Finding Your Way Out
"Never be afraid to fall apart because it is an opportunity to rebuild yourself the way you wish you had been all along." (Rae Smith)
No one I know wanted to grow up and work 65 hours a week because they were up to their eyeballs in debt and made a reckless, impulse-buy on a car that costs way more than they thought it would. No one wanted to live an hour away from where they work because it’s the only way they could afford a house with a yard, but now they spend more time in their car than they do in that yard.
No one wanted to grow up and be just like everyone else.
But it happens.
You wake up one day and realize that you are not that unique. You have a lot of the same dreams and desires and regrets and problems as everyone else. You live in a house that looks like every fifth house on your street and you drive a car that looks like every third car on the road.
You know how that happens? Society has a way of pushing you into a mold, funneling you into a particular demographic. And I’m coming to the conclusion that they do this, primarily, so that they can sell you stuff -- stuff you don't need, which you'll pay for with money you don't have, to impress people who don't really care.
But none of that explains how you became the person you are. No, for that explanation, there is no enemy out there at whom we can point and whom we can collectively shun.
The fact of the matter is: There is no one to blame for the person you have become but you. You are who you are because of the choices and decisions you have made.
So, when you wake up and realize that this is not the marriage you imagined and this is not the house you wanted to live in and these are not the kids you thought you’d have and your job is not even close to what you wanted to be when you grew up — when you come to the conclusion that today looks a lot like yesterday and tomorrow may very well look a lot like today — well, how do you find your way out?
The most likely conclusion is to just undo some of the choices you’ve made and make different choices. That makes sense, right?
Don’t like your marriage? Undo it and redo marriage with someone else.
Don’t like your job? Quit and go find a different job.
Don’t like where you live? Move.
Don’t like your kids? Make new ones.
But you and I both know lots of people who have done just this. And how did that turn out?
Two or three years later they’re in the same marriage just with a different spouse. They’re in the same job just with a different letterhead. They live in the same house in a different zip code. We end up repeating the pattern and experiencing the same bad outcomes.
Because different decisions based on the same belief-system usually lead to similar outcomes.
So, how do you really get unstuck? You have to go all the way back to the beliefs that led to the decisions that led to the negative outcomes. You have to make sure those beliefs line up with reality, and then you have to make sure the decisions you make reflect what you say you believe.
And that’s how you find your way out.
Photo Credit: Barby Dalbosco