I just came inside from doing yard work, and man does that job get you thinking. As I was trimming trees, cleaning up the old mulch and getting ready for new, and pulling the bushes that no longer have a home here, I realized that yard work is a lot like what we are going through now… if we allow it. What if social distancing is a time for us to get ready for something new, or better yet to BECOME something new? What if we took this opportunity to take a look at our lives, like we do our homes and our yards, and see what still belongs, what needs to be stripped down so that it can grow more beautifully, and what needs to be pulled out to make room for new? When we go through our day to day craziness such as work, kids, chores, sports, etc. it can be very easy to ignore what may need to change to help you grow, push it under the rug, and forget about it (well, until it explodes… come on, you know what I’m talking about) Without the craziness, we are now forced to really look at things.
Here’s where my warning comes in… not everyone, not even close, will choose this time to grow. As we’ve been quarantined, I’ve also realized that there are many emotions going on with all of us, and all of those emotions have the opportunity to be completely fixated on right now. You’ve heard the term many times, especially lately I’m sure, “you can choose faith, or you can choose fear”.
To my fellow people-pleasers, how are you being treated? Pay attention. MANY people are acting out of fear right now. In some, or many cases, drinking has gone up, exercise has gone down, routine is out of whack, and family could be driving each other crazy… all of which could be triggers, along with being quarantined. Adam Smith, a life coach, and motivational speaker wrote that there are 10 fears that hold people back from achieving their fullest potential. They are the following:
- Fear of Inadequacy
- Fear of Uncertainty
- Fear of Failure
- Fear of Rejection
- Fear of Missing Out
- Fear of Change
- Fear of Losing Control
- Fear of Being Judged
- Fear of Something Bad Happening
- Fear of Getting Hurt
….. Allow me to add a #11. Fear of Being Alone
I can assure you that we ALL know someone with at least one of these fears, and I’d imagine we are dealing with some ourselves. I say this because when others are acting in a way that we may not understand, it may help us to ask ourselves “What is it they’re fearing right now”. How is this helpful? Well, for me, I was always a people pleaser. In fact, if someone came to me with an issue, I was the first to look inside myself and see what part I had in THEIR problem. And…. if I couldn’t come up with what my part was, I would try to help fix it. Do this with the wrong person, and they’ll tell you what YOUR part is in their problem. LOL… careful with that.
So here’s my point… when we seek to understand, we don’t take on their problem for them, and we also don’t take their behavior personally. We’re going to see a lot of fears come to the surface. If you haven’t already, you will. They’re stirring up quickly, so be aware.
True colors are coming out. And many have “true colors” that are vibrant, and beautiful and giving. I am so incredibly blessed to have many of these people in my life. You speak to these people and you immediately know they are INTENTIONALLY choosing faith and seeking what this time is teaching them, and faithful that all will be well.
You will also see those who are hurting. And some “hurting people hurt people”. What is it they are fearing? I am not saying there is no reason to have fear right now, but I’m saying that fixating on that fear will not be helpful. If you have a fear of failure (as an example), and you fixate on it, I promise you will find every reason to justify that fear! You will dig up every time you have failed, every negative thing anyone has ever said to you, and you will manifest more failure in your life. And whether you know it or not, that fear will guide everything you do and every relationship you have.
Whether you choose faith or fear, those thoughts and feelings will manifest what happens next in your life… and this is very likely a turning point for all of us.
In closing, let me as you a question. What thoughts, things, and people still belong with you? What needs to be stripped down, cleaned up, and shaped so that it can grow into something more beautiful? And what needs to be pulled out to make room for new? Stay healthy in your mind, your body, and your soul. Be well, friends!