In my practice, I find, again and again, a pattern in which “doing the right thing” and “doing what we are supposed to do” can lead to a big, hard wall.
From the time we are small children we are taught rules. They help form us, keep us safe and even “on the right track.” Rules attempt to create order out of chaos. Or, perhaps prevent perceived possible problems (say THAT five times!).
Yet, what I am noticing is how many people, especially women, have spent their entire lives following “the rules” and doing everything “right” only to come crashing into the hard, cold wall of misery. Okay, some haven’t hit misery yet; some are scraping alongside discontentment. Either way, they are discovering that although they have done everything by “the book” and have followed the “rules”, life hasn’t necessarily rewarded them with their dreams or even Joy.
Why not? They wonder, “What have I done wrong?”
Nothing. They haven’t done anything wrong, and life isn’t what they wanted or expected it to be.
I remember when I first began working as an Interior Designer at a large architectural firm in Sacramento; I was fresh out of UC Davis and my internship had turned into a real job. Before long, I was calling my mom in tears about all the “unfairness” of office politics. She shared with me information from a book she had read which noted how girls are taught that if they behave like a “good girl” and “do what they’re supposed to do” then they can expect to get “good grades” (which they then translate into rewards, promotions, etc.). Boys, on the other hand, are taught that they should do “whatever it takes to win the game” (i.e. cheat, if necessary!). Thus, the moral of the book – and my mom’s advice, it seemed – was to “toughen up” and “learn how to play the game.”
I never really liked sports, I never read the book, and I never learned how to play office politics. I believed, and wanted to believe, in “doing the right thing.”
So why is this pattern emerging? Why is it that when people do “what they are supposed to do” to create their lives they aren’t finding happiness?
To address this question, I’d like to take a giant step back – okay, some of you may need to take two or three giant steps back – in order to have a greater perspective.
As we move from duality to Oneness, we are finding blurry lines everywhere, including that line between “right” and “wrong.” In the example above, about living and creating our lives, people have spent much of their time doing what is “right” according to a belief system that may be completely “wrong” for them as individuals. They go to college, get a degree in something they enjoy and/or offers great earning potential, get married, and so on, because they believe it’s what they are supposed to do in order to be happy. Yet, even for those who wanted all these things, Life has seemingly pushed them up against this same, hard wall! Why is that?
I have said this many times: It is our BIRTHRIGHT to live in Joy!
That wall of misery and discontent only asks us to seek out our birthright; to ask ourselves, “What truly brings me Joy?” And, more specifically, “What is it that I – on a Soul level – want to bring to the world and do?”
Many of us, however, don’t give ourselves permission to ask such questions, let alone seek their answers. Instead, we follow our parents’, society’s and other’s rules which we have completely bought in to and now own – pink slip, and all!
Once, a client asked a question that had something to do with her marriage and her happiness. When I acknowledged her deep misery, her response was, “My husband is very old and he will probably die much sooner than me.” In that moment I saw how completely bound she was to the “rule” about what it meant to be a “good wife.” She had a similar question about her job, but was just as clear that she was “doing the right thing” because, as she noted, in another ten years she’d have her retirement.
Another “rule” we believe is, “If I do what is ‘right’ for me, then it may not be for the good of all.”Interesting belief! If what the Universe wants for you is to remember that you ARE Joy, and is urging you to step into that place, then why would becoming more of who you are and acting accordingly be harmful to yourself, others or the planet?
As perfectly human beings, we have done nothing wrong by following these rules we were given. We can continue to do nothing wrong – or better yet, we can stop perceiving that we ever DO anything wrong. We can stop judging ourselves and get there is no “wrong” and therefore no “right.”
Stepping away from the belief in “right” and “wrong” allows us to observe our “rules” and recognize that we always have, and thus make, choices. We can continue to stay in marriages and jobs that make us miserable, or we can decide to make other choices. It can be empowering to release our rules; it can also be frightening. Like a cage, these rules are the bars that keep us contained. They can make us feel trapped and they can make us feel safe. Acknowledging the rules we have set for ourselves is the first step toward loosening the bars on our cage. Perhaps removing, or even softening, a few of them will help us breathe a little easier.
What do the bars of your cage look like? How free do you want to be? Are you afraid that you would harm someone if you were let out of your cage?
Perhaps you are afraid of your power.
At this time of awakening we are being asked to bring forth our power; to reach deep within ourselves to discover, and hence bring forth, our magic and our gifts. When what we thought we wanted isn’t bringing us Joy, or even manifesting, we can choose to let that hard, cold wall of misery stop us. We can also choose to rest, gather our composure, and look beyond it.
Have you hit any walls lately? If so, are the walls of misery or discontent asking you to call forth your deepest dreams, desires and gifts? Do you dare reach that deep into your Soul? Do you dare not?
If you thought you were moving toward what you wanted, and it still is not working, I believe it is because the Universe wants so much more for you than you can imagine! Our little minds and egos cannot comprehend our own Grandness or the Joy that lies within us. How do we discover this Grandness and Joy?
To begin with, I invite you to move from Form to Formlessness; to allow yourself to soften your rules, structure and rigidity so you can discover the possibilities that lie within your creativity, emptiness and potential. I invite you to rest, breathe, meditate, just be, and – lo and behold – break as many of your rules as possible! And, finally, I invite you to trust. Trust that you don’t even need to “know” what your gifts are; you simply need to call upon them to emerge and create a safe space for them to materialize.