In a recent exchange with one of my younger mentees, he was lamenting (via a very long text of course) how sick he “was of being stuck living in his parents’ home”. How he was an adult and shouldn’t be dealing with “ridiculous rules” and “constant criticism”. Of course, I asked the logical question. “Why don’t you move out?” To which he responded (predictably), “I can’t afford it.” So for the heck of it, I threw out a suggestion. “What if you moved into the city, got a few roommates to share costs, got a couple of jobs, and took public transportation? Couldn’t you afford it then?” I swear I could hear cicadas singing a full on rendition of Katy Perry’s Roar.
It was in that moment, I realized my suggestion was not adequate because he hadn’t told the truth. When I asked him why not move out, what he should have said was, “Why would I do that? I’m grounded. I can’t afford the style I’ve grown accustomed to on my own, and although I say I hate the situation, I am scared of the alternative/I don’t know what to expect.” You see, as much as he hates the restrictions and being tethered to – as he views them- two unreasonable and uncaring masters, he has deemed what he currently has as offering more levity than the perceived hardships involved in gaining his own freedom.
We complain how much we hate our jobs, how busy we are, how friends take advantage of us, how people treat us, and about how our clothes fit – all the other masters to which we are tethered – but we do little or nothing to change our circumstances. We’re not being honest.
We talk about enjoying the view from “up there” one day, but we’re scared of heights. We’re petrified that we’ll fall to a thud if we dare attempt to rise above the crowds. Truth is, we don’t object to the new/better experience. We are scared that we’ll end up in an even worse situation. It might be fear that: your idea won’t work, you’ll make mistakes, you won’t have as much, yo’re too old, you’ll be rejected, you’ll end up alone, you won’t have as much fun, you’ll lose friends, others won’t approve, it will cost too much, it will take too much work, or it will take too much time.
We lose sight of how much more energy, time, emotional stability, or money we spend by remaining in our current state of discomfort than it does to create an overall healthier experience.
<Whysper Moment> ‘What if’ though? What if you chose to be courageous? What if you chose peace? What if you chose to ignore the naysayers? What if you said yes more often to new things? What if you said no more often to those who use you? What if it was easier to let go than you thought? What if you chose you? What if THAT was the air in your balloon? To what elevation could you rise?