If my journey has been about little else, it has most definitely been about breaking dependencies that have kept me stuck in security-mode, or what I’ve since learned can be life-sucking-emotionally-numbing-complacency-breeding mode. It has been centrally about giving up my dependencies on people, places, systems, etc. in order to find, listen to and honor my own internal compass. It’s not that I don’t need people in my life, meaningful work, or a paycheck in my bank account. I do – but not in the way or for the reasons I once thought I did.
We think these things will bring us happiness – the perfect mate, the perfect job, a big promotion, a beautiful house, trips around the world – and for a moment in time, perhaps they do. But when we depend on these external relationships or events for our emotional sustenance, we set ourselves up for huge disappointment. People will let us down, we may get passed up for that promotion, or we made spend our entire lives waiting for that magical and mysterious moment when we believe somebody will finally hand us the keys to our life. Only, it never happens. Instead, we spend our hours and days waiting with earnest expectancy, wheels spinning going nowhere. Do this long enough and many either decide they expect too much from life and concede ‘settling’ for something far less than their dream, or they become bitter and full of blame and excuses.
Excuse me, but I think I’ll follow plan B, thank you very much!
Plan B calls us to give up our blankie, our pacifiers, those things that keep us feeling stuck but secure. Plan B calls us to wake up, get up, and get going – with intention and clarity and purpose. Plan B calls us to rely on ourselves more than others to find our true north. Plan B calls us to hold our own selves accountable for the dreams we pursue (or pass up), instead of blaming or relying on others.
Yes, I believe in having an Ace in your pocket – that proverbial wild card you can play when your chips are down; but at some point, in order to have the life YOU really want, you have to give up your security and dependencies on your crutches. Maybe it’s a relationship, a job, or a habit. Maybe it’s the belief that someone else knows you and your dreams better than you know yourself. Maybe it’s all of the above. But if you really want to see what you’re made of, you simply have to be willing to let go. After all, a bird cannot fly with its feet still on the ground, and a horse can’t run free if it’s still tethered to a post.
When I was a little girl, I had two fingers I sucked for comfort, a beloved Humpty Dumpty pillow, and a blanket. Eventually there came a time when I had to give them up. It simply wasn’t appropriate to cling to them anymore. I didn’t need their temporary comfort any more, even if I believed I still did. It was HARD to give them up, but give them up I eventually did. My daughter still holds on to a single quilt square and the soothing comfort of her thumb, and she, too, is struggling to give them up. They are magical to her, a soothing solace during the inevitable bouts of uncertainty, fear or sadness that are a part of all of our journeys. But even more magical than her blankie or thumb, is the strength and life force that I know exists in her wonderful heart and soul, just waiting for her to claim and call her own.
As you think about your own life, what are you still holding on to that is keeping you stuck? Do you own your own personal power or give it away to others? Are there habits and hang-ups you need to let go of to find your own strength and live your own voice?