Let me tell you a story about something that happens in my life. I’ll be talking with a friend and as they’re sharing their problems or life challenges with me, I immediately feel like I have to solve their issues. There’s this weight that I immediately take on as I think through their particular situation and it’s as if I feel I HAVE to come up with a solution or I’m not good at what I do. I attach too much of my worth to solving problems that aren’t meant for me to solve and often times, my friends just need someone to talk to. Sometimes when I talk with people, I feel like I have to be profound or have everything figured out. Here’s the reality. I don’t have everything figured out. I don’t practice everything I teach. Just like everyone else, I often need someone who is outside of my ‘head space’ to help me see life from a different point of view. But I often forget that and I place a false expectation on myself that I have to portray to others that I always know what’s going on at all times.
I don’t know everything. I have so much to learn. I don’t have it all figured out. I have the beautiful opportunity to continue to grow for the rest of my life. This is an amazing reality for me. When I ‘get’ something for the first time, it inspires me. My life enlarges every time I take advantage of an opportunity to learn something new. If I had everything figured out all the time, I would definitely have more money than I knew what to do with, however, life wouldn’t taste as good. It would be incredibly bland and there would be no wonder or awe.
Do you ever get down on yourself for not knowing how to help a friend? Do you ever take on added responsibility in life that you weren’t meant for? That’s a practice that not only robs others of experiencing the real you, but it robs you of the energy that you could be putting into the kind of work that was meant for you.
When we take on responsibility that belongs to others we deprive them from the work that was meant for them and from learning the lesson that is attached to their temporary struggle. All struggle is meant to be temporary. Nothing lasts forever. It’s only when we choose to hold onto our struggles that they stay in our lives longer than they should.
When we pretend like we have it all figured out we create more problems for ourselves and for others. This only clouds the issue at hand with the baggage that we bring to it by trying to be more than we are. However, when we drop the pretense we are open to experiencing challenges with new perspective.
Is there an area of your life where you are taking on things that don’t belong to you? Where are you trying to do too much? Do you do that in trying to help someone or in showing the façade that you have it all together? Why not try letting go? When we release ourselves from the responsibilities that aren’t meant for us, we usually get clarity in the most profound ways.
"Why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me." - J.K. Rowling
"I write from my soul. This is the reason that critics don't hurt me, because it is me. If it was not me, if I was pretending to be someone else, then this could unbalance my world, but I know who I am." - Paulo Coelho
"There's something liberating about not pretending. Dare to embarrass yourself. Risk." - Drew Barrymore