There ARE Other Options
By Kristen N. Fox
Years ago when my friend Tara and I were working together to design and publish a newsletter for a local spiritual group, we had two major tasks to perform: computer layout, and phoning all the advertisers to confirm and double-check ad information and placement. Well, it went along really slowly at first, until we discovered that *I* really wanted to do the computer work and Tara really wanted to do the phone work! We laughed, but it was still rather hard for us each to believe that someone wanted to do what WE didn’t want to and thought of as boring.
I still think of this incident today, especially in the last few weeks, as I feel I’m on the threshold of accepting a new surge of joy and energy and change into my life. This incident kept popping into my head, and I realized that I had been thinking along similar lines – limiting beliefs about why it simply was NOT okay to take this next step. Why it was NOT okay to let go of things just because I didn’t like doing them or didn’t find them “fun”.
It stems from the linear, concrete, Either-Or approach that many of us get taught. If *I* only do what I feel like doing, either the rest doesn’t get done or the BURDEN of getting it all done UNFAIRLY falls on everyone else. And I dare say that most of us would rather walk on our noses than force other people into that kind of ‘slavery’ – and so we choose to deny ourselves what we want. Or at the very least, we deny ourselves in the BIG ways, because ‘that’s just TOO much to ask!’
I realize now that it’s time to stop even TOYING with these beliefs and to take the event with Tara as my new truth. When I believe that I am burdening people, I end up interacting with people who don’t want to do these tasks, so why not instead believe in and attract people who really WANT to do those things I’d like done, but don’t want to do myself? For instance, I don’t mind packing up my stuff in boxes when it’s time to move, but I really don’t enjoy all the heavy bending and lifting of getting the boxes on and off the truck. And I know other people who’d find the packing part to be tedious, but really love the part where they get to use their muscles and strength. Why not share the opportunities?
And better yet, why not let the good old Universe figure out the best way to get those other things done? Maybe someone will invent a terrific machine to automate particular processes, or maybe I’ll just switch to a probability where these tasks are already completed? Tons of new thoughts, ideas, and opportunities like these suddenly sprang into my head when I accepted the new beliefs that everyone can have everything they want, instead of the either-or thinking that had me WANTING but wringing my hands with my inner conflict. I’m still amazed when I look at the intricate ways we’ve created to struggle with ourselves – why didn’t we think of this before!? I guess it didn’t occur to us that there could be a better way!
Part of the difficulty I’ve had in letting go of these BURDENS or tasks I wanted done but didn’t want to do was the idea that if *I* didn’t do them, then my partner John would HAVE TO, since he’s the only other human in the household. It also brought up judgments that when I admitted I didn’t want to do these things, I felt like I was being lazy and not pulling my share of the load. Not pulling my share of the load? What are we, beasts of burden? In reality, all of these thoughts are the same thought in different forms – keeping us continually focused on struggle and duality instead of joy and creation. And it was time to ‘take a chance’ and stop the madness.
So I’ve stopped forcing myself to do tasks that I don’t find joyful. I’m having to stay alert and remind myself to follow my joy more often right now, but it’s entirely worth it. I’m also accepting this decision without calling myself lazy or thinking badly of myself. As a result, I found myself just laughing at various moments for no real reason – I was just feeling JOY at BEING! I also feel very grateful for John, because I trust that he won’t do anything he doesn’t want to do, and so it’s easy for me to let go of taking responsibility for HIS choices. (And he also sets a wonderful example of someone being good at following their OWN joy.) Having taken THAT step, it’s relatively easy for me to open up to OTHER solutions as well…. some of which involve changing my beliefs about how quickly dust accumulates and how often dishes get dirty and how long they STAY dirty. <grin> (What was that saying about getting what you focus on – or what you focus on increases? Wouldn’t it follow then, that the belief that certain things must be managed or dealt with just keeps recreating them in our experiences?)
At this point, I’m reminded of Don Shimoda’s airplane in the book, “Illusions” by Richard Bach. Richard noticed that Don (the ‘reluctant messiah’ in the book) never had to wash bugs off the windshield of his plane, and he also never saw him walking into town with an empty gas can to refill the fuel tank. Don Shimoda enjoyed flying and taking other people for rides, and the rest just seemed to take care of itself. Sounds good to me!
[Originally published in The Edge, July 2000.]