I was reminded again this week that life is not linear. As much as our culture has decided it’s important we go to college, get a good job, work our way up the corporate ladder, have kids, or not, make sure we put money away in a 401k, buy a house, continue to accrue more stuff and wealth, then retire somewhere warm before we die. No, no, and hell no.
Life does not work this way, and if it did, I can tell you, you would probably be bored out of your freaking mind.
There is no room for that period in your mid 30’s when your marriage fell apart, or the time you realized you weren’t passionate about your career but made good money and the job was “secure” so you stayed in it longer than you should have. Or the space needed to grieve when a loved one is diagnosed with cancer. Our culture does not allow for life to happen. It doesn’t support it. We are continually reminded to suck it up, move forward, get on with things, get back to work.
There is a reason why men and women, both have mid-life crises.
What used to be really fun, isn’t fun anymore. Some things that used to be important, aren’t important anymore. Then we go through periods of uncertainty, stuck ness. It’s not an easy place to be. Why? One reason is that our culture does not support stopping mid-stream to regroup, reconnect, and discover your next step. It doesn’t say, go ahead, take the time you need to figure out what’s right for you so you can move forward from your heart and soul.
But that calm, still voice in your head does. Or the whisper that comes from your heart telling you, there is another way.
Then, even if we do hear it, we don’t tell anyone. God forbid someone might find out we’re connected to our inner wisdom, that place where all the answers we need lie. That would make us vulnerable. And we don’t like to be in that place. It’s a place of possible rejection. What if they think I’m whacked? What if they don’t want to hang out with me anymore? What if I end up alone? What if…
I’ve been there. Telling your truth isn’t half as scary as not telling it and living a lie.
There is fabulous news in all of this. A shift is taking place in our culture. The crowd I run with believes in and listens to their inner wisdom. They live their life based upon it. I know many life coaches out there, including myself, who help you make changes (on the surface) but are really tapping into what your heart and soul are yearning for.
There is a rapidly growing number of complementary medicine practitioners doing massage, acupuncture, reiki, and energy work. I’m not against Western Medicine. There is definitely a place for it, but a pill isn’t going to cure the longing in your soul.
So life is not linear. It shouldn’t be.
That would rob us of all the experience life has to offer. It’s about experiencing our emotions as shit happens so that we know what is really going on for us. We have to have the contrast of what isn’t working in our lives to discover what is. We have to recognize when the shelf life of our job has expired and it’s time to move on to something new. When the clothes in the closet just don’t fit the personality that is you. When a relationship needs to shift and change.
It’s okay to discover that what you thought you wanted in life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be once you acquire it. Some days are fun. Some suck. Some hours are fun. Some suck.
Until you make the decision to embrace it all, the jovial and the junk, you will try to remain on the linear “happy” path to nowhere. And that isn’t where happiness is found. It’s defined differently by each individual but it isn’t something you imbibe and keep forever. It’s in the ebb and flow of everyday life. Dig in and look around. The happiest people have the least linear life.
Your Turn: Have you noticed more joy in your life when you didn't follow the linear path? I'd love to know. Leave a comment below, or email me, firstname.lastname@example.org
I am grateful to spend some time with you virtually today. Thank you.
As always, take from here what works for you, share with your friends if you think they might benefit, and the rest you can leave behind.
Seeds of Kindness Bloom and Bloom and Bloom…