One of the most devastating effects of growing up in a dysfunctional system is how rigid out thinking becomes. We see life in black and white- people, places and situations are either this or that, here or there, for us or against us. There is no room in this space to dance with the universe in co-creation or live in the land of maybes, what ifs and expansive possibilities.
I was speaking with a client who is contemplating a career move about this the other day. There are certain aspects of his company that he highly values, but he has not been satisfied with his actual job for a while. He currently has a chance to change companies. In doing so, he would likely lose (some) of the work/life balance he holds very dear. As he was discussing his choices, it was clear he believed he had only two: Stay with his employer doing a job he hates, or leave the company for work he would love, but that would take time away from his personal passions.
See? That’s the kind of painful choice many of us believe we have to make. I can have this slice of the pie, or that one, but I can’t have the whole pie.
But what if we can? Or if not the whole pie, what about several slices?
I invited him to talk to his boss about ways he could incorporate more of the work that fulfills him into his current position so he could have the best of both worlds. Who knows if it will work out, but I do know there’s power in him even asking the question.
The asking is breaking up his belief that his choices are limited, and there are no possibilities beyond the ones he can imagine. That’s just not true. Life will offer you a million combinations of potential outcomes if you are willing to entertain the fact that they exist.
Sometimes, of course, we do leave one job for another, or exit from one relationship to enter a new one. It’s clear that the relational dynamics are unworkable. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this decision.
But sometimes, we can stay where we are and ask for what we truly want. We can be open and vulnerable and tell people that this is what we would need in order make the job or relationship or the whatever work for us. We can do this because our needs and desires matter. Our fulfillment matters. Our happiness matters. We matter.
We can honestly inquire if there’s some change that would turn our no into a yes. Or even a maybe. We can go back again and ask for more of what we need if we did not get it the first go round. We can do this as many times as necessary to KNOW that we can remain in our current situation as fulfilled as possible, or that it’s time to move on.
But either way, it becomes a true choice, and not a default reaction to our belief that life can only go one of two ways.
Imagine the spaciousness you might feel inside this way of being. There is room to breathe here. There is fluidity and flexibility in this vast expanse.
And beloved, you are not meant to feel trapped, stifled and confined in your life. You simply are not. You are not supposed to have to make the less painful of two choices that are handed to you without your say.
You are meant to be generative. Creative. An active participant in your life.
Always. In all ways
Are there situations in your life where you could expand your thinking to include more than two competing choices?
What would it feel like if you could? Scary? Freeing? Exciting?