Last year, I joined a delightful Facebook group that invited us to reflect on the year that was passing us by with a series of daily prompts. That group then inspired another called Simple Life, Happy Life. This month, the admin of that group decided to start a lovely little journaling exercise for the month with prompts that are meant for you to introspect. I don’t have a journal, but this blog serves as one.
The first one for this month was:
In What Ways Are You Holding Yourself Back?
The first thing I need to check is: Am I holding myself back?
The answer that came through as rain ran its musical pattern outside my window? Yes. The answer that lights me up. Yes.
The answer to that came because I looked at all the ways I can be free. There is this thing about freedom – nothing is truly free if it is given to you. Freedom, like your breath, just is. It doesn’t have to be earned. It is a murmur of your life. We think we are ‘free’ because we have given up our corporate job. We think we are ‘free’ because we are single. We think we are ‘free’ because we travel. Ah, the definitions of freedom! To some, it is freedom to be married to the person they love. It is freedom to be the mother or father they always wanted to be. It is freedom to work the job they always wanted to. This post is not about freedom, though. This post is about the ways in which you are holding yourself back. Here are my ways:
Not Trusting Others
I had a bit of a bitter experience this May and June when someone I trusted turned on me. Since then, I keep thinking that the same will repeat in others. I try to find patterns in others similar to what caused me to break down trust. If people try to get too close to me too fast, I shy away. I am holding myself back from forming what may be beautiful connections because of the flakiness and harshness of one person.
Worrying Too Much About Money
There is no such thing as living a life where you don’t worry about money. If you have too little of it, you worry. And if you have too much of it, it is no less a worry. You worry about making money or you worry about keeping the money you make. I realize that I have become more conscious about my spending habits than I should.
There is a certain element of gratitude that is missing – I am incredibly blessed to be leading the life I do. I have no problems paying my bills, and I don’t use the word “broke” at the end of the month. I don’t think I have ever used that word. Perhaps, it is time for me to just be freer with the money I hold.
The Sense Of Impermanence
I am aware of the fleeting sense of fragility we are all faced with. There is no constant. We find ourselves bewildered by the changes that we meet in our life. I know how precious each day is and how precious the people who are in my life. Yet, instead of feeling alive with that preciousness, I find that I am shrunken by fear. I can’t enjoy the true happiness of each moment because I fear that it may not last. I am holding myself back from being in the moment because I fear the value of each moment.
Now that I know what’s holding me back, how do I go about resolving? Awareness is the first step. Understanding the next. Action perhaps the last.