This post is excerpted from Simple Acts of Moving Forward.
Do you ever feel like this? I don’t know why it’s so difficult for me to do the things I consider most important. There’s always something getting in the way. I’ll see what I want to do but not have the inner strength or commitment to do it.
Please understand that the main person getting in your way is usually you. Humans tend to carry around their own competing agendas. But, truthfully, what rules us like a strong agenda is sometimes nothing more than an unhealthy attachment.
- Yes, you want to try something new. However, you can’t let go of the need to be safe, and new experiences come with no guarantees.
- Yes, you want to give more—time or money—to a worthy cause. However, you must have a certain amount of money in the bank in order to feel secure. So, of course you can’t pass up the overtime hours.
- Yes, you want to be your best self in this relationship. However, you also want this relationship to move in a certain direction, and do so quickly, because you can’t bear the thought of being alone. So the self you bring to the relationship is too needy and pushes too hard for what it wants.
- Yes, you are convinced that the policy (at work or in Congress) must be questioned. However, there’s job security to consider. Also, you don’t want to come across as some loopy radical—you need for people to think well of you.
This list is endless. You (or I) can’t move forward because of unhealthy attachments. We need this or want that. We must be comfortable or stay in a position of power. We cannot relinquish what little control we think we have. In fact, our attachments are so strong that they get in the way of making good decisions. Rather than living out our intentions in clear choices, we are moved this way and that by our fears and egotistical motivations.
So, what are your attachments? What is paralyzing you? What is pushing you? Once you figure that out, you’ll be better able to live the life you really want.
A Little Prayer for the Next Step
This is really tough. I didn’t realize how so much of my life is influenced by these nearly hidden fears and obsessions. Please help me sort out what is either holding me back or pushing me in the wrong direction.