“Do you want me to listen or do you want advice?”
“Advice,” my friend said between sniffles.
As she talked, I listened to her words and also to the space between her words. The space between the story we tell when we’re triggered and upset is where a person’s truth sneaks in its message. We previously made an agreement that when one of us was upset, we trusted that the other to be the one who can see this truth more clearly. In this way, we relied on each other to be a mirror for each others greatness when we forget our own. This time was particularly challenging. For each solution and alternate perspective I offered, she expressed definitive, set-in-stone reasons for why it just wouldn’t work.
The call ended when she had to take care of something urgent. After, I noticed something very distinct and familiar had happened that so many of us fall into everyday. When we’re deep in the fog of our emotions and feel stuck in a hole, then life really, really looks like nothing will work.
The following is what I wrote in my sketchbook as a way to understand it more clearly.
Help, I can’t get out of this hole! I’m stuck.
What if you use those boards and nails you have there and build a ladder?
I don’t like nails and I’m not good with hammers.
What if you dig down to see what’s there?
I’ve done that before in another hole. I know from experience that there’s nothing down there.
What if you ran really fast from one side to the other and built up enough speed to jump and climb over the edge?
And hurt my knees? You can hurt your knees doing that.
What about those wings over there? You could learn how to use them to fly.
That’s a lot of work. Like, a LOT of work. I heard.
Doesn’t sitting in this hole complaining about feeling stuck take a lot of work?
Yeah, maybe. I just don’t know what else to do.
I texted this image to her later in the day. She replied with a laugh. “Ha. What’s funny is that I didn’t even hear you say any solutions.”
We often sit in self-created holes feeling stuck, yet surrounded by solutions. What we say we’re looking for can be right there in front of us. We can’t experience the inspiration of a solution when we are listening to our Voice of Reasons.
Some of us already know our Voice of Reasons well and this is just a reminder to remember it’s still there. Some of us are just starting to suspect such a thing. Some of us don’t think they have a voice at all. Wherever you are coming from, I invite you to get curious about our reasons for doing things and not doing things. Where might a “Voice of Reasons” be showing up in your life? Listen for the differences between what it says and what your heart says. Maybe even notice what it has to say about what your heart says.
Right here and right now, we can begin to listen to our heart’s truth by first noticing what we allow to get in the way.
Have some fun with it.
Also published on Medium.