There’s a kids’ game that’s very funny to watch called ‘Stuck in the Mud’ where the person who’s ‘IN’ runs around tagging other kids who have to stand still, feet planted on the ground and wait to be set free. Once free, they run around and attempt to tag other kids who then also become stuck. Sounds a bit like life to me! I mean, why don’t we just stay stuck in the mud for a while?! Why does running around chasing our tail appear to be so attractive? And what would we do if we ever managed to catch it?
Interestingly, it’s that grounded-ness that is missing for a lot of people when the choices they make turn out to be less fruitful than anticipated. If you want to go fast… then slow down! Anyone who’s ever excelled at anything, including a relationship, has done so by going deeply into it. Becoming masterful at something requires a willingness to actually sit in it, be with it, work through the challenges it throws at you, rather than clutching at easy answers. And the fastest way of ‘doing’ that is to be where you’re at!
The purpose of being where you’re at is to experience it, to really know what it’s like to be there; to learn from it and apply that learning to your life. Experience (life) is our greatest teacher!
Paradoxically, once I surrender to whatever my current situation is, even though I may have been resisting it for some time, I get to have a different experience of it. I realise, much to my surprise, that I am just where I need to be at that point in my life. Only then am I truly free to either choose to stay with it or to let it go and move on. When moving forward is done from that place, it is done with certainty and trust in oneself and the process of life. Rather than resisting what has shown up in our experience, we get to have it. Then it no longer has a hold over us. When we take one step at a time rather than skipping steps, we avoid landing flat on our face, or running so fast we trip over ourselves.
Sometimes, just sitting in our ‘stuff’ is precisely what is called for to give us the clarity we need to take the next step forward. So… if it feels uncomfortable, be with the discomfort. Like the physical growing pains we experience as children, we are growing in our personhood and becoming more of who we really are. If it feels boring, then be with the boredom and see what comes of that. If it feels scary, be with the fear – don’t feed it, just notice it – and it will most likely pass. Naturally, be discerning; being responsible for your physical and emotional well-being must always take priority. Whatever is showing up in your life is there by design. Embrace it and allow yourself to move forward when the time and place are right.
Inner Sense No. 11 | September 2008 – updated June 2019