Monday, April 8, 2013

Standing In The Doorway

We've all been there at some point in our lives.  Standing in the doorway between comfortable/familiar and the scary/unknown.  Funny thing is, there are two very different paths that lead to this doorway, yet regardless of which path brought you here, you will either unwillingly or willingly have to cross the threshold into the unknown.

The first path is one you are forced to take and by 'forced' I mean you have been stubbornly resisting taking the action needed.  The Universe, in its infinite wisdom has shown you the signs, given you ample opportunities to create the necessary change; to walk willingly to the doorway. Even though you have seen the signs, felt the nudges and heard the whispers, you chose to ignore them all, stubbornly holding on to the familiar even though it may not be comfortable, may not be bringing you happiness and may in fact be the source of your discontentment/unhappiness.  So, with your best interests at heart, the Universe whacks you upside the head with the cosmic 2x4 to get your full attention.

When you feel as though your life is falling apart and you are desperately trying to hold things together, take a deep breath, take a step back to gain perspective and ask yourself "is what I am desperately trying to hold on to serving my highest purpose or am I merely trying to hold onto it out of fear?"  Odds are, its the fear of the unknown.  The tighter you hold on, the harder it becomes to hold on.  You become so focused on trying to hold things together that you are pouring all your time and energy into it and yet, it seems like it continues to crumble regardless of your efforts.  If it no longer serves a purpose and you're trying to cling to it, the Universe is going to make it impossible for you to keep it.

So what if, instead of hanging on, you let go?  Scary as the thought may be and as challenging as it may be to take the leap of faith needed to let go you may find it will save you.  How many times have you heard (or even said) "I never saw it coming"?   The truth is, there are always signs.  The problem is, most of the time we choose to either ignore them or pretend we're not really seeing them.  What if, instead of denying or ignoring the signs we took them to heart?  What if, we chose to be pro-active instead of reactive?  Taking the time to create a strategy, a contingency plan so that we were prepared to act and move forward rather than clinging to what is falling down around us asking 'why'.

I speak from experience.  When I was in corporate, I knew for six months prior to being told that I was going to be downsized out of a job.  I could see the signs and rather than ignoring them, I chose to embrace it for what it was:  an opportunity to do something different.  So, I began to look into courses I wanted to take; I figured out how much money I had saved, how much I would need to pay bills, and how much work I would need to bring in, in order to continue to pay the bills.  I also updated my resume, ensuring that it reflected the work I did because there's nothing worse than trying to update a resume after you've been let go, especially if you had chosen not to see the signs.

So, when I was finally told that I would be out of a job, I took it in stride.  I had a plan, I knew what my priorities were and what I needed to do.  My focus and my energy were engaged in moving forward rather than trying to cling to what was falling apart. Strangely, my colleagues were far more upset about the news of my departure than I was.  Perhaps because somewhere, in the back of their minds they were thinking "Oh Gosh, it could have been me!".

The bottom line is this:  You get to choose how much time and energy you are going spend and whether you are going to spend it "trying to hold on" or on "moving forward"  both will eventually bring you to the doorway between comfortable/familiar and scary/unknown.  The difference is merely one of perception and direction.  One focuses on what is coming to an end, the other focuses on potential & opportunity that new beginnings always create.  Wouldn't you rather put your efforts into what is coming into your life rather than what is leaving?

As always, the choice is yours.