In the past few weeks, I had many conversations about friction in relationships, disagreements in parenting, dissatisfaction at work, and confusion about what is happening in the world. In every discussion, I returned to the fundamental thought of "Building a Foundation." I adjusted it to rebuilding a foundation, as we have a foundation in our relationship, parenting, work, and worldly view. As life progresses and evolves, we find ourselves in new spaces and challenges, though our foundation remains the same.
Two things are happening. One is the evolution of who we are as we know more about life and how it works. The other side is the things that happen out of our control. Usually, we don't merge the two perspectives into one. Then we discover that we are at odds with ourselves, our daily grind, the people around us, and the challenges of COVID, politics, and society.
What is our next step? Getting frustrated, complaining, judging, and feeling inadequate being able to function in life. Everything is too much. If only we could disappear for a moment and shut ourselves out of life. It's an option and maybe not so realistic.
Let's take it in for a moment, and let's explore what's going on. Our basic needs have shifted and given little attention as it requires us to look within and ask us to do some work and change things around. I understand. We are already doing a lot; how on earth can we add another thing to our load. As I mentioned in my previous post, "Stop Chasing, Start Being," it's how we, our parents, our grandparents, and on were raised. It's not a fault, yet it's a choice we can make to create a sustainable and adjustable foundation as we and our surroundings change.
Where to begin? Witness the expectations, judgments, complaining, and doubts you're experiencing. Notice what is getting most of your attention. Are you able to refocus? Or do you feel frozen in time? The solution isn't to fix the problem, at least not as the initial focal point. First, I suggest welcoming our experience of distress, unworthiness, and overwhelm. Our tendency, in my experience, is to resist the unpleasantness and distract the discomfort. Sometimes, it helps, and other times, the emotions will return in a different situation or in a more intense expression. It's like a covered cooking pot with boiling water that starts to spill over. Once you remove the cover, the pressure releases itself, and the cooking can be completed.
By witnessing and increasing our awareness, our strong and unpleasant experiences can release the pressure of having to be a certain way. The more we practice noticing, welcoming, and allowing the discomforting emotions to be present. The easier and sooner we can return to our powerful foundation. We are rebuilding it by shifting how we relate to the experiences that we consider wrong, unreasonable, or unprofessional, and we become human.
Try it out, and let me know if you are challenged by it and, if so, what is the challenge? The remembering? The allowing it to be okay? Or just the thought of doing something different?
I'd love to hear your exploration of rebuilding your foundation.