Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Question of (Not) Enough

Another by Marcy

I have a question for you (and please try not to get all nit picky stuck on my language choices):

How do you tell the difference between: being somewhat lazy to your true potential and working within a "minimum requirements comfort zone" and looking at and judging your life through some distorted, dark, perfection, never-enough lens?


I can't figure this one out, and it keeps coming up in my pen & paper journal.


svasti said...

Isn't it all a judgement, telling yourself you're not good enough/not doing enough etc?

How about letting things unfold as a conversation between what your heart tells you is needed and your experiences in the world? The things that make you happy?

A couple of years back, still in the depth of some of the worst of my PTSD I expressed my frustration with my life to a friend. Nothing was going on. Nothing seemed to be getting any better or going anywhere.

Her response was to say that I was where I needed to be right at that time - and that's perfectly okay. Right then, it was time to be a hermit. Time to protect myself and not engage with other people too much. It was what I needed.

Thing is, I think that can apply to almost any situation. We are where we're at, and that's okay. We do what we do, and for now that is enough.

Anything else is some distorted, dark, perfection, never-enough lens :)

P.S. I have to tell myself this one over and over and over and OVER again. Even now...

makeyourselFREE said...

I struggle with the "L" word (lazy) a lot of the time. When I am perceiving myself as lazy because I choose to watch TV instead of washing the dishes or cleaning something, or when I feel frustrated that I've not accomplished anything in my life, or especially when I am just struggling with something hard and feeling the emotions that go with it I think of this by Hafiz and it almost always gives me a level of acceptance of where I am..."This place where you are right now. God circled on a map for you."

Patty. said...

I think it depends on what your definition of lazy means. I hate that word. Usually it is someone elses' perception of what you are doing or not doing, for that matter, that you are making that assumption of yourself. I like to look at it as discretionary neglect. I'm choosing what to do with my time. Yes, their are things that you can not neglect. Maybe they don't need to be done right now, even though you can get to them now, just as long as they get done. And again, on who's time table are we working from? Sometimes I ask myself what does it matter in the scheme of things? In a hour? A day? Five years from now. And that will give me the comfort to know that me sitting here doing my crafting or even just watching the grass grow (or snow fall) is THE most important thing for me right now. I really don't care what someone else might think about what I do with my time. By the sounds of it from most people if you aren't working and doing all the time something MUST be wrong with you. But remember, God also gave us the flowers to smell and animals to pet to occupy our time with too.

Christine Claire Reed said...

Again, the word lazy is not the problem, and I'm not talking about avoiding doing dishes so that I can do something fun. :)

This is about living up to one's dreams and potentials.

At some point, we have to challenge ourselves, take risks...

At what point are we excusing ourselves from deeper, more intense experiences because we are fearful? At what point is this sort of thinking becoming justification for not putting ourselves out there?

Patty. said...

Ok, I see....who knows when it starts, but maybe the answer lies in just being a matter of listening to your own excuses why you aren't fulfilling your dreams. I know I am struggling with it. Mine boils down to Fear of failure. Fear is a very powerful emotion. We learn very early to be fearful. Under the disguise of being told to be careful. If we address each reason we give ourselves not to do something, one at a time, then the self placed obstacles will disappear because we will see there are ways to accomplish what we truly want to do with our lives. And maybe I need to follow my own advice too.

Christine Claire Reed said...

Patty! YES! You hit the nail on the head.


And I don't want to cover that up with "be where you are" type thinking because then it really is just excuse-talking, ya know?

Be where you are is great if you are there with intention and NOT because it is simply safe and/or easy.


Anonymous said...

Good question. Here's another one....just because I CAN, does that mean I need to?

I have time and energy and means at my disposal to do things that I sometimes think I want to do (write, paint, create, whatever) - but does that mean I need to do them?

If I have some desire but not a BURNING desire - even if I have the means and ability - am I wasting my talents by not pursuing them. Or is it simply ok to enjoy each day for what unfolds and be content?


Patty. said...

