I witnessed an interesting thing in my car today that got me thinking about life.
There was a wasp in my car and it looked like it was desperately trying to get out of the hot car. It continually kept flying against the closed window hitting the glass. I opened the car door to let the wasp out. To my surprise he did not fly away he just kept flying against the closed window. This continued for a couple minutes. Feeling sad for the wasp, I tried using my car key to get him to fly away I continued to try to move him towards the open door and away from the glass but the more I tried to help him the more he desperately kept fling himself at the window; desperate to escape. I tried for a couple minutes to shoo him to freedom, no matter how hard I tried to get him to turn away from the window towards freedom he would try harder to push against the window convinced that was his only way out. After several minutes, he finally realized that freedom lay just beside his narrow view. As I watched him fly away I realized that we too are like this wasp. We too often believe with all our hearts that we are doing what we need to do to have a happy life, but it turns out that if we stopped took a minute to look around, we would realize that everything we want is right there! My lesson from the wasp, instead of banging our heads against the glass we just need to choose a new path and we can have all that we want.
I know in my own life I have done this. I was in a career that, don’t get me wrong, I loved…well I thought I did. I had convinced myself that it was perfect, and I definitely did like it but there was always this voice inside that I eventually learned to ignore, that was saying there is more. For me, this was a career that suited all of who I am, not just a part of me. Despite the voice (and looking back all the signs that were there) I put on my blinders convinced that my career choice was the only way I could help people. I, like the wasp kept banging my head against the glass, trying to make this path work, I would come up against roadblocks (especially when dealing with bureaucracies and office politics) and frustrations that would set me back but instead of looking at it, I put my head down and continued flinging myself against the glass hoping that I would find my happy life but making little headway. Honestly, I am not saying I regret any of my time working in the human services, the skills I gained and the people I worked with were a great foundation for the path I am on now, but the thing is it took the complete upheaval of my life to get me to listen my intuition. The one that had always been trying to tell me there was something more for me. There was freedom and the happy life that I had been working for, if only I had the foresight to turn around! I was like the wasp pushing against the glass desperately trying for my happy life but all I was really doing was banging my head against the glass. I was blind to all the other possibilities around me that would (eventually) lead to that happy life I had been striving for.
I see the same thing in many of my clients. They are in a relationship, or a job, or a life that they are not completely happy with but despite their intuition telling them that there is more out there for them, they continue to fling themselves desperately at the glass, trying to get to that happy life. They put the blinders on and keep pushing forward. It is through our time together that they start to tune into their wisdom that eventually shows them the open door that has been beside them the whole time!
It is more common than I think a lot of us want to admit.
We get into this situation because we believe the messages from society. We buy into the myths that there is “no happily ever after”, that “relationships are meant to be hard work” and that “work is work, and no one really loves their jobs anyway”. We believe we should work our butts off to get to retirement so finally we can enjoy life. This is not true!
We absolutely can have an amazing relationship, we can have a job that we love, we don’t have to wait for our retirement to really enjoy life. We can have it all, and more over we deserve it… all of us do! These messages of sucking it up and pushing through are common place in the media which just serve to reinforce the above myths. We believe that the only path to happiness is through the closed window. Why when there are so many paths to happiness?
Why wait for a happy life? Why not live a happy life now and later? Doesn’t that sound better?
I think that for a lot of us we have chosen a career path because we are interested in it or a part of us love it or we believe it is the “smart” choice, the same goes for relationships we think we need to have a partner, need to get married, need to have the white picket fence with 2.5 children. But the longer we do it the more we realize it is not all it is cracked up to be! We suppress that voice inside because we feel we need to stay where we are, that it is our only chance for happiness. So, we stay, getting a little more miserable every day and feeling more and more defeated. We dread Monday mornings and live for the weekend, we countdown to holidays or to time away from our partners. Like the wasp we keep flinging ourselves at the closed window, hoping it will lead us to the happy life we crave. Losing energy and motivation every time we desperately throw ourselves at the glass. The result, there are a whole lot of us who are absolutely exhausted and truly unhappy at our core.
Then I guess you have some questions to answer: Am I on the right path? Am I able to see beyond my blinders? Do I want to be like the wasp, and keep flinging myself against the glass?
If the answers are no… it’s time to make some changes!