Last year some time, I left my interior car light on while I was away for the weekend.
I came back and tried to start my car… and you can probably guess what happened.
My battery was dead and my car was going nowhere.
Vehicle woes aside, I do have a point to this story.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how our energy is very much like a car battery because several of my clients have been talking about how tired they feel. Drained and worn out.
Sure, their lives are stressful and demanding. We could simply chalk it up to that and move on.
And I suspected there was more to the story.
So we did what we do in session; we dug even deeper, burrowing our way past the surface appearance of things and into the heart of the matter.
With no exceptions, all of them had what I call background noise playing outside of their conscious awareness.
Background noises are the non-urgent, I can deal with this later ( and by later I mean never) dynamics that drain our vitality, much like leaving the light on in my car drained the life out of my battery.
The static does not immediately impact us. If I had only left my car light on for 10 minutes, then turned it off, my car still would have started.
But over time, those situations we have left unhandled or untended have a cumulative effect and we start to feel lifeless and lethargic.
So it was for my clients. One had been avoiding a conversation she needed to have with a family member. Another was watching a life long friendship crumble and was turning her head the other way. And someone else was suffering because of money she owed to a family member with whom she was now estranged.
It makes complete sense that we would want to run away from ( potentially) gnarly encounters as fast as we can. I don’t know anyone (myself included) who relishes having uncomfortable conversations or facing endings.
So we ( mostly) don’t. We get busy with the ” important ” stuff in our lives, like our jobs and our bills and our laundry. And we ( can) delude ourselves into thinking that we are just waiting for the right time ( what ever that is) or that maybe if we just wait, “it” ( whatever “it ” is) will magically go away.
All the while, our energy is being sucked from us. We feel tired. Sluggish. Flat and dry. We have left our car light on far too long and soon our batteries will be dead.
I asked each of these ladies what turning their full attention to these relationships would look like. One decided that she needed to stop putting her family member off by telling her it was not a good time and set the boundary that for now, she did not want contact.
Another women though to look at her budget and see if she could pay the loan to her family off so it would not be another tie to them that she did not want.
And my other client knew she had to face the fact that her very long friendship was dying.
None of these tasks is pleasant. In the short run, it seems somehow “easier” not to deal with it.
Until it starts to deal with you. Which it does. Bit by energetic bit.
So I will offer you the same invitation. If you have background noise in your life, what’s something that you can do to turn it off instead of pretending like you don’t hear it?