Holy crap, this elephant is heavy!

The missing link for most of us, well for me at least, is clearing the path. Paths are easier to clear as needed when you don’t have to accommodate fellow riders on the path with you. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t clear it, or that you can’t move the elephant. In fact, your fellow traveler(s) can help you move your a bit, and you can help him (or her) move theirs.

The important thing is to not give up the effort to move that elephant. After decades of feeding them, they seem impossible to nudge, but they can be nudged little by little.

I’m gonna move this one if it kills me!

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12 thoughts on “Holy crap, this elephant is heavy!

  1. Interesting.
    I was going to say, “but my elephant LIKES going through bumpy paths…” and then I remembered how this last few months has gone for me. Haven’t made a lot of progress, really…
    And then… but if the elephant is motivated, it moves more quickly, responds to an unblocked path more swiftly, than does the rider.
    Very much all three.

    Food for thought!

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  2. I suspect you are conflating your enjoyment of “the process”, no matter how painful, with “the path”.

    For instance, I tend to hate some processes. I went out for a run this morning for the first time in a couple weeks, after a weird break I can’t explain other than I needed to get some sleep. I hated it. Thankfully, Bright Eyes is a good and encouraging coach.

    When I got home though, I felt a.maz.ing. I’d done it! And now I’m looking forward to doing it Thursday and again Saturday. I’ll still hate it while I’m out there until I get my conditioning back, but that’s not a bumpy path, per se. It’s just part of the process.

    For me clearing the path is largely a matter of strong external accountability. I’m an obliger. I know how I got to be one, and I can tell you almost to the detail when and how in my childhood the tendency started to take root.

    Every stretch of sustained success in my life has been accompanied by a mix of clinging to Truth, prayer, and a fair amount of knowing myself via some of the admittedly pop psych stuff to help me figure out how to overcome or circumvent the snares that send me off course. A few years ago (5 or 6?) I started down the whole “that stuff isn’t godly!” road and I’ve been struggling with a lot of things that I’d pretty much overcome before when I used all the legitimate tools at my disposal.

    And so…rider, elephants, tendencies, habit studies, all of it. back on. To heck with the super spiritual fakery that leaves me where I don’t want to be.

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  3. Yes. This week is a respite week for me and DH was home sick again (do NOT get this sinus cold going ’round) and I got up for a bit, then went back to bed, snuggled up to him and went back to sleep… until 10. I can feel my body and soul drinking in this peace and quiet like a thirsty plant, to the point that knowing that this time will end is stressful.

    And *that* means, going forward, that yours truly needs to do some life-pruning, sooner rather than later. I’ve been saying yes to everyone and everything, out of guilt that there are open bits in my schedule.

    And also yes, I like processes because I ❤ personal growth.

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  4. I have felt a very marked reduction in my own stress level this week from dumping a few of my regular time stealers (or maybe I should say time wasters since it was my choice).

    I needed the extra sleep, too. For me it’s likely to be until 6:30 rather than until 10. That would leave me with a screaming headache, LOL.

    Figuring out things is an ongoing process, and that’s the biggest lesson. You can’t ever really rest on your progress or assume that you can coast on the inertia of the movement you made last week. You’re fortunate in that you love the process. I love the end result.

    An object in motion may tend to stay in motion, but the elephant of our internal being needs regular training and incentive to keep going in the right direction. If we stop, we don’t stay there. we actually go backwards.

    Now- THERE is something worth exploring. Why is it that we go backward when we stop moving forward rather than holding on to the gains we’ve made and staying still in the new spot?

    I need to explore that, because it interests me.

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  5. Annnd I ended up going BACK to bed for a nap. Or, how Hearthie spent most of today horizontal. No, I’ve not been stressed. Figment of your imagination, quite. :p

    Maybe one of my lessons is not worrying about what other people might THINK of my busy-ness (or lack thereof) or how much stress I’m under (or lack thereof) and how much time I spend on self-care… but just doing it. And that feeds into what you were saying here:

    “I started down the whole “that stuff isn’t godly!” road and I’ve been struggling with a lot of things that I’d pretty much overcome before when I used all the legitimate tools at my disposal.”

