emotions and negative thoughts. We aspire to clarity, balance, connection, belonging and Ease.
We may aspire to put plans into action, make positive changes, take control, be pro-active and practice positive things. We aspire to purpose, direction and Effort.
Ease is accepting who we are.
Difference lies in how we feel about ourselves. We do not need to do different to feel differently about ourselves or our life. Difference is accepting we will feel sad or suffer, fail, fuck up and struggle with ourselves and life itself, at regular intervals. We can fuck up without feeling like we are a fuck up. We can cry without feeling we are a cry baby. We can make mistakes without feeling like we are a failure. We can feel the same without feeling we will never feel any different.
Difference does not have to be attained through efforting.
Difference is how we judge what we look at compared to what we want to see. It’s an idea of what we look for, want to have happen. Difference is how we judge ourselves against criteria. Difference is what we don’t notice; when the same isn’t actually the same. It does not have to be significant or measured.
I aspire to ease and openness in my life. All too often it feels like I experience the opposite. A rigidity, a resistance; stiffening or holding back, tightening in or retreating. And yet I may suddenly recognise I’m not experiencing this struggle. I’m feeling emotions but not becoming caught up in the drama or judgment that may accompany them – feeling ease. I’m making commitments and connections, taking opportunities, without retreating – being open.
What changed? How have things become different? I do not know.
What I do know is that I have had this experience before. A period of what feels like struggle followed by some sort of positive engagement. Where the rigidity just drops away or softens silently. In other words, this is a natural pattern. I just may not recognise it, if I don’t pay attention. If I get caught up in the story that things are the same, if I get caught up in my negative feelings and the things I want to be Without, I may not notice the spaces, the positives, the in between.
If I’m looking at what stays the same or my measures of When, I may not be aware of what is different.
We all have a natural change pattern of ebb and flow. The period of time and the experience of those periods may differ, but we eventually emerge out of the struggle. There is a release. Somewhere without our noticing there’s been a resourcing, a shifting, a developing energy. This can be weeks or months in the making. The reaping of the consistent attention and work we put into things that don’t seem to show any results at the time, where it all looks and feels the same.
If I revisit the familiar it doesn’t mean it’s the same. Same is unchanged.
Things change. Things don’t stay the same. We change, we don’t stay the same. We’re all different.