Last week, I wrote about the payoff, and how asking “What’s the payoff?” can help provide a different perspective on patterns or behaviours that we don’t feel very comfortable with.
That question works in pretty much any context because if we’re doing something, and doing it repeatedly, there is always a payoff, no matter how obscure it might seem.
For me, that question was useful in the context of money. More specifically, my attitudes around money. It’s easy to internalise messages that it’s bad to talk about money and it’s greedy to have money without even being too aware of those messages. So, a couple of months ago I started setting time aside each week to explore this topic. It’s been helpful. I’ve learned a lot about myself and my beliefs that I didn’t know before.
As I said last week, I got to the point where I knew something was missing. Tiny realisations were helpful, but I was aware that I wasn’t getting to *the* biggie: the elephant in the room I could sense, but not see. If you’ve ever been in that place, you know how effing frustrating it is. I experienced my inner cynic piping up, saying “This is a waste of time, it’s not changing anything. I’m stuck and I’m not going anywhere with this.”
Then, I discovered the question about the payoff, and bam: there it was.
Not the whole elephant, but a significant part of it – lets say, its enormous backside. The backside is something to work with, a place to start processing. Because if we stick with it and keep processing, if we stay conscious, slowly but surely that backside starts to become the whole elephant, whether through a series of epiphanies, or small reveal by small reveal.
What I love about this is that it’s a great example of how shift happens, even when we’ve struggled with something for years.
There’s two lessons I took from this experience that I want to share with you:
1) Shift happens, even when we’ve struggled with something for years (thought it was worth repeating that again).
2) When we feel the most resistance to exploring something within ourselves, that’s the time to keep going.
You’ve probably heard the proverb “the night is darkest just before the dawn” (or some variation). In my experience, our resistance is greatest just before a breakthrough. When we feel most resistant to exploring something, that’s our defences getting suited up, ready for battle. Those defences are there to keep the realisation hidden, and try to protect us from that knowledge.
But the knowledge is there.
I know that place just before awareness can be bleak, so I want to say that even in the darkest moments, even after years of wondering, searching, and attempting to understand, it is still possible to uncover, understand and empathise.
Some people say shit happens as an attempt to lessen the impact of change. I say shift happens to remind us that understanding and change can occur when we least expect it.
Keep on shifting, peeps.
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