In a past life, I spent several years working in the Intelligence section of Customs (now Border Control). I spent my days tucked away in an office trying to figure stuff out. Trying to connect dots, create links, establish connections, and piece together human behaviors to create profiles.
I looked for the things that didn’t fit and I dug into as many layers as I needed to, to find out why.
Today I still question things, some would say I question everything. Others have said my honesty and transparency are very confronting. I’m okay with both. Ben was very similar 💙
Today I also know, that in the billions of life’s questions with billions of logical answers, sometimes knowing the answer is underwhelming and really doesn’t make any difference. And sometimes we can’t ‘un-know’ the answer once it is learned.
There are two reasons I share this.
The first is that the important question is not ‘why did this happen?’ but rather ‘what do we do next?’.
The second reason is that this is often the stumbling block where people give up. ‘What we do next’ can lead to the default cave brain taking over and even paralysis by analysis. These are great topics for a separate exciting post – maybe for next week 😉
So back to the question, ‘What do we do next?’
I believe more and more that we are here to create not to react, to make time count not to watch it pass us by, and wonder what happened to it.
Some things don’t need to be figured out. We just need to keep moving forward, one step at a time, focussing on our highest thoughts about tomorrow.
[NB. Some things DO need to be figured out.]
I read a book recently and the author talked about having two pockets.
In one pocket she kept a piece of paper that said, ‘The world was created for me’. In the other was a piece of paper that said, ‘I am but dust and ashes’. You might think this is a little extreme (I did at the time) but stay with me for a moment.
The dust and ashes pocket represents humility which quickly puts things into perspective.
Don’t know how to get perspective? Put yourself in someone else’s shoes and really imagine what their life is like, or what they might be feeling. Better yet, go speak to them, engage with them and find out!
Ironically my space of finding perspective has been in the world of beautiful parents I have connected with, who have also lost a child (or more than one), now THAT gives you perspective!
The humility pocket is about remembering the world doesn’t revolve around me and I am not the center of the universe. It reminds me to be kind, compassionate, and non-judgemental.
Let’s say you are waiting for a barista to make your coffee and she is taking longer than you would like. You are getting aggravated and start to show it – sighing, rolling your eyes, scrunching your eyebrows – you know the signs. You might even ask yourself, ‘Seriously, is she growing the beans? How long does it take to make a coffee??’
First world problem folks! Time to put your hand in the humility pocket. You have no idea what goes on in her world, what she is managing, or what her morning has been like.
You are but dust and ashes.
Let’s say you decide to change careers, begin a new business, or embark on a new adventure. You take the first steps and you are filled with doubt, even fear, and a healthy dose of imposter syndrome. ‘Who am I kidding? I can’t do this! What gives me the right to even think I can make this work? No one is going to want to hear what I have to say, nor care what I offer!’
Time to put your hand in the empowering pocket – The world was created for YOU!
Go do something great while you’re here! The world needs you!
I like to think of my pockets as my life balance. A balance between me/myself/I and you/others. We live in a big wide world full of adventures waiting to be had and opportunities there to be taken. We have been given everything we could possibly want to create something wonderful and meaningful, (whatever that means to you), during our time here.
What are you waiting for?
It’s all about balance remembering too much of anything isn’t a good thing. Be cautious of spending more than enough time in either pocket.
It’s about humility, not martyrdom.
It’s about confidence and empowerment, not arrogance.
Let’s go back to the beginning. I hope I will always question things. Experience has shown me those who are comfortable with this have nothing to hide. Those that hesitate or get defensive may be holding secrets, or have perhaps had their hand in the ‘The world was created for you’ pocket a little too long.
Either way, every question teaches me something. About myself, about others, or about the world.
A huge part of becoming a better you (me) is self-reflection, and questions. It’s about identifying what I need to do to find that perfect balance, of getting my own needs met while making a difference.
Maybe that’s why we are here for varying lifetimes. It takes some of us longer to figure it all out.
Dalya xx 💙