During my first ever social work placement in a community centre, my mentor taught me a valuable lesson about where we’re likely to end up when we leave a situation from a disempowered state.
At the time, I was a naïve 18 year old that had led a sheltered suburban life so when I was exposed to the world of domestic violence and drug abuse; I had a rather simplistic view of the world.
“He’s a bastard, so obviously she should just leave him, “ I’d say. “In fact I have the name of a woman’s shelter not far from her house – I’ll give her that number next time I see her.”
My supervisor would patiently listen to my righteous, immature ramblings and would then gently guide me back to the adult word of realism, responsibility and sensibleness.
It took me many years to understand what I struggled to understand that afternoon almost 20 years ago, especially as I’ve been reminded of this very recently in my own life. Her words of wisdom were simple and poignant.
What you run from is what you run straight to.
In the case of my first ever client, she had gone from one abusive relationship to another. The frequency that was dominating her thoughts and emotions was one of pain, helplessness and desperation.
I soon discovered that writing her a referral for a women’s shelter was one thing, but forcing this notion on to her was ultimately disempowering if she wasn’t:
a.) Really ready to her abusive partner
b.) Ready for the confronting inner work she’s have to do to help herself heal.
So what she ran from is what she ran straight to.
The outer world always reflects your inner relationship with yourself.
I have a buddy ‘who’s-living-the-dream’. An inspiring location independent entrepreneur living overseas with his gorgeous lady love. All his mates back home in suburbia are green with envy.
My friend wanted to leave behind the crazy work deadlines and fast paced city life here in Sydney as he yearned for travel adventures, soulful connections, passionate love and inspiration.
Except that he is utterly exhausted and burnt out, much like he was when he bid adieu to his antipodean mates a few months ago. What he ran from is what he ran straight to.
So you need a break. A break from what?
I’m planning to travel overseas in a few months and I’m very conscious of not working really hard and then looking forward to a ‘break’.
See that’s the thing, a break from what? The current life that I have actually created for myself? The one I imagined, dreamed and planned with all my heart and soul? It sounds like the worst oxymoron ever.
In the past, my exhausted state would feel desperate for a vacation and then a few days after arriving at my holiday destination, my body would finally relax enough to start having fun, only to release the pent up stress and anxiety via an illness that would then dominate the rest of the holiday.
I figured I’d try something different this time. I’ve decided to make my time away an extension of me. Meaning that it’s not a break, or a holiday, or even a reward for finishing the chakra balance e course.
I figure that irrespective of whether or not my admin is up to date (and really – whose admin ever is up to date? – isn’t there always something to be done?), I’ll be going away anyway.
So I choose to consciously move from a state of balance, ease and love. And the theory is that what I leave from is what I will run straight towards. Go any advice to offer me?