I work with some of the most motivated people in the world. I don’t mean that my clients are jumping and bouncing around the world with joy. In many cases, it is just the opposite. They are crawling through the muck of futility to make a small amount of headway each and every day. And this takes the most motivation in the world. It isn’t the motivation that is stereotyped by the controller-enmeshed world we live in. It doesn’t look like a big muscly dude powering through an obstacle course. It is so much bigger than that. It takes more grit.
I have watched my clients go through countless ups and downs in one day. But they keep pushing. They keep searching. They keep working and seeking out answers even though they want to give up. They want to give up so much. And I am no different. It doesn’t come in the extremes that it used to. But each day, there is some kind of block. There is a reason to give up. There is a contract with my parents that must be upheld. There is unworthiness telling me to give up. There is the paralysis that will steal time away. There are triggers that send me straight to my journal as a traumatic emotion rising through my system.
And yet each morning, we try again. We keep going despite knowing we haven’t seen the last of these struggles. We know it isn’t going to be easy sailing. We know that every step we take will come with resistance. And some of that resistance is going to be hard to notice. It is going to be tricky. It is going to be stealthy. So awareness is going to be critical. We aren’t going to be able to float through life and stay on this path. This is the hardest work there is. We are swimming upstream. But we can take ourselves out of hell if we stick to it. So let’s take a look at how our resistance will fool us. Let’s focus our attention on some of the ways our defenders will keep us stuck with their tricks. What do they tell us?
There are people out there who can do whatever they want without really trying. It is true that trauma runs on a continuum. And if you are reading my blogs on the regular, you aren’t dealing with a minor traumatic impact. There are lots of people who have less trauma than you. I will guarantee that. But to reach our purpose, there will be obstacles for everyone. Even those who have managed to get rich and famous are dealing with their traumatic responses to life. We see it in the media all the time. When we tell ourselves that others have it easy, we are indicating that there is something wrong with us, that we are not worthy of an easy life. In reality, we are showing amazing strength. Some people might be ignoring what they came here to do, but that doesn’t make their lives easy. It just makes their lives numb. Watch for clues that the people who seem successful are actually in pain. It won’t resolve anything specific. But it might help you see how you are not so alone in your own.
Nothing has changed and nothing ever will. While this sounds like a futile statement, it isn’t always coming from that place. Sometimes this is a tricky mind-game from our controller. They make it impossible to see your progress because they want you to quit. They will keep you focused on external milestones to prove you are getting nowhere. The reality is that this inner work creates slow changes in the external world. It is like turning around a gigantic ship in the middle of the ocean except slower. The real impacts can initially be felt in the body and in our tolerance for small things that used to be more difficult. When this message lights up in our system, we won’t be able to see it. The changes get lost in our consciousness. If you are seeing small changes in this work, take a minute to write them down. Refer to this list whenever you feel this way.
Nobody is ever going to get this. I’ll be honest. There’s a ton of truth to this one. Walking out of the zombie life is an isolating venture. Sometimes we feel like we are looking out our window at a world that doesn’t get us. Who am I kidding? It is not always just a feeling. The controller-enmeshed world is not going to get the deep recovery we are working toward. There will be invalidation around every corner. Our confidants will be extremely limited in number. People will leave our lives much faster than they will come into it. But while it might seem like a good reason to stop, it isn’t. It is never a good idea to stay in pain to fit in. While it is incredibly lonely to the love seeker before we have expressed our grief, we can come to a place where we can exist without validation in the same way. We can become so comfortable with who we are, we can stand out in friendships and society without being bothered by it. So pay attention to when you are allowing yourself to be in pain so you can avoid isolation. We don’t have to pick from two extremes.
Keep this in mind the next time you find yourself throwing in the towel on recovery. We will tell ourselves all sorts of things to avoid this work because it’s hard work. We will take breaks at times and there is nothing wrong with that. But don’t let your parts convince you this is not your path. You are strong or you would have never started this journey. The train has left the station and you are on it. And believe it or not, everyone will be better off because you have come along for this ride.