    Srsly. I’m an introvert. I need alone time. I’m going to have to schedule it. I’m going to have to defend my workout-time a bit better. And carve out outside time. Because when I don’t, I waste the time I *should* be using to get things done in just sitting around and being wilty – my energy drained, too tired to be of use, too awake to get real rest.

    If my house is clean ish, my kids are educated and healthy, my husband is well-fed and cared for, why the HECK do I feel a need to justify myself just ’cause I’m not doing everything else in the world?

    But that need for justification, that comparison with the invisible Other who is doing so much more than I am… it’s damaging. Sounds like it’s damaging us both. -hands you a baseball bat- Let’s have after it, shall we?

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  6. On two-steps forward, one-step back (my thoughts, looking forward to yours):

    1) Habits – doing the comfy thing is always easier to return to, when we let go. The old shirt is the softest.

    2) Hopes – I don’t know about you, but I always evaluate myself not on what I’ve done this week or last, but what I expect to do next week. So when I lose ground, I get really grumpy. But maybe I lost less ground than I thought… it was that I hadn’t actually gained as much as I think I have. Also, I expect all areas of my life to improve simultaneously at the same rate, ignoring the fact that I CANNOT spend five hours in the gym, 20 hours sewing, do my life-stuff, and be available for everysinglepersonallthetime while getting that book written. One thing at a time.

    3) Refresh time – When one is taking refresh time, it looks like you’re going backwards, but you’re actually just refueling. Sometimes we need to give ourselves some grace. I’d say sometimes we need to poke ourselves too, but … I don’t think that’s your personality failing nor mine.
    SOMEONE out there needs to poke themselves more, but … probably not us. 😀

    4) Life is not linear. If your curve goes generally upward, win… but we don’t think of improvement like that.

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  7. Love the graphic, and when I get over myself, I must admit that most of my “successes” look very much like the second graphic. I’m thinking I’m in that second to the last dip before the wobbly arrow finally points upward, but we’ll see. Maybe I just need to tell myself that because I have all kinds of goals and places I need to be in before 4 and 1/2 years goes by and I’ve spent half a century on the planet, with no marked difference in my weaknesses than I had 30 years prior, LOL.

    That point about “maybe I haven’t gained as much ground as I thought” resonates. I think it’s true because true gains shouldn’t be derailed in one unexpected moment of life.

    And yes, it’s getting to a point and realizing, “Dangit! I tonally expected to be at THAT point by now, but I’m still at THIS point. F.A.I.L.”

    I’ve gotten over the need to do it in a more spiritually approved, extrovert approved, go-getter approved way. Because frankly, I’m never going to get there that way, and that’s okay. We all have our strengths and weaknesses and it doesn’t do me a bit of good to try and flow in my husband’s strength and then wonder why I don’t get his results. If that makes sense.

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  8. WHY do you have to be where-ever in 4.5 years? Do you have-to-have-to, or just want-to-have-to?

    I’m as success-cookie motivated as the next American, but wisdom tells me that it matters a lot more that I showed up and did the right thing each day – for whatever was the right thing that day. That’s how you get where you should be, and maybe that won’t look like where you envisioned yourself, but maybe it might be better. Put God in charge, and do the work.

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  9. I just “want-to-have-to” have accomplished certain goals and have gotten certain things under way by my 50th birthday and then enjoy the maintenance, work, and fruits of it with my beloved and our two remaining teenagers (ack! Not long before the two youngest will be teens, but…off topic).

    But you’re right. I need to put God in charge and just do the work.

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  10. DH is really looking forward to the kids-out-of-the-house stage where both of us are working and we have more time for each other, so it’s not like I don’t have a few “want to have to” goals myself. When I’m 50 my kids will be 22 and 18, so I’ll be empty-nesting. Six years is gonna go by pretty quickly.

    Sometimes I feel like I should have done more with this time … but you know, we’ve been raising kids, and that’s a big thing. Not a big thing in our Western culture, but it *is* why we are home. Sometimes reality checking ourselves is a good thing.

    I was disturbed to realize that I’ve lived in this house for almost 16 years now… I haven’t done half the things I wanted to with it. Time slips by.

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  11. Pingback: Stress Bustin’ and Learning | Hearth's Rose Garden

  12. Pingback: Better Than Before | Things I Wish I'd Known Sooner

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