While I’ve been on this journey of self-discovery and re-evaluation of statements, one thing has come to the forefront repeatedly and that is the creation of justification stories.
What I have learned about myself and others in this process is that so often when we feel we can’t have the thing we really want for whatever reason, we create a story of hatred, distaste, or disinterest for it.
For example, my teaching career has been very tumultuous as outside factors have continually made it necessary to move or in the last case the position was absorbed due to budget cuts in the district. In the interim, when I would be struggling to find another teaching position in my new location, I would create a story outlining all the reasons I don’t actually want to teach, which if you read my post about education, is super easy to do. I would declare it out loud to the people in my life in an attempt to convince myself that I didn’t want to teach anymore for reasons one, two, three, and so on knowing that if I held onto all the reasons I love teaching, I would get so disappointed at the current state of things. But the next thing you know- I would find myself scouring the job postings in the districts- going completely against the story I had created. Since this was actually more effective in convincing everyone else, when Providence would shine down and I would get a teaching position, everyone in my life was wondering if I’d lost my mind since I had fully convinced them that I had absolutely zero desire to ever go back into a classroom. If only I could have convinced myself as well as I did others right? Oh, how I love having this conversation: “I thought you didn’t want to teach.” “Yeah…about that… well… I lied.” Every. Single. Time. The truth was I couldn’t wait to get back into a classroom- I was just so afraid that it wouldn’t happen for me and in an attempt to stave off the impending disappointment that I was sure was coming, I wanted to believe that I didn’t actually want it anyway.
The real problem with this isn’t the story though. We all do it for so many different things: diet, exercise, jobs, living situations, romantic relationships, etc. The problem is that it perpetuates the struggle. To simultaneously tell yourself you don’t want something while also desperately seeking it is so conflicting. How can you do what is needed if you can’t come to an agreement within your heart and mind? Your attitude and behaviors have to align somewhere in order for change to come, for progress to be made, and for goals to be reached. You can’t continue to fight yourself. Who would win? And you may have noticed the way that I did- the more you try to fight how you really feel, the more it enforces the feeling you’re trying to avoid- completely defeating your efforts.
When I spoke of acceptance in a previous post this was part of that- letting it all go and seeing where life takes me- surrendering. I, and you, have to stop resisting and just trust that everything is coming together the way it is meant to. They always do, which is something I know for sure, IF you allow it to without trying to fight it. Most importantly, we all have to stop trying to convince ourselves that we don’t want the things we really do because we’ve lost the faith that we can have them. Of course we can!
There is a saying by Richard Bach that I absolutely love that says
“You are never given a dream without also being given the power to make it true.”
While I am aware that not every dream we have is really meant for us, (remember when we were all going to be astronauts? Yeah, maybe that wasn’t really our thing), I do absolutely believe that those things that pull our hearts and drive us to get up in the morning- those dreams are meant to be realized. We just have to let go of “how” they will come true, take the baby steps we have access to, and watch everything come together. Have faith. Quit making up stories that drive a wedge between our hearts and minds, and own our dreams.