I too have followed the "be where you are" thinking and when I am most hurting it has helped tremendously because I give myself time to be able to face the demons that have put me in a place where it's the only way I can survive until my mind works through it. I always say, "it will be fine in the end. If it isn't fine, it isn't the end" But I think the kind of fear of putting yourself out there are inner thoughts. Sure people can tell you that your ideas won't work etc. Name one writer; inventor; you name it that hasn't been told "your idea won't work". When someone tells us we can't when we know we can, we dig in our heels and prove them wrong. Look at you when that person told you that you were to old to dance. And yet, you still do. Why can't we be that way when we want to branch out and do something we know we can do but we tell ourselves be careful (be fearful) we don't have that push inside ourselves to start. And once you start isn't it always easy. It's like putting off painting the living room, you picture all the work involved in doing it. It isn't really hard work it's the thought that makes it hard.
I've bounced all over here with my thoughts but I want to thank you for making me think about my own situation. I really need to get rid of the flimsy reasons that I keep using not to succeed in what my heart aches to do.

Ashley @ Nourishing the Soul said...

What a fabulous question, and one that I experience and hear from others (in some form or another) a lot. I enjoyed all of the responses above, and I don't have an easy answer of my own. I think that it takes truly being aware and in touch with yourself and what makes you happy. And being able to distinguish between the various kinds of happiness. For instance, I am truly happy when I am pushing myself forward and "achieving" but I am also truly happy giving myself space to breath. The types of happiness are different, however, and I think there has to be space for both to exist.

Christine Claire Reed said...

Sybil, I think about that often.

I am a wonderful writing teacher, for example, but does that mean I have to do it? It also exhausts me and brings out parts of me that I don't care to...nourish.

I think THE THING we are meant to do is the thing that we are good at, yes, but ALSO the thing that not only is about giving to others but nourishing ourselves.

I am a great movement teacher, too, and ON TOP OF THAT, teaching movement (of whatever kind and whatever level) makes ME feel fabulous and energized and challenged and joyful. Etc.

See? I think our True Path is the one whose energy goes in both directions -- out from us and back to us. :)

Anonymous said...

I think you're right, Christine in saying "I think our True Path is the one whose energy goes in both directions -- out from us and back to us."

Just because I'm good at something doesn't mean I need to do it. If it doesn't 'feed' me, and if I don't have the urge to do it, then why spend my precious time and energy doing it? Especially if I don't HAVE to do it.

Sometimes for me too, it comes down to $$. I have this warped thought that what I do should generate income. I find it difficult to write just because I have something to say - I keep thinking if I'm writing, I should be trying to sell it (magazine articles/books/whatever).

Or crafts/quilting which I LOVE to do but I live a minimalist life and so I don't need or want the fruits of my craft endeavors. I have this idea I should sell them - but I hate the act of selling things - whether it's online or at markets. So I try to just do my crafts and not worry about where they will end up - I just try to enjoy the process and leave the results up in the air.

I think I'm off topic! Thanks for stirring the conversation in my head!


Sandra said...

This is a great question, Christine. I'm wondering about it for myself, too. A lot. I wonder if the difference is whether you can tolerate/have enough support (internal and external) to be with the fear that comes up. Sometimes we do, sometimes we don't. Maybe the urge to do it becomes more insistent as we get closer to being able to do it.

Christine Claire Reed said...

Sybil, I don't think you're off topic but rather going deeper into the topic. :)

Sandra, I totally agree with this idea that fears get stronger as we get closer to being able to overcome them. I've written about that exact idea, actually, but I can't remember when! HA!

Overall, I am also starting to think that this is NOT about being judgmental about yourself but that it is all part of the larger process of discernment. Which is necessary in life. (As is judgment, really, or we would never be able to make the most simple decisions...)

kazari said...

Have you read anything by Barbara Sher? She suggests that if you are avoiding living your dream, there is probably a good reason for it.
Behind the 'fear of success' or 'fear of failure' either we've picked the wrong dream, or there's something else going on behind the scenes.
I find her writing a great antidote to the idea that i'm lazy, or unfocused, or something. and she gives tools to work through those feelings, too.