"Your happiness does not hang in the balance; it lives in the space where you can accept yourself right where you are."
Frankie, what’s a goal you want to accomplish in year 37?
“I want to really strengthen the ability to feel ‘ok’ in the spaces in between.”
I don’t get it, what do you mean by spaces in between…..
“The ones that everything tells you to push through, the ‘you’ll get there’ spaces.”
Most of our life is spent striving to reach goals or desperately hanging on as the pendulum swings to opposite ends. One end representing where we want to be (or some expectation) and the other representing the lack thereof. We’ve been told to enjoy the process, but are also constantly sent the message that we should be working harder or always striving to achieve through the idea that we should be on the positive extreme of happy, joyful, excited about life, learning, spiritual, religious, success, etc.
What happens when you are in between sadness and happiness or being a hermit and the social butterfly and have no desire to reach either end?
Well that my friend would probably get you a clinical diagnosis after a few months, if you talked to the right person. Then the message is sent that you are inadequate. Most often this message is sent out by things in our environment (objects, people, jobs, thoughts) and we go on to perpetuate feelings of inadequacy in others. It is that feeling of being inadequate that often leads us down the path to feeling as though we don’t belong (and let's face it, we all want to belong), catapulting us into a dangerous game of pendulum swinging to reach expectations that may have never been ours to attain. When we go for things that were never ours to attain, we must work that much harder to keep it and to stay sane in the process. In that chasing, physical or mental, we can reach extremes of exhaustion that alter our paths and lead to destruction of our natural ability to be resilient and find common ground between what we want and where we are at the moment.
So, what is a possible solution?
It’s definitely not balance… it’s removing the labels and monitoring our mental diets by avoiding ingesting messages that have direct or indirect negative influence on our mental well-being. It is our strong mental capacity and strength that drives what we do in the physical. Sometimes we need to forget where we are headed and train ourselves to be 'ok' with where we are physically and mentally. When we place success on the place we are headed, we also place the label of unsuccessful on where we are and that attaches additional, often deemed unbearable, labels to the current state or location.
We must recognize situations that cause us to feel inadequate and the thought patterns that coincide and begin to counteract those thoughts or remove ourselves from the environment, if possible. That removal can be physically or mentally, by remaining neutral to triggers. As a middle-aged woman, many examples I have dealt with personally or seen are feelings of inadequacy related to perceived intelligence levels, control, race and ethnicity, appearance, education, career and jobs, weight, parenting, popularity, being able to have children, being single or married, being able to afford to travel, what type of home you live in, body shape and size, etc. The list can go on. It is not only damaging to ourselves, but to connections we form with others.
The work toward removing the chains that entangle us can be difficult, but very rewarding and beneficial.
My name is Frankie Reed-Shaw. I am a wife and mother of three. I love all things creative, especially writing thought-provoking pieces. I embarked on my journey of blogging about growth, maturity, and SPIRITUAL concepts about two years ago. My passion is expressing challenging ideas in hopes that myself, and others, engage in consistently thinking outside the box and strive to live a most authentic life, free of constraints. Don't be shy, feel free to comment your life experiences and wisdom on any post.