I recently published a post about how good everything is waking up early, living in the country and living my dream: “I Get To”
I still stand by this post. Sometimes the day-to-day is a drag and we have to remind ourselves of how lucky and blessed we are.
But sometimes, we spend so much time “focusing on the positive” and “looking at the bright side” that we are blind to the fact that the choices we are currently making are not serving us, and therefore, not serving the world around us.
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t look for ways that we are blessed every day in every way.
What I am saying is that we need to be honest with ourselves when certain life choices aren’t working. And when they aren’t working, we need make the changes needed to live the best life we can possibly live.
And I truly believe that each and every one of us has an inner barometer. If we are quiet with ourselves, we absolutely know what is right for us. The right path to take. The right decisions to make when it comes to living your absolute purpose. What will make you the most happy.
Because, as the Dali Lama says, “The purpose of life is to be happy.” A deep, true sense of happy. Not the sleeping in, eating-too-much, drinking-too-much-kind-of-happy. The kind of happy where you feel quietly fulfilled. The kind of happy that you feel when you lose yourself in nature. When I take a deep breath on a cool crisp day in Autumn, everything falls away, and I am just happy.
And in quietness, we know what we need, and what we need to let go.
So if our whole being is expending energy to convince ourselves that we are happy, and seeking the light in our continual heartbreak, perhaps it is time for a change. Instead of using coping mechanism after coping mechanism, what if we left the cause of the pain? That way, we can focus our energies and our love for a greater good, our greater calling; instead of focusing it on our grief.
Although, there are times when we do just have to endure, and reach down deep and use coping mechanism after coping mechanism.
But what if..
Your kid or spouse is sick?
Endure. But you knew that. In your quiet moments, you know you are meant to support and love and be there.
I’m not saying stop doing challenging things. I’m saying move away from doing things that suck the life and love out of you. Move towards things that bring you light and joy.
Running is a challenge. I’m slow. I’ve had stress fractures and have never placed in any race I’ve ever been in. Getting out the door is a struggle, but it’s also a wonderful experience. I feel more alive and more like me when I’m doing it and after I’ve done it. More running make me happier. It is a challenge, but I’m not spending energy convincing myself I love it. Once I have to use my energy to convince myself that running is wonderful, when I feel it just is not for me, I give myself permission to move on.
I am not defined by the activities that I participate in. If I decide to quit running I am still me. But right now, it is one of the things that gives me joy.
Walking away from what sucks us dry is a beautiful, powerful and smart thing to do. It is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of courage.
Another way to look at this:
I have two bachelors degrees: One in applied Mathematics, and one in Economics.
In Economics, there is a theory is called “Sunk Costs“. This theory applies to decision making in all cases. However, most of the time, it is cited in business decisions. The idea is that when making a decision, look at the pros and cons currently in front of you, do not consider what has already been invested into a project. A sunk cost is a cost that has already been invested and cannot be recovered.
For example: You buy a car that turns out to be a lemon. You have made $1,000 of repairs and a week later, you find out you need to make another $500 worth of repairs. When making the decision of whether or not to spend another $500 for repairs, the initial $1,000 should not be considered. That $1,000 is a sunk cost and cannot be recovered, no matter what decisions are made. So if it is a good decision to invest $500 in car, it is good regardless of the $1,000 spent a week earlier.
A more personal example: I have spent time and money (and a lot of ego), wrapped up in homesteading. I defined myself to be a homesteader. It is what I strove to be. I read and yearned. I bought canning supplies and books. But one day, I found that homesteading felt like a burden. So, after much thought (quiet time, and more listening to myself actually), I decided to let myself drift away from it. The fact that I spent huge amounts of time and effort in the pursuit of homesteading did not influence the fact that it was no longer fulfilling me as it once did. The time and efforts I put into homesteading were sunk costs.
It is important to listen to our heart in our decision making process. Our heart knows best when you are open to listen to its truth.
The reality is that the truth that you are seeking is already in you.