If you’ve “cleared your cupboards” of the first 3 discards on our list, you may not be feeling the same measure of relief you first felt upon learning there was no food listed among the five. You may have realized that discarding the emotional junk in your cupboards is what eventually leads to easier identification and acknowledgement of other unnecessary junk cluttering up your body and being. As a result, the nature of your relationship with various foods, beverages, substances, people, etc… will begin to show itself, and you will be led at that time to take whatever measures it’s laid on your heart to take. In. Their. Own. Time. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves and neglect our last two discards: Excuses and Escaping.
Ohhhhhhh excuses. There’s so much that could be said that nothing actually needs to be said, because you already know it. That’s my cue from the universe to keep what I say about them to a bare minimum while you review your own internal dialogue regarding excuses and prepare yourself for what’s next: eliminating them from your life. Entirely. None. Nada. That includes giving reasons why doing so would be impossible, since that would be, you guessed it, an excuse. No rationalizations either. And YES- it’s excruciatingly challenging! Training in not using excuses or rationalizations is, IMHO, one of THE most difficult workouts there is. One of my favorite lines from The Big Chill sums it up perfectly:
(Sam) “Why is it what you just said strikes me as a massive rationalization?”
(Michael) “Don’t knock rationalization; where would we be without it? I don’t know anyone who could get through the day without two or three juicy rationalizations. They’re more important than sex.”
(Sam) “Oh come on, nothing’s more important than sex.”
(Michael) “Oh yeah? Ever gone a week without a rationalization?”-The Big Chill
No, it’s not easy and yes, you will slip up and revert to old habits now and then, but it’s not about perfection or getting it all at once, it’s about awareness of it. From here on out when you make an excuse or a rationalization, you will be aware of it and you’ll be operating from a space of that comprehension that leads you to choose differently. Choose effort over excuses. Even the smallest, most imperfect of efforts aids in moving you forward. Excuses keep you stuck. And when you feel stuck, you’re looking to escape by any means possible. Which leads us to discard #5: Escaping.
I’m an escape artist. Not of the Houdini type, but of the “I don’t want to feel this/do this/look like this/see this/hear this/talk about this/know this/ JUST GET ME OUT OF HERE IN ANY WAY POSSIBLE” variety. When things got too real and raw for me, I’d magically vanish through countless means while physically appearing present, so as not to inconvenience others or call attention to my inadequacy in “handling” everything. I saw this as an effective self-management method. After all, why did it matter HOW I kept all the balls in the air as long as I was keeping them there? But it did matter. Though it wasn’t until I stopped drinking that I could begin to gauge the many reasons why. Escape is not a topic we can cover in one paragraph or even one post and I’m not attempting to do so here. We’ll be circling back to it frequently in future posts because it’s key, but for today all I’m asking you to do is to consider the idea of what I’ve said and investigate any area in your life where you may be incapable of full presence in uncomfortable moments. This essentially means paying attention to what you do to pacify yourself or make things “better” in moments of discomfort. There is no “right or wrong” and I’m not asking you to give anything up. You’re simply identifying your tendencies in an effort to assess those which serve or hinder your growth. Treat yourself with kindness while doing so. Self-awareness work is the mental equivalent of an intense physical workout that causes DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). Soul workout-wise, DOMS could be regarded as Delayed Onset Metaphysical Strain. You WILL feel it. You’re meant to.