Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Fear and Auto Pilot

The image below is what I see everyday when I leave my house.  But many days, prior to the last few months, I wouldn't have even seen it. (Those soft, pink petals flutter down like snow when the wind blows...)


On my way from the house to the car, eyes cast down.  Or, my hands full of bags and my child, rambunctious dogs circling around, racing to get inside to start dinner and the sprint to 10PM until I can finally sit the fuck down for 5 minutes without someone asking me to do something for them.

I was living my life on auto-pilot.  Never really making conscious decisions about anything.  Just letting life happen to me--a passive victim.  Just trying to get through it.

Car broke down?  The world hates me and if I were a better person, I could afford a better car.
Late for work again?  If I didn't have this long commute and have to do the daycare drop-off every day by myself...
Stressed because I have to clean the house, feed those dogs, work full-time, do the bedtime routine every night?  There's nothing I can do about it and I'll just go through the motions, and soothe myself later with some TV and wine.

All of those activities and all of those reactions were the product of living on auto-pilot.  Now, some amount of auto-pilot is ok.  It's useful to our own survival.  I couldn't agonize over every major and minor event in my life.  That would be even more exhausting.  But, when I was just going through the motions, looking at the everyday pieces of my life as obstacles to get past, I was missing the point.  I was just surviving instead of living.  Subsisting instead of crafting my life into what I long for--a happy life full of creativity and laughter.  I had to choose differently if I wanted something different.

But I was afraid. You see, if bad things happen to you while you are living on auto-pilot, well, then a bad thing just happened to you.  You have no ownership in it.  You are the victim of a circumstance and can take no blame or responsibility.  But if you start making active choices to change your life and it doesn't work out, well, then you've failed.  But eventually I got to the point where I wanted needed to try something different if I ever wanted to be able see that view in the picture above.  And I'm doing that now.  I might fail, but even if that happens, I will know that I was awake and alive and noticing how amazing the world around me is.

I don't want to miss a single thing in this life. And I don't want you to, either. If I was right there with you, I would snap my fingers at you and say, "wake up!" (Because I'm kind of bossy like that.) Start choosing.  Come with me on this adventure.  Ask me how to turn off the auto-pilot and we can work together to make it happen.
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