To climb the career ladder, I adopted the characteristics I learned to associate with success. I was conditioned to believe I had to emulate them to achieve the success that I believed would bring me happiness. In one sense it worked. I had a very successful 20+ career in healthcare, and there were times I loved it. But the truth was my life was completely out of balance as I was continuously overworked and neglected both myself and the people I cared about.
By the time I was 45 years old, I started venturing out personally in an effort to figure out why I felt so unhappy. Each time I learned something new, I became more and more aware of how much I didn’t know and how much there was available to learn, experience, and become.
When I tried to integrate a new approach into my life, I found over and over again I simply couldn’t sustain it. What I didn’t know at the time was I was battling the long-term effect of habitual thinking as I kept finding myself back in the same dissatisfaction over and over again. What I didn’t understand at the time was that my body had become addicted to the ways I habitually thought and behaved and I was powerless over breaking the resulting cycle of being disappointed with myself and others, and then holding others responsible for my “failures”
Sometimes my need to get away from it all led me to amazing vacations. Even though each one gave me wonderful memories, it was more like a Band-Aid that covered up what I didn’t want to see and upon my return home, life would quickly go right back to where I left it.
Other times, I’d get distracted by a new relationship. Every time I thought I found “the one”, getting lost in the deliciousness was easy, but at some point, it ended up becoming “this is not what I signed up for” as old thoughts and patterns of behavior resurfaced. Again, my tendency was to believe if “they” only did “this”, everything would have been perfect!
When my kids started to struggle with figuring out their own lives, and my fear kicked in, my love for them was transformed into such a state of worry, I lived in a continual state of stress. It was as though I believed the intensity of my worry demonstrated the intensity of my love for them and would somehow magically make everything ok. In reality, my continual attempts to control the uncontrollable conditions in other people’s lives resulted in me becoming more and more controlling and more and more ashamed of my critical and blameful thoughts.
My solution became refocusing on my career as I craved the emotional hit that came with overcoming a challenge, removing an obstacle, and kicking ass in whatever meeting was going on. Unlike my personal life, work was an environment I believed I could control with hard work and long hours. To complicate it further, each time I was noticed and received some praise, I’d get another emotional hit that kept me working ridiculous hours and “accomplishing” more and more. The long-term result was my inability to say “no, I cannot take that on” and my “to-do” list continued to grow. And yes, once again, I believed others were responsible for the imbalance in my life.
I used to reassure myself with reminders about the money I made, the success I had, how I felt when I achieved another “big win”. Now I understand what I was actually doing was “cementing” myself into the belief I had no choice as I also remembered how much time I had invested into becoming who I was. How could I just walk away from it all?
The truth is I was completely blind to the fact that despite the fact that I had a free choice every single day, the habitual thoughts and resulting unreasonable expectations I had of myself, was actually an addictive cycle that kept me trapped and pushing myself harder and harder in an effort to finally feel satisfied with my life.
We are meant to feel passionate about our lives.
We are meant to embrace spontaneity.
We are meant to feel the spark of life and express ourselves creatively.
When we disconnect from ourselves, we feel lost, overwhelmed, insecure and unhappy.
When we disconnect from others, we lose the ability to see outside of our limited
perspective. As we shut down more and more, our worlds become smaller and smaller, mistrust of others grows and we feel separate and alone.
Lost passion is found in once again becoming spontaneous and doing something different, something outside of what has become “normal” for us. This is how we allow the power of the unknown to fuel our lives, rather than the fear of the unknown to limit us.
If you have been trying to find your “happy” for a while, consider joining a community of women who have decided they want a different life experience. We will be learning together using Dr. Joe Dispenza’s tools. They have provided me with astounding results and I am eager to share them with you. Fortunately, Dr. Joe has generously made many of his tools available at no cost and I invite you to join us in exploring them together in the Book Study.
Once again, there is no cost to participate. I am eager to share what I have learned and continue to learn even more together.