Listening (seek and you will find)
The truth is, this week, I am struggling. It’s not a morbid, depressed and anxious type of struggle it’s more of a seeking, a searching for something I can’t seem to put my finger on. I don’t know exactly how to put that into words, and it’s possible that this is something that happens almost every time I have some time off. We have had a two week break from recording the weekly podcast and for some reason, even though a lot of things have stayed the same (like the morning checklist I do every single day of my life), some things have fallen by the wayside. Being out of sync with my work, strangely enough, kind of tips me upside down. It’s like I have to find my feet all over again. It’s frustrating. I don’t like it. In some ways it forces me to rethink everything all over again because I am not the type of person who does things just for the sake of doing them. I need purpose. I need reason. I am not motivated by money or popularity although I do like both of those things, they’re not enough to push me to do anything at all really, if I am to be driven it needs to be something purposeful and something that I feel will really make a difference to those around me.
So I sit here today, thinking… why am I doing this? Why do I have a podcast? Why am I blogging? Why am I writing this book? What am I doing it all for? Where is the balance? Am I looking after myself in amongst this pushing… is it necessary? What should I do with all these questions?
I’m glad I am the type of person who asks questions. In truth it’s probably kept me alive. Because if I didn’t ask the questions I wouldn’t bother finding the answers and these answers are important to me. They fuel me. They give me hope for the future. They get me out of bed in the morning. They help me to actually make a difference in the lives of others and that’s where I really feel like my life is worth living.
So what does this mean for you? If you’re reading this today, where are you at? Are you just mindlessly going through the motions because that’s what you’ve done every other day? Are you putting one foot in front of the other but you don’t actually know where you’re heading? Or are you asking yourself the meaningful questions, and sitting with the discomfort of not having those answers? Because let me tell you, most of the time, most people don’t sit down with themselves and ask. Most people don’t ask because they don’t want to know. Or they don’t want to feel that pain of realising that they don’t have a purpose. Or that deep down they know they have one but they lack the courage to pursue it.
Not knowing can be scary. Admitting to yourself that you don’t have any clue about who you are, or what you want can be painful. But it’s OK. It’s OK to not know. It’s OK to be going through the motions and keeping your head above water, as long as you know that that’s what you’re doing. If you are aware that right now you’re only doing things because that’s what someone else thinks you should be doing, that’s OK. If you’re aware that you’re doing a job to keep a roof over your head that’s not just OK, it’s responsible and important to take care of your responsibilities. But it’s also OK to question it. It’s OK to sit down with yourself and ask yourself the hard questions. What do you really want? (I recommend asking what do I want, then why do I want it, then what do I want that for until you get to the core of what you really really want). What is missing? What have you been denying yourself? What would really make your heart sing. Sit with these questions and be OK with not having the answers right now. Commit to sitting down with yourself and asking them again tomorrow. Ask until the answers come. Ask until you know, what you want, what you need, who you are and why you want these things.
I believe that our desires are placed in our heart for a reason. I’m not talking about our material desires - I’m not talking about wanting those new shoes or that new car… I think often our material desires can actually be dangerous distractions from what we really want. Sometimes we’re too scared to look at what we really want because it means taking risks. It means stepping out of our comfort zones and into the unknown.
But there is a quiet discomfort that follows us around when we don’t listen to our hearts. It eats at our motivation. It eats at our positivity and eventually, if we don’t listen to it and we keep drowning it out by distracting or numbing ourselves to its voice, then it attacks our health. Yes, sitting down and listening to our heart can be painful because sometimes we are carrying around hurt. But listen. LISTEN. Let that voice be heard. Because often once we hear it, and acknowledge it, it doesn’t hurt so much anymore.
I recommend a journal because it helps get all the stuff in the head and heart out into the world. Sometimes looking at the page, seeing what you’ve written there in physical words staring back at you, you can see it more objectively and you can make a decision to take action on some of these things.
But you won’t know what to do differently if you don’t listen.
I think that’s what I need to do this morning. Is listen. Take some extra time to rethink everything and reevaluate if I am on the right path, and if I am going in the right direction. I know I also need to do this with an open mind, because there’s a chance, that I’m not. I think that is what scares me. That I have been pushing and putting one foot in front of the other every day, and what if I’m wrong? What if I need to do something different? Well, I guess I will find out. Ignoring this feeling won’t make it go away. Listening might.
Have a great week, and I’ll share my findings with you next week. In the meantime, why don’t you tell me what you find if you sit down and listen this week. I would love to hear from you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below xx