What happens when you have made a commitment to something and it isn’t quite what you had imagined?
If you change your mind it effects somebody else. They are relying on you. But in your heart of hearts it isn’t really what you want to be doing anymore.
What do you do?
The Myth of Imagining Solutions
Well this happened to me a few years ago. I squirmed inside, bit my lip, racked my brain looking for solutions without actually saying anything. I started to imagine that we would come to a town and someone would say to Judith they would love to travel with her and I could just slip away without making a fuss. Or maybe we would hear from her partner and he would want to come over and take over from me.
How many of us dream or complain about our solutions to our problems without actually doing anything about them?
The Hidden Reality
So there I was travelling around Europe with an artist, I was going to write during the day and then at night support her with her exhibitions.
We would both see some of the country and have fun at the same time. Sounds idyllic? Or does it?
Well after the first week I realised that getting to write was going to prove a little difficult. Our days were filled with our morning rituals. Getting up, walking, breakfast – then the travelling, finding out where to go, travelling, then finding accommodation and the venue and then there was the set up for the exhibition. We would have about 1 and 1/2 hours before the show and she would go and rest and that was my writing time.
I did my best. I did write some short articles. I did get posted on elephant journal 4 times!! – but the time to write seemed to get shorter and shorter. Then there was dinner and back to the accommodation at 10.30 or 11pm and then my time for writing. She suggested I write during the exhibition after the ticket sales had been completed. I did do this, but have you ever tried writing anything and been interrupted a thousand times – my train of thought would be lost, my flow diverted into many different directions. I was feeling pulled apart, my energy began to dissipate, I stopped being so excited about our travelling.
I told my son on a text message.
He said, “Mum, I don’t want you doing anything in life that you don’t want to do any more. What if you were going to be dead in 3 weeks is that what you would want to do?”
Delaying and avoiding doesn’t work
I had made a commitment to 2 months. I had 3 weeks to go. As every day went on it got closer to when it would end so I thought there is no use in saying anything now, it is only 21 days to go, no use now, only 16 days to go, no use now, 14 days to go. I kept on rationalising that I was enjoying the journey. I just wasn’t getting to fulfil my need to write. I rationalised I could write when we completed our journey together.
I was planning to say something on my return from a walk, only guess what? there was a present on my bed – a felt bag I had noticed in a shop. She had noticed I liked it so she had bought it for me. How kind and thoughtful, well now I can’t say anything can I?
And then there was a day that she said, “I so like travelling with you, are so easy to get along with.”
If only she knew. Is this a trick? Is she really manipulative and I haven’t realised that yet? Is it just like being with my ex–partner, who would say, “You can come with me if you want, but this is what I am doing and if you choose to come and you like it great, or if you don’t, lump it.”
So I restrained myself again – it is only 14 days now.
Expelling What Needs to be let out
But then as often happens when you repress an emotion, a crack opened and I blurted out; “Well I wish your partner would jump on a plane and a train and meet us at our next venue and then I could stop and write and be still!!!” Oops – now to handle the reaction. Doesn’t life change in a spilt second?
I felt better then. At least I didn’t have the tension in my body and stress chemicals oozing into my system from not speaking my truth. My body felt free again.
Creating New Boundaries
We negotiated some time on our own staying in different places overnight and then meeting up the next day. That felt better. Apparently many people who travel on tours stay in different places to get their own space. If only I had spoken up earlier about needing a little more space. ‘Trying” not to offend some-one, or trying to look after some-one else and not have your own needs met just doesn’t work!.
I finished the trip and yes, we are still friends!
Speaking up for what you need rather than tolerating something that doesn’t work for you is so much better in the long run.
It would have been better if:
- I had created a loving boundary before the trip
- And if not then, earlier on the trip, so that I had the time on my own that I needed and we could enjoy each other’s company and the trip.
If I had not said anything, I could have spent the whole trip repressing my need for space, talking about it around the edges and ending up parting ways forever and being left with bottled up emotion that turns inwards and creates inner stress from not speaking my truth.
The good thing is the more you practise the stronger you get at being calm, creating loving boundaries for yourself and speaking up for respect and what you need in life.
The reality is it goes on forever, as each new situation, event or person comes into your life brings a new challenge to deepen your sense of who you are in the world.
Take Action This Week
Where in your life are you tolerating something that does not really work for you?
Speak your truth about something that you have been keeping to yourself.
Remember it is likely you will have some fall out. The other person will be used to you doing something that you now want to change. Be true to yourself. There is nothing you can do to stop them responding just the way they do. It is the next opportunity in your remaining centred in your truth, and learning to create respect where there is difference.
Are you dis-satisfied with your relationship with yourself that you do not have the courage or the skill to speak up and ask for what you want? or perhaps you really do not know what it is that you do want.
When you connect with your body and all of your senses, you can uncover wisdom that is not available when you just "think" about a stuation. So if you are stuck on some life challenge, I can guide you to locate a message in your body and you can learn to do it for yourself. This is one way that I guide people to access their own inner wisdom and uncover truths that are revealed when we connect body, mind and spirit. Many people commit to being Mentored over a period of time to deepen and learn many methods over time with me, but one session for one challenge can be deeply transforming.
Contact me if you would like to sign up for one session on firstname.lastname@example.org or if you are committed to a longer program apply here.
Keep connecting to your body, and listen in to all of your senses, to access your inner body wisdom, the messages from your soul, that are guiding you to be your truth.
Love to you