Saturday, August 1, 2015

#212: I don't WANT to have a garden!

When I got dropped off last night from the airport, I was surprised at some of the thoughts I had. I suddenly was crystal clear about several things:
  • I don't WANT to mow my yard.
  • I don't WANT to tend a garden.
  • I don't even care to HAVE a yard.
The logical question, then, is why have I been urging myself to do these things? 

Because other people do them. Because I see other people that look happy do these things and I decided that they must be happy because they do these things, therefore, I must do these things to be happy. It's "keeping up with the Jones'" but in my case it is keeping up with various people that I decide are happy.

I suddenly realized that lots and lots of things I've done in my life has been motivated by this invisible compulsion to keep up with people I have assigned as "happy". I wonder if this is what other people have meant when they have told me "stop trying so hard," and I think it is: this compulsion has driven me to stay up late when I knew I should sleep; to say yes when I really wanted to say no; to join things I didn't really care to join; to go out with people (men and women) I didn't want to; etc. all in the hopes of satisfying this compulsion to be enough.

Here's why this makes the list:  It's gone. G.O.N.E. Gone.

I am walking around doing my normal things now that I'm home, but it feels so different! For example, today I didn't go to the gym or exercise at all, and previously this would have driven me crazy. My brain would have obsessed all day about when I was going to work out. And it didn't. It DID NOT. I can't believe it. 

It so much bigger than a few situations--it's like the very fiber of my being has been profoundly and [hopefully] permanently transformed. I suddenly do not seem to care to please them --those invisible people that have been running my life for ever. Some of you are them. I suddenly find myself:
  • Not insanely driven to go on a run in the heat no matter what
  • Watching a moving while doing nothing else. No computer, no phone, no letters.
  • Going to Trader Joe's and not wondering if I fit in or what that worker person thinks of me
  • Free from the obsession to go on a bike ride so I can be one of those Boise people who go on 110K bike rides for fun
  • Not caring so much if I am as thin as Jennifer Aniston (because aren't we all just a few workouts away from looking like her?)
  • Questioning my motivations for some of my goals, like qualifying for the Boston Marathon or buying all those clothes and shoes or searching weekly for the perfect furniture for that back bedroom.
  • Answering the above questions with the same answer: the motive was to keep up with some expectation of what I should do rather than what I really want to do. 
I don't know if I'm getting my meaning across or not; it is difficult to explain because it is a feeling and a way of being in the world that has changed every second of my life inside my head. 

The bottom line is this: I have been set free from a compulsion that has driven me my entire life. I had given up any hope of it being lifted. I have tried so hard to do the right things to make it go away, to no avail.  I don't care why or how it is gone, I am just joyfully grateful that it has been removed!! 

1 comment:

  1. FANTASTIC ... Now you get why Margie and I live in a Condo. I have a small compact home gym set up that does what I need in 2 or 3 days a week and about an hour. I try and stay fit so I can enjoy what I like to do and serve God and help others. And why I finally retired from downhill (alpine) skiing even though I enjoyed the people and helping others I had gotten to the point of not liking to ski for 5 years before I packed it in. I am a sinful being as we all are but so glad Jesus died for my sins and has my back so I can relax more. Am I still a driven and ADA type ... yup but less worried about it than I used to be and repent of my sins, talk to God to thank him and ask for his help while I work on loving others even my enemies.