I know we do the things we do because we are supposed to and we have to pay the bills or people are waiting on us to finish the project, but really why do we do the things we do every day? Do you have a purpose in your actions, or do you feel lost, pushed off from the shore and floating or moving too quickly in the current we call life?
I know I can feel lost sometimes. It isn’t that I don’t know what to do, because for most of us that is all too clear. It is just that we may not have ever stopped to really examine why we do the things we do.
There’s the “have tos” such as paying bills and going to work. There’s the “supposed tos” that our family and friends expect from us, and those things we do just because we’re used to doing them. There’s the “must do’s” where we succumb to impulses and compulsions, like eating sugar, junk foods or making a snide remark.
And then, finally, there’s our own actions and decisions and creativity and the things that uniquely make us ourselves.
When I find I’m adrift or pushed away from being and doing those things I want and spending my life doing the “have-tos, supposed-tos and must dos,” I see it is a sign that I need to take a pause and reflect. I have learned that a pause can mean everything and can allow me the space to examine, to really see. You can take a pause.
When I am in the pause, I step back a good way— maybe a mile, maybe more— till my life looks like someone else’s life. Sometimes if I can move far enough out from it, my life will look like characters in a movie. It helps me see. I push the pause button and I can see the players, the plot, the action and where it is headed.
Doing this helps me remember that life is a game. A game that I have made my part in, and a game that I can change if it’s not what I want. It puts things in perspective for me and that is usually what I need to decide where the pieces go next. My pause makes my moves more conscious and more aware. Hopefully less reactive.
I like to view my life as a game, very similar to an amusement ride, that you can get off anytime, you can keep riding, or you can change the ride or rides altogether. I have the power.
If you don’t know what your game is, it’s easier to choose a goal or a purpose (a game!) from a distance rather than in the heat of living it. If you are afraid to even choose a game, that is where you need to start, because you must have a game in order to be out on the field. You can start any game and then change it; the key is to start. You do have the power to be exactly where you want to be and the power to decide to change where you want to be. If you want to change it, change it. You can even have the game of having no game, as long as you have decided that’s what you want.
You can find that your game has become someone else’s. Life is hard sometimes and goes fast and before you know it you have a game that has many players. It can seem like it’s someone else’s life; someone else’s game. But it is still your game; you’ve just stopped making the decisions and moving the pieces and become a player only. You just need to take that pause and sort it out for a minute. You are the master of the game. Some of the moves are easy and can be done quickly and without too much fuss. Others may need multiple steps and some alternative planning and may take some time. The important part is that you make the plan and that you create your own game.
Time will pass anyway; that’s part of the game. You will be several steps ahead if you start now to create your own game and keep it up. If you are not the person you planned to be or are not where you planned to be now, fix it if you want to. If you are happy that is good. If you want to make some changes, make some changes. Where do you see yourself in five years, in ten years? Have you lost your way or are you on track? Do you need or want a new purpose; one that makes you get out of bed in the morning with energy and joy?
The world is big. You can see this from your vantage point a mile or two above your own story. There are so many people playing so many games and going so many places! When you are down in it, you can seem so small and sometimes your role may feel irrelevant. It isn’t of course, but it sure is hard to see the forest for the trees.
That is why it’s good to take that pause and distance yourself a little or a lot. Things can look very different from this new perspective. You’ll be able to see the stuck places, and where to push and in which direction that loosens up the area. You can see how to change; because after all when you change the whole story changes.
Write your story and make the ending you want. Do you want to travel or start a new business or be an artist? Do you want to lose weight or make a new friend or get married? Do you want to buy an island in Alaska or move to the mountains? Do you want to start a llama farm or write a book? What do you want? Whatever it is, if you can see it and you really want it, make a plan. Just start with that.
I can hear you all falling right back down to earth, smooshed into the impossibilities, the lack of money or education in an area or all the reasons why it can’t happen.
You know, it isn’t the reasons why it’s so impossible that are keeping you from your island or your farm or your book tour. It’s because you are listening to them and believe them! There are so many reasons why something cannot be done, but all it takes to overcome this is the one real intention to do it that you created up there during your pause. At the end of the day, that is all that matters. Back out again from your life, pause, put the purpose back up there and start to plan how it can be done. Don’t listen to the voices in your head or those around you that tell you it can’t be done, unless you wrote them into the plot and you just wanted to give yourself some more hurdles to overcome.
Find those that support you and put wind in your sails. Move those other pieces off the board. You know the ones— the negative people, the ones who invalidate your goals and you. The vampire people who don’t want you to play, let alone win. You don’t have to have them in your game. Gently move them aside. Find the ones who love you for you, who help you be a better you. Find those you trust and who trust you, who are here to do good in the world and leave it a better place for having been on the playing field.
We have a finite time here and we cannot know how much we have left. It can be gone in an instant, our game, this life. Live it hard and live it well. Change it when you want and make it yours. It always was. If you forgot, remember; maybe for the first time. Love yourself.
And the next time you pause a couple miles out, you will look down and discover you are being exactly what you want to be.
Love for the journey.
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