Monday, July 15, 2013

Nowhere To Run. Nowhere To Hide.

                        "You do not have to like what is going on in your life, but
                         you must accept that it, whatever it is, is going on. As long
                          as you do not accept reality, you are powerless to define 
                        the role you will play. Failure to accept reality is a denial of 
                         your power to make a conscious choice. When you do not
                      choose, you live by default. You are a victim of circumstances."
                                                               ~~Iyanla Vanzant

I recently met with a friend.  She was stressed out because she and her husband couldn’t decide if they should move to a new home or stay put. Actually, her husband had already decided – he liked where he lived just fine. She was the one who couldn’t decide what to do.

We talked about the pros and cons of staying in their current home. On the pro side, she and her husband built the house, her children grew up there, it was on a large piece of property near a lake,
and it was in a great location. On the other hand, it was at least 20 miles from everything – work, shopping, friends, and family. And, there wasn’t enough storage space -- the closets and the garage were overflowing with their “stuff”. It was too cluttered.

As we spoke, it became clear that she really liked her home, but her life was so full of stress that she thought moving to a new house would give her a start fresh. She could leave her disappointment and discouragement behind. If she moved to a new home, everything would be clean and fresh. And there would be plenty of room to store all of the “stuff” she’d accumulated. I helped her see that she wasn’t moving – she was running away.   And it was her life she was trying to get away from.
I asked her what compelled her to hold on to all these things. There were the dresser drawers full of workout videos she hadn't watched in years, the closets full of clothes she no longer wore, the craft projects she started and never finished...and  those she never started at all.  What hole in her life was she trying to fill by keeping all these things? 
Moving to a new home with more storage would just give her more space to fill with things she didn’t use or need. It was like putting a band-aid on a wound that really needed surgery.  Instead of moving, she needed to spend some time sitting down and reflecting on what was really going on in her life.   What did this clutter symbolize to her? Why was it so difficult for her to part with any of it? What were her needs and how could she get them met? When she had those answers, she would be in a better position to move forward with her life.
The problem with running away from your problems is that you can’t. They are always waiting to greet you at your new destination. As Jon Kabat Zinn says, “Wherever you go, there you are.” You can’t run from your problems, and you can’t hide. The only thing you can do is face them and work through them -- then let them go.  

~Weekly Challenge~
· Write down the things that are bothering you. Often putting your problems down on paper instantly makes them less threatening.
· Assign a numerical value to each problem and begin working through them, one at a time. This allows you to control your problems instead of letting them control you.
· Remember that your problems follow you wherever you go. There is nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.
If you are having trouble working through the "stuff" in your life, I'd be glad to help you. Just leave me a comment on this blog.
Cindy Kozak

1 comment:

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