Purging negatives vs creating positives
Trying to get rid of all the negative and uncomfortable things in your life
is like bailing water while standing in the middle of a shallow lake.
If you want to be happy,
you cannot remove ALL the things
that prevent that from happening.
You think "Well, I'm somewhat dry. So
I will just try to remove all of the water around me
and then I will be able to dry out more".
But of course in this situation,
there is always more water that comes back in
to make you at least as wet, and maybe splashes you in the process.
So you can spend your whole life bailing water
without really getting to the source of the problem.
Which would get you dry - as the solution you really want.
But supposing you see an island in the distance.
You think to yourself
"If I could only get over there up on its rocky shoreline,
then I would be dry forever."
The problem is that it is a long ways away
and you really just want to be dry right now.
You are tired of being wet,
and just want to be less wet right now.
So, you keep bailing water.
Because it's kinda better than nothing
and also gives you a feeling of enacting control over the situation.
From our outside perspective we can see that of course the best solution is to
just suck it up and swim to the island.
But when we're in the midst of it,
swimming seems completely opposite of trying to get less wet.
While we might think of it from time to time,
it's not something that we might be ready to follow through with.
we can just be
totally fed up
with trying the same thing
over and over...
...that we are literally willing to take the plunge,
just to see if it might work out differently.
And if we can keep going
despite submerging in the uncomfortable wetness,
it's doable to get there.
It might not be expected. It might take longer, it might go faster. We might keep our head underwater and swim right past it, thinking that the method didn't work. We might try again. We try something new. If we don't give up, eventually we will hit on the right method.
But almost always,
once we're on that island soaking in the sun,
we ask ourselves why we didn't start swimming earlier.
if you never learned how to swim,
and all you had was a bucket...
Who might be able to teach you to swim?
Aaron Ball. Recovered Academic. Grieving Environmentalist. Evidence-Based Transformational Coach. Electronic musician. Transrationalist.