So say you’re a sports fan using the internet to at least semi-track the progress of a game you’re invested in but can’t see for some reason or perhaps you’re following an election on your computer and the results are being tallied as you follow or maybe you’ve invested in stocks or something else is being tracked . If you’ve ever done any of these or something like it, you know the power of the Refresh button.
If you don’t hit that refresh icon on your browser, you’ll be looking at outdated information – leaving you believing that some result or outcome or fact is something it no longer is. I got to follow the bidding process of my apartment in Stockholm this way so I know the value of making sure the information is up to date.
The same is true in life. I remember a client I had a while back who, I think, is such an excellent illustration of this. She is a mother, wife and has a full time job. She is energetic and kind and warm and caring. And she felt overwhelmed with everything going on in her life. She felt unbalanced and frustrated a lot of the time. She was looking for more joy and was having a hard time seeing all that she had and all that she was.
In our sessions together, she realized that a lot of what she felt was due to old expectations that she held/had put on herself from before she even became a mother. It was as if she had some rule book – seeing things perhaps that society or others had told her, but not based on her own experience. She had a picture of what it looked like to be a mother that was old, outdated and wasn’t even hers. Because of this picture and these expectations, she often felt unfulfilled and even as if she was failing – as a wife and mother.
As we worked together, she hit that Refresh button. She began defining what it meant to her to be a mother, wife, woman now at this stage of her life. She took her current situation – not some picture of how it ‘should’ be – and began living from there. As she did this, she let go of a lot of the ‘shoulds’. She began enjoying her family life on a whole new level because she wasn’t using some old definition of what she thought it should be. She was being present with what was – the messiness of it, the unpredictability of it, the fullness of it. By pushing Refresh, she was able to redefine herself at this stage of her life and accept in a way she hadn’t before. It was beautiful to see the joy and acceptance that came out of her as a result of this.
If you’re feeling stuck or frustrated or uncertain about which direction to move in, make sure you’ve hit Refresh. We are often using old definitions without even knowing it. Ask yourself, “Who am I being and who do I want to be right now?” Yes, you can use the past to help you get clarity, but you don’t have to use it to define you. When you hit Refresh, you have the opportunity to see the truth of where and who you are currently. And then you get to decide where you want to go from here.
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