My mother should have name me Resistance rather than Dawn. Although I try to embrace the newness of each day, the truth is resisting the natural flow of life seems to be more my thing. If ever there was an award for clenching, fretting, back-peddling, and wanting to hide, I’d have taken that sucker home. First, second and third places.
The thing is, I tend to have preconceived notions about how my life should go and what it should look like. It’s not clear where these ideas come from, but when life isn’t producing exactly what’s in my head, the back stroke begins. What starts out as treading water ends up a full-on race to return to the side of the pool, to the known and safe, regardless of how uncomfortable or unfavorable it is. “Wait! This isn’t how I saw things going down! Back to safety!” As a result of my resistance, there tends to be a full serving of dissatisfaction heaped onto my plate daily. You know what the kicker is? I’m doing it to myself and I’m not even aware of it…that is, until today when it “dawned” on me.
My current M.O. is to switch course as soon as I achieve a goal. I fault-find and begin wanting something else, possibly because I don’t believe I deserve what I have. I can’t be sure. I immediately commence hole-poking in the dam of stability by finding as many faults as I can and making them monumental obstacles to my happiness. Something as small and insignificant as the fact that I work evenings while the rest of the world is finished with their work days can make me want to burn down my office. What began as a perfect set up working from home, never having to leave the house, has now become an irritant. Except the truth is: it’s not really a problem. If I tear the thing apart, I find that my 12 year old couldn’t care less about my schedule. He’s busy gaming away in his bedroom after school. My husband, who normally works 12 hour days, spends the evenings in his chair sleeping in front of the TV. Just how much creative writing and quiet enjoyment would I get during the evenings if I wasn’t working? Had I ever stopped to ask myself that? The problem isn’t, nor has it ever been, my schedule. Rather, the problem is a resistance problem.
This morning I returned to bed for an hour of sleep after my son left for school. How many of my neighbors can say they do that? When I awoke, I took out the trash, started the washing machine, and folded a load of clothes…which brings me to this moment…this cool, breezy 64 degree moment on the porch swing still in my polar fleece robe with my coffee and the dogs and the sounds of the neighbors heading off to work. Car doors slamming and engines turning over mix with the songs of the birds and the snoring of my largest fury friend. It occurs to me that instead of wishing things to be different maybe I should see how they really are…which is damn perfect. I’m given the gift of these quiet, slow mornings without blaring televisions and demands of family, but until today I had never figured out how to use them. I just kept resisting them.
God provides incredible opportunities and circumstances. It’s terrific to feel that fire in my belly for something, to be driven by a vision, but I sometimes get so attached to the outcome that I miss the really great parts…the parts I couldn’t imagine for myself…the intended gifts from God. Fault finding and complaining, they seem to be a human default. Resistance is second nature. The moment it dawned on me that I had been overlooking the very best bits of my life, that I had been overlooking opportunities, is the moment I became free. I can feel something in my spirit shift and relax. I have a new appreciation for my days just as they’re laid out. Yes, even into the evenings. I am now aware of how many hours of the day God has blessed with me stillness and quiet. Not just in the early mornings here alone, but also in the evening hours working on a client listening to the gentle music and enjoying the coziness of the massage room, bringing healing and comfort to women who need it. Perspective. I can choose to see all that wrong or all that’s right. It’s a decision every moment that I’m free to make.
It dawns on me this morning that I don’t know anyone luckier than I. I guess my mother knew what she was doing after all.
Exercise: Think of a current situation in your life which feels less than ideal to you or toward which you have negative feelings. Sit quietly focusing on the situation. Now, instead of focusing on what is wrong with the situation, begin to list things that are right with it. List all the positives you can come up with. Challenge yourself to expand your thoughts to see how this situation, if looked at from a different angle, could be a missed opportunity for you or something that is trying to tell you something. What good thing or things could you take away from the situation if you lowered your resistance to it? What opportunities could it provide?
This blog post was contributed by Dawn Davis, a wonderful, compassionate, seeker of wisdom who gives the best massages in the world – ladies only! Here’s her contact info: https://www.facebook.com/DawnLDavisLMT/