In response to my last post, on the magic of the word “yet,” a wise friend advised that for many the challenge is not “yet,” but “still.” She explained this in the context of aging, that there are times to let go of things that we can’t still do, that letting go of those things in favor of appreciating what we can do or finding new things to do is more fulfilling than desperately clinging on to what we STILL think we should be able to do. I thanked her for her addition to my list of single words that can totally change a sentence and I have been thinking about “still” ever since.
For many people, persistence (as described in the post about the magic of yet) is not the problem. For many people (and I daresay I know some of those people really, really well), persistence is a way of life and it becomes more necessary to examine what we are STILL doing, STILL thinking, STILL believing, STILL feeling so we can let go of patterns, behaviors and thoughts that are holding us back.
For example, I STILL believe that being busy is a good thing. This is an old thought, one that I inherited at birth, one that I see all around me. It is not true, at least not inherently. It’s a little more complicated, right? Being busy with things that are worth my time could be one way of judging that. Being busy with things that make me feel good could be another. OR I could just let it go, and believe that I am good and that I am sometimes busy. I can choose to not STILL believe that thought (although it admittedly takes some practice). As I learn to choose a different thought, I feel good about myself when I’m not busy. I stop over-scheduling myself as often. I feel more relaxed and have time for more of the things I really enjoy.
I STILL insist on loading up on crafting supplies every now and again with some kind of idea that I’m gonna have a few Martha Stewart hours one of these days. It doesn’t happen. And let’s be clear, it doesn’t just NOT happen because I can’t make time for it. It doesn’t happen because I don’t really want it to, at least not as much as I want to do lots of other things. I can let that go. I can let go of the notion of crafty perfect Mom in favor of the Mom I am. I do not have to STILL believe that she is better. I do not have to STILL strive for something I don’t actually want.
There are other beliefs, patterns, thoughts we have that are darker. We STILL hate our bodies and treat them like enemies rather than the friends who are holding us up, carrying us, making our interactions with this world possible. We STILL insist on believing that we are unlovable. We STILL think the way that other people behave has something to do with us. But the choice is there. It’s available to us. We can acknowledge what we STILL believe, what we STILL strive for, what we STILL think in spite of evidence that it is not in our best interest and choose to let it go. We can choose to change what we think and therefore how we feel. Our actions and our results will follow and our lives will no longer be STILL anything. They are dynamic, unfolding, changeable, and undeniably ours.
If you need some help recognizing your “still” or finding your “yet,” please do get in touch. I’d love to help you change your mind.