How many times have you stopped yourself from doing something you really wanted to do? Have you ever justified your inaction by saying 'I can't because.....'?
We sometimes seem to have a whole slough of reasons why 'not to do' something. These range from "because I don't have the time or money", or "I'm too tired, too sick, too something..." to "because they -- my mother, my friend, my boss, my mate, society, etc. -- don't want me to."
We stop ourselves from living the life we desire due to a series of imagined problems or restrictions. Rather than focus on the present, we have focused on the future and imagined it to be other than according to our wishes and dreams.
A friend who lives near a ski-slope mentioned that she hasn't gone skiing in the five years that she has lived there. Why? Because she can't afford to go regularly, and once would not be enough. So rather than enjoy the present and go skiing, even if only once, she chooses to abstain from going at all. That brings to mind the saying "better to have loved and lost than never have loved at all".
My initial reaction, when she mentioned this to me, was impatience and judgment, with her as the target (of course). I felt self-righteous in commenting that it is better to enjoy life NOW even if only for five minutes than to postpone it to a later date, if not indefinitely.
Then, Higher Self stepped in to remind me that everything 'out there' is a mirror image of something 'in here' and that I might choose to look at how I also demonstrated that atittude and behavior in my life. Now of course since I live in Florida, my scenario doesn't include ski-hills, yet, how do I postpone my good and attribute it to some 'because' or other?
The first thing that comes to mind is that often when I have felt like taking a day to relax, my mind has stepped in with 'You know you have lots of work to do and you can't take the day 'off' because you have a deadline to meet...' Yet, on the other hand, I know that when I do listen to my desire to take time for myself, I return to the office refreshed, full of energy, happy to be there, and much more efficient.
O.K. that was an easy one to spot. Yet something tells me that there are many other situations in which you and I exhibit this type of behavior.
Let's Make A List
The process of making a list works well as it accesses the subconscious and lets the truth come out.
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Take a fresh sheet of paper and write at the top: A reason I stop myself from living the life I desire is.....
And then write whatever comes to mind. It may be something 'foolish' like 'because I'm stupid.' O.K. while you may not consciously agree, apparently your subconscious has that belief about you. Anything that comes up is a sub-conscious block on your path to experiencing a life of pleasure and enjoyment.
Once you have written your list, look at your 'reasons' and cancel out mentally and verbally those which are obvious untruths. On those others which run deeper, and which you can't seem to disagree with, you may wish to work with affirmations to re-program your 'mental computer.' So (for example) if one of your 'reasons' was that you don't deserve to take time off, a good affirmation to repeat to yourself would be 'I deserve the best! I am good enough!' Or if you simply don't think you have the time, affirm "I always have enough time to be healthy, happy, and free".
Now these don't work magic, at least not immediately. What they do is open up a path in your mind to realize that there is another way to look at your situation. They create a chink in your armor of "no" and allow room for a maybe, or even an outright "yes".
The next step is to keep your ears and eyes open to see where in your day to day activities (and thoughts), you block yourself from your good with a 'because'. Don't let old programming ruin your life and take the joy out of living.
Take a look at your thoughts and your patterns and weed out the negative programs that trip you up. Take charge of your life and let the joy within be your guide.
Don't stop yourself from enjoying the now because of an imagined tomorrow or a remembered yesterday. Take a look at how you're stopping yourself from being happy. It's all up to you, no buts (or because) about it.
Recommended book on this topic:
Inspiration: Your Ultimate Calling
by Wayne W. Dyer.
Each chapter in this book is filled with specifics for living an inspired life.
About The Author
Marie T. Russell is the founder of InnerSelf Magazine (founded 1985). She also produced and hosted a weekly South Florida radio broadcast, Inner Power, from 1992-1995 which focused on themes such as self-esteem, personal growth, and well-being. Her articles focus on transformation and reconnecting with our own inner source of joy and creativity.
Creative Commons 3.0: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Attribute the author: Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf.com. Link back to the article: This article originally appeared on InnerSelf.com