I spent much of my early life feeling deeply engaged and alive.
As I grew older I became more and more closed down. I felt frustrated, depressed and unable to figure out what was wrong. There was nothing in outside circumstances that would point to anything other than a great life. But I kept swirling down into a pit.
What was wrong with me? Why wasn’t I happy? Why couldn’t I figure this out?
Somehow, no matter how many times I pulled myself out, I kept falling into a pit of self questioning that derailed and debilitated me.
Eventually my determination to feel alive and engaged again got bigger than whatever was holding me back.
I decided I could not settle for anything less than a fully engaged life. I set out to find it. I began following nudges from life, hoping that life knew more than I did, and would take me where I wanted and needed to go.
That turned out to be so beautifully true.
I now feel more alive than ever, with a deep sense of joy, possibility, curiosity and wonder. I am living a beautiful and fully engaged life.
What I learned
I am not crazy, broken or wrong. I are simply human. And so are you. We are not hard wired to suffer. We simply carry two competing impulses which, unrecognized and unmanaged, can create great suffering.
On a survival level, we resist change, and have an urge to close down and protect. On an evolutionary level, we yearn for expansion, with an urge to open up and connect.
We all do. We yearn for connection even as we protect ourselves from the pain it might bring.
What you are feeling is simply the natural yearning to expand into the full expression of yourself as a beautiful individual: open, capable, curious, deeply effective, wholeheartedly connected.
This is the choice I made. I learned how to relax my inherent urge to protect, and support my desire to expand. You can too. When you do, you will find a place of deep joy, fulfillment and your greatest effectiveness.
In my book, it’s worth whatever it takes. You, your relationships, your world
– nothing will ever be the same.