Do you ever just get tired of thinking and falling in love with your own ideas and realizing that you would have to live 200 years to make all of those ideas grow like giant redwood trees and finally cast a beautiful shadow on the earth? Do you? That is how I’m feeling tonight. I hate that I fall totally in love with whatever is in front of me and it can’t stay small—it has to get so big right away.
Last weekend we drove down to Chippewa Falls to spend some time with my daughter, her husband, and my six grandchildren. It was a wonderful little break but I realized that my poor daughter has inherited this tendency from me to reach and reach. I love her for it, but worry that she will spend her life constantly disappointed in herself for not “doing more.”
One time I had a treatment from this wonderful Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner and as soon as she put her hands on my body she said, “Oh my.” She could feel the warp speed that my body and mind want to move in.
On the way back from Chippewa Falls, Milt and I were listening to a great Ted Talk radio show (something I hadn’t heard yet) and the man was talking about how our society kind of breeds into us the expectation of accomplishing great things. The playing field is level (supposedly) and anybody can be or do anything. He said it sets up a kind of “status anxiety” when we feel we are not measuring up. I am familiar with that feeling and no matter how much I do or accomplish, it never abates.
I remember earlier in my career I spent a lot of time with a rather obscure theory called “The Theory of Positive Disintegration.” I think it was the oxymoron of the idea that we could positively disintegrate that caught my interest. Anyway, within his theory is it is this state of reaching and wanting that causes us to step out of our comfort zone and begin evolving toward some new end. It can be uncomfortable and messy and painful, but the idea of just staying within the comfort zone can also be very painful and limit our overall development toward a higher state of being.
I skipped away from my blog post and had to go re-read some of Dabrowski’s theory. It really is fascinating. (You can find a simplified version of it by putting his name into Wikipedia. Dabrowski’s work was taken on by others who applied it to the field of Talented and Gifted Children as a way to help them frame their world.)
But what am I trying to say here?
Balance. Oh yes, balance.
It is okay to ache deeply within from a desire to do more and help more and have a greater impact, but we can’t let it become a weapon that we stab ourselves with all the time. We have to know that the ever present urge to reach beyond our grasp is a good thing. And eventually from that pain (if we balance it) we can positively disintegrate and find ourselves in a new place.
So, Ms. Jamie (and all her talented friends, you can relax in the status anxiety area and go back to being a seeker, student, creator, and the mother (or father) of all big questions. We are not alone here.
Yes, I also talk to myself on a regular basis.
This week we are off to Rapid City where I am doing a weekend of personal development and Family Constellation Work. The upside of the long trip is I get to see my son, Tom and his family. Baby Kendall just turned a year old and I haven’t seen her since early summer. And next month we are destined to become Great Grandparents. Thinking about you, Kayna!