Are you swimming against your own current?

There have been several times in my life when I’ve felt trapped. Each time, I was on a certain path, committed to something that wasn’t working or stuck in a situation without a clear way out. It felt suffocating, scary and miserable...

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For longer than I should have, I stayed on each of those paths. In each case, it wasn’t until I found myself envisaging awful scenarios as potential ‘solutions’ that I realised how bad things were. You know the kind of extreme, life-sabotaging daydream that I mean:

  • Maybe the building will burn down then I won’t have to go to work…
  • Maybe I’ll get really sick and won’t have to do that thing for a few months…

Eventually I realised things didn’t have to stay as they were. There were ways out that didn’t involve waiting for dire circumstances to conspire in my ‘favour’ and sort life out the ‘easy way’. I needed to untangle these situations myself.

Joseph Campbell said it well in his book, The Hero’s Journey:

“You enter the forest
at the darkest point,
where there is no path.

Where there is a way or path,
it is someone else’s path.

You are not on your own path.

If you follow someone else’s way,
you are not going to realize
your potential.”

We each have our own ‘current’. It’s the direction that most suits us, where things are more effortless and enjoyable. This path is not without challenges, but it’s not ‘all uphill, all the time’.

Sometimes we find ourselves swimming against our own current. Slogging. Straining. Trying to live a life that isn’t really ‘ours’.

Surrendering to your own current is liberating. Being who you really are, going where you really want to go brings a beautiful blend of passion and peace…

Turning things around isn’t always easy. Sometimes there’s ‘no way out but through’. But once you hit your groove, you’ll know it.