When Nothing is Wrong...and Nothing is All Right
What do you do when nothing is wrong and also nothing is all right?
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, bully for you; you can skip this read.
But if you’re where I was a few years ago, looking at yourself and your life wondering, “Is this it? Is this all there is?” read on.
Several years ago, I was married, financially stable, professionally successful, living in a nice home in a nice city, enjoying a nice country club membership.
Except I wasn’t really enjoying it: the club, the city, the home. I was bored professionally, and it always felt like the money and the marriage could be…more.
When I thought about what was wrong, I couldn’t really come up with anything significant. Everything was fine, really. All the boxes were checked. And yet, I felt less-than.
Less than satisfied.
Less than happy.
Less than fulfilled.
Less than enough.
I could be in a group of people laughing and having fun, but in the back of my mind, I knew there was another group of people, somewhere, laughing more and having more fun than I was. If I could just connect with that group….
Then, in 2017, I blew out a disc in my back and had not one but two back surgeries in the span of two weeks. I spent the next several weeks in bed unable to do anything but watch TV, read, and think. It was brutal. Especially the thinking part.
I was miserable not being able to participate in the normal activities of my life, and, at the same time, the thought of returning to the normal activities of my life felt dreadful. Suffocating.
I desperately wanted change, but I had no idea to what.
I tried to explain my feelings to my husband. I might as well have been speaking Greek.
“I don’t understand,” he said. “What is it that’s wrong?”
“I don’t know exactly. I think maybe I need better friends.”
“I’m sure your existing friends would appreciate that….”
Of course, there was nothing wrong with my friends. The truth is, I was surrounded by wonderful people in my family, my business, my community and social groups. With hindsight, I realize that was the only way I could describe the longing I had to feel more connected – to others, to myself, to my Soul.
But I’m getting ahead of myself here.
While confined to my bed, in addition to television and books, I also had social media, which can brutal under normal circumstances. It’s particularly painful to subject yourself to everyone else’s portrayals of perfection when you can’t get dressed or go to the bathroom by yourself.
Scrolling, I came across an IG post from a friend of a friend, a perky little wife, mother, and successful multi-level marketer. I had been following and envying everything about her: Her smile, her hair, her spunk, her relationship with her husband, her children (which is funny, because I’m not even particularly fond of children). I hated her perfect little IG posts, and yet, I couldn’t stop checking her feed to see what she was up to.
A couple weeks into my convalescence, she posted about a book she had just finished reading called, The Desire Map: A Guide to Setting Goals with Soul.
Now I’m a goal setter from way back. And, as a financial advisor, I’d built an entire career helping people set and achieve goals.
Prior to getting married, I was on a path to become a full-time Christian missionary, so I’d also had some experience with the soul.
But as far as I could tell, none of the goals I had set or helped others achieve during my career qualified as “goals with soul.” I was intrigued, so I ordered the book.
As an English Lit major and former English teacher, I feel obligated to say that this book is no literary masterpiece, no offense to its author. At times, the writing style was a distraction to me, as were the changing font sizes and general layout of the book.
In spite of that, this little book marked the beginning of a significant journey for me. After completing the exercises in it (it’s part theory, part workbook), I had a much clearer picture of what I was wanting and, specifically, what I was wanting to feel.
And as often happens when you start a journey, even a step or two along a path will offer a new vantage point with new options from which to choose.
That little book led me to another and another after that. New ideas and ways of thinking and seeing the world and myself in it offered up to me an array of different choices about where I was heading and who I would become in the process.
By 2019, so much about my perspective and attitude and life had changed, that when I thought about the person with the blown disc lying in her bed wishing for better friends, it hardly seemed possible that that I was her, that she was me.
I share all of this with you to let you know:
- If nothing’s wrong and also nothing is all right, you’re not alone. The more I shared about my journey, the more I discovered other people – lots of them, in fact – who were feeling the same way.
- Sometimes a funk is just that: A funk. It can come out of nowhere, hang around a little while, until one night you go to sleep, wake up, and it’s gone. Other times, a funk can hang around longer and keep nagging until you notice that something needs to change.
- Change doesn’t always have to be drastic. Sometimes it’s as simple as a shift in our attention or attitude; sometimes it’s more significant.
- Clarity – knowing what you want, deep down, and why – is golden. It can save years of your life and tens of thousands (or more!) of your dollars.
- Part of being clear on what you want involves being able to step outside the social conditioning and expectations of others. Two excellent books that can help with that are:
- The Code of Extraordinary Mind; and
- Your Money or Your Life
- The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Everything you want – and I mean everything! – you want in order to feel better. If you made feeling good your primary goal, you’d easily let go of a lot of things that drain your good-feeling energy, like:
- Judging yourself or others
- Comparing yourself to others
- Regretting the past
- Worrying about the future
- Putting your attention on things you don’t like
- Life is 99% process and 1% result. The majority of our lives are spent pursuing goals that we hope will make us happy. If we can make the pursuit – which is where we spend most of our time – enjoyable, being happy in the process, how much greater is the payoff and how much more certain is the result you want (to feel good, be happy)?
I offer coaching and courses designed to help you make these processes habitual, and I’m happy to help you make them part of your life.
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