Stop Counting, Start Living, Find Peace

This popped up in my Facebook memories a few days ago.  Apparently, February 11th used to be a pretty tough day for me!

I don’t remember writing these posts, but I do remember *feeling* these posts.  I used to count down the days until Friday, the days until my next vacation, the days until summer break. I treated my life like it was something I had to get through.

I didn’t like this habit of counting down, but I truly felt that peace was only available when I didn’t have to work. I was convinced- CONVINCED!- that my stressful, overwhelming job was the reason I resorted to counting down my days.  Energetically speaking, I felt like I was holding up an invisible shield and just powering through a battlefield every day.

At some point I decided I didn’t want to count down my life anymore, so I made a drastic change. I quit my job and moved across the country to someplace warm and sunny. I traded counting days for counting palm trees.

This worked pretty well UNTIL until I bumped up against stress and overwhelm again. This time it happened when I became a mom. I found myself thinking things like, “This will get easier when he sleeps through the night” and “Things will get more fun when he can sit up and I don’t have to hold him all the time” and “When he learns to talk and can communicate better, this will get easier.”

Well, shit.  Now I was counting down my life AND my son’s life. I was back to “getting through” and treating my days like they were an obstacle.  Without consciously doing so, I had taken out that energy shield again.  

This time I looked deeper within.  I asked myself, “What am I protecting myself from?” And I felt my answer:  feeling the fear of not knowing what to do, feeling the pain of messing up when you really care about doing a good job, feeling the pain of judgement, from self or the perceived judgement of others.  The energetic shield protects you from pain and hurt, much like a physical shield would.

That habit of counting down to “better days” is not caused by a specific circumstance. It’s a strategy for dealing with stress and overwhelm, and a pretty shitty one at that.  

While the shield may protect you from feeling pain, hurt, and fear from the events of your day, the shield also deprives you of the beauty of those same painful moments: emotional release, vulnerability, connection to your truth and what you love the most, and giving your badass self a chance to meet life’s challenges in ways you never thought you could.  

Also, life’s challenges never go away.  They just change.  You’ll be holding up that shield until the day you die if you don’t just decide to let go of it.

A big part of my awareness to practice is to notice when I’m trying to avoid feeling life’s pain.  It still happens, I still try to grab my shield and count down to an imagined future where life is perfect and peaceful all the time, but I’m so better at catching it myself doing this:  I put down the shield, feel the pain, cry, connect, fuck up, laugh about it, and – funny enough- then comes the peace I was waiting for all along. 

Leave a Comment