Friday, October 2, 2015

It's All About Me...and the Rest of the World

“I don't want to do anything I'm supposed to do right now!!!!!”

Quote on Facebook

I really understand that sentiment.  I feel the same way.  I’m very close to finishing a rough draft on a 10-12-page paper that is due in two and a half days.  For the first time in a long time, I’m ahead of the curve.  I’m not starting on the day it’s due.  I’m at the top of page 8.  I’m so close.  And yet…and yet…  I find myself procrastinating, feeling disinterested, bored, and resistant.  What is it I am doing here?
Am I trying to create a familiar situation by avoiding my work until I feel stressed and rushed and have to do it at the last minute?
Am I genuinely tired?
Should I just not do it at all?
Should I quit school because it’s really hard and takes up all my time and energy?
What is it I am doing here by not doing my work?
Honestly, I’m not sure, but I have a clue.
Recently I listened to the audiobook version of No More Mr. Nice Guy by Dr. Robert Glover.  Though I won’t say it described me perfectly, it did point out, very accurately, self-destructive behaviors I have had all my life, such as conflict-avoidance, people pleasing, and worst of all, failing to live up to my full potential.  This last one is extremely unsettling because I’m at an age where (I believe) I should be settled, financially prosperous, and behind me, a stellar list of accomplishments.  None of those things feel true right now.  I’m not saying I haven’t done things, even good things.  I’ve published a book, I have a couple of degrees, I’ve written over 850 blogs, and I’ve done over 300 radio shows.  But I still feel as if I haven’t reached my full potential.  Now I am trying to change that. 
I started writing.
I enrolled in school pursuing a dream I’ve had all my life.
I’m taking control of my life and my finances and my time.
I’m even taking Ritalin so I can, as a friend said, “take the edge off” my ADHD.  (It’s helping.)
I’m closer than I’ve ever been. 
And that’s why I’m fighting so hard to finish this paper.  I am facing the Enemy.
In previous blogs, I have mentioned the Enemy. Steven Pressfield calls it Resistance.  I have referred to it as a spiritual force that is trying to distract and destroy us and keep us from fulfilling our Purpose.  It is.  But it is also something else.  And I forgot this very crucial fact.  It is me.  I am the Enemy.  I am Resistance.  I.  Me.  I am doing this to myself.  I.  Me.
I am the one who wastes time.
I am the one who gives into fear and negativity.
I am the one who intentionally sets unrealistic expectations and then feels discouraged when I don’t meet them.
I am the one who has not clarified his goals for this hour, today, this week, this month, or this year.
I am the one who doesn’t plan ahead.
I am the one who plans ahead but then doesn’t review the plans on a daily basis.
I am the one who allows others decide how I will spend my time, my money, and my life.
I am the one who doesn’t follow through on his commitments.
Me.  Me. Me.  It’s all me.
It’s not my parents or society or the church or my teacher or my boss or the weather or the government or my kids or my friends or my enemies.  It’s me.
Yes, there can be times when life seems to limit or alter my choices.  But those times are far fewer than we think and even then I can choose my attitude and in doing so can create a new course of action.
But I am my Enemy. 
So I can also be my Friend.

I can produce something even if it’s not perfect.  In fact, I’ve just now, at this very moment decided I’m no longer going to worry about if my blogs are good or bad or helpful or pointless.  I’m just going to do them. Recently a teacher said to me, “Just show up.”  Every time I write or work on a paper or do anything, large or small, to get me to my house on the beach, I am showing up.  By showing up I can Get Started and Keep Going…and take care of me. In this way, I also take care of the world and my part in it.