You Can Take Radical Responsibility For Your Life, But First You Have To Clean Out Your Closet
Currently listening to Daily Boost on Spotify and thinking about the relationship between compromise and pain.
Ok, I am going to give it to you straight. Whatever you are about to compromise on I want you take a brief pause. Yes, you, stop right there.
This is the exact moment that matters most in your life. Why? Because it is guaranteed.
Here are a few questions I want you to ponder:
Have you been living a life of compromise?
Of saying yes when you mean no?
Of accepting less because compromise seems fair?
Of charging less because you are worried about seeming greedy?
Have you been pushing down deep desires for change?
Have you been silencing the voice that says, “this is not right..”?
Has someone come up against your boundary and you’ve silently whispered, “just one more time..this is the last time, “ only to feel like the fool again and again?
That thing, that you are about to compromise on, what is it? Name it. Write it down.
You know that icky feeling you get when you are sitting in a room full of people and someone asks a question and you know the answer but you are too afraid to raise your hand to answer? Then someone else brings up the point less eloquently, less succinctly and you sigh wondering why in the hell you didn’t just speak up? That icky feeling is information. It is data telling you not to compromise. Not to play small. Not to hide. Not to pretend you are less than you are. That data is imperative to our growth.
Have you ever been sitting around in someone’s living room and people begin to gossip and everything in your body lights on fire and you think to yourself, “I really don’t want to talk about other people.” And the bones in your body wish you were anywhere else but you don’t stand up because you’re too afraid you will hurt someone’s feelings and you aren’t sure exactly how to approach people you care about and ask them to stop being cruel. This feeling is information. This is data telling you that you want a life that is more than low level conversation about other people.
Have you been scrolling through instagram and you come upon an account and everything about that account makes you want to cry? The way the person dresses, the quotes they post, the vacations they are sharing, the number of followers they have, the way they seem just so damn free? This isn’t just the internet trying to ruin your day (although that is a post for another occasion) this is information.
Do you find yourself blowing up conversations and caring less about other’s expectations and those damn deliverables your boss keeps hounding you about? Do you dream of throwing your laptop in the trash can and putting all of your things in a box and dramatically pushing your wheelie office chair up against a wall and walking out? This is burnout.
I know you are tired of hearing this, or perhaps you are hearing this for the very first time, in which case, you are welcome. All of these things, all of these feelings and pains and compromises, they are in your control. Your life is your responsibility.
But first, there is stuff. There is so much stuff we have to attend to and heal and discover and let go of before we can take responsibility. And that, my friends, is not your fault. That is the result of the things that have occurred before this moment. That is the result of the stuff that has shaped us. You have gotten to this exact moment where you are feeling what you are feeling because you are a result of your experiences. And if you are here, reading this, then those experiences maybe haven’t been that glamorous. Or perhaps they have been mind numbingly boring. Or maybe they were exceptional, maybe you have had exceptional experiences and you still can’t figure out why in the hell you feel so…..scattered. Maybe you are wondering why there are thousands of ideas running through your brain and you cannot attach to a single one.
It’s the stuff.
Here’s a little secret; just like your closet or your hoarder basement, the stuff can be cleaned out. It can be donated and trashed and burned. But first we have to go through it. Yep, alllllll of it. One by one we have to address each thing and ask it why it is there and what it wants and then we have to decide whether we still need it to move forward.
The sooner we understand all of the stuff the sooner it loses it’s power. You want to blame your parents? Good. Great place to start. But eventually you are going to have spent an entire lifetime blaming your parents and not doing a damn thing for yourself. You want to yell at society and tell it how wrong it all is and how unfair it all is? Wonderful. Let it all out and then let it all go. Society is not your problem. The stuff is.
You can walk a million miles. You can sail a thousand oceans. You can hike the grandest trails and relocate your life to a new beautiful oasis. But when you arrive, anywhere in the world, your stuff will still be there waiting for you.
I didn’t used to believe this. I thought it was a giant cliche to say that your stuff follows you wherever you go. Until mine followed me all the way to the bathroom floor where I laid there in agony wondering what in the hell had happened to me. I didn’t believe it until my stuff was suffocating me and I was paralyzed. I ran fast and hard in a lot of directions but there at the end of every single road was my stuff; the death of my mom, the years of cancer, the relationship with my father, the sexual assault, the catholic guilt, the anorexia. It was all there in a giant pile blocking all of the exits. And so I sat down and one by one, I pulled each thing out and I examined it. I evaluated its purpose, its meaning, its power. And then one by one, I let it all go.
Our experiences shape us. The teach us how to cope, they teach us how to react, they teach us how to navigate the world. But sometimes, those experiences taught us wrong. Sometimes those narratives are old and out dated and painful. Are you trying to live a life of pain? Do you really want the stuff to continue to get in the way?
I can help you clean out your closet. I can help you organize the stuff, understand it, evaluate it and move it wherever it needs to go so you can move forward. I’m an expert at stuff. But you have to be willing. You have to decide you are going to show up for the cleansing party.
This is the beginning of a series I am calling, Cleaning Out All of the Stuff. We are going to learn how to deal with the stuff so that we can then create the vision and execute the plan. Don’t feel bad if up until this point you have been frozen and unable to move. There is a lot of stuff in the way. And now we are going to clear a path.
All you have to do to get started is promise yourself that you are wiling to bravely and calmly go through your stuff. Don’t be scared! We will do this one thing at a time. You don’t have to make any commitments to get rid of anything….yet.
If you are willing to make this promise let me know in the comments below or hit me up directly on instagram, or via email; firstname.lastname@example.org
To less compromise and more thriving.