“You are loved just for being who you are, just for existing. You don’t have to do anything to earn it. Your shortcomings, your lack of self-esteem, physical perfection, or social and economic success – none of that matters. No one can take this love away from you, and it will always be here. ” — Ram Dass
I can’t stay still. All I have been asking for over the last weeks have been some time to rest, things to slow down at work, more time spent at home, and when I finally get that time off, I can’t stay still.
After four years of doing my Master’s degree, I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I can’t wait to be there, but there is that fear of the emptiness coming up. What’s next? To avoid the discomfort, I am already making plans: thinking about moving into a new place, maybe switching careers, starting to teach yoga. But nothing is moving fast enough to satisfy this burning desire of change. I want to feel like I am going somewhere, I want to find my dharma and get into action. Like right now. I can’t stand waiting anymore.
The main issue with that is the major changes I am thinking about shouldn’t be quick fixes to an unpleasant situation I am experiencing right now. As human beings, we tend to adjust the solution to the perception we have of the problem: big problem, big solution. However, as the Heath brothers demonstrated in their book Switch, an important problem can often be solved with small but effective elements that come together to create that long-term solution. Observing a few mothers who made only small changes in the way they were feeding their children, and then expanding those practices to the rest of the village, solved the hunger issue in those places. To the contrary of what we think, the peg doesn’t have to fit the hole.
Instead of a huge shift in one of my life areas to answer my need for change, I might only need in fact to tweak a bit my daily routine, as well as reframing it. Trying something new, changing the way I do one thing to make it more interesting, might help. Reframing is a big part of the solution: we know that changing the way we think about situations will inevitably have an impact on the way we feel.
However, no matter what I choose to do, I know deep down it will only be like putting a Band-aid on a wooden leg, or in my case, more on a deep cut. This craving to keep moving all the time comes from the ache of being without knowing. Not knowing where to stand, where to go, what to do. Not knowing if I am good enough, will ever be. Moving in a new apartment or changing jobs will simply keep on distracting me from confronting the unpleasant truth: I do not love myself. Over the years, I have learned to slowly accept, respect, take care of myself, but I am not there yet. That’s the big move I was expecting, the next big job I am about to take on. I need that to be fully, completely present with you. To love you in return.