Overwhelm is not a bunch of papers being piled up around you and people yelling demands from all directions.
Overwhelm is a form of resistance.
For the past month I have at times been overwhelmed. Correction: For the past month I have been in a near constant state of overwhelm.
I've known this, yet I haven't. I've noticed it at times, tried to fix it, and succeeded at beating it back temporarily, only to have it take a run at me with an even harder blow.
If I am honest there have been few moments in the past month where I have felt at peace, lighthearted or powerful.
This cannot go on any longer.
I am done with overwhelm.
Which is why it is wonderful that today I realised that I can be rid of overwhelm if only I stop trying so hard to be overwhelmed.
Let me explain what I mean.
At the beginning of January I set myself some pretty big goals. Many of these goals are not career goals, which is a change for me, as, since highschool my main focus has been getting a good career, which would I thought make me happy.
Now that I have spent a year discovering all kinds of other amazing things about myself, what I am excited about, what I believe in, and what's important to me, and I have declared to the world my intention about what I want to create in service of each, I have gone and gotten myself all overwhelmed about it.
I've stopped enjoying most of it. I've stopped living each moment of it. I've been getting behind on my projects. I've been overtired and in a bad mood. And I've been angry at myself for all of these things alot of the time.
I've turned my goals around into "have tos", "shoulds", "expectations", and "you betters, or else not only will you be a failure, but everyone will know you are a failure".
No pressure, right? Of course I am enjoy all of the things I love to do with that internal abuse going on at all times. Who wouldn't?
Ok, enough sarcasm.
Here's the truth: I'm setting myself up to fail by fearing I will fail. I've created a wall of resistance to everything I love to do, by turning it into things I have to do.
"Ahhhhh! No wonder I'm so freaking overwhelmed."
I've had enough of it.
So lets get back to basics.
I don't "have to" do anything.
I chose, and continue to choose, my projects for the year because I absolutely LOVE all of them.
On Friday last week at at 11:43 p.m. a thought came to me and for some reason I felt compelled to send myself an email as a reminder of it. At the time I did not know its significance, but it hit me hard when I remembered it today. All the email said was: "Satisfaction is in the striving." It was exactly what I needed to hear.
I know that when I stop and breathe, I love my projects while I am doing them. So I am choosing to be satisfied with the doing, satisfied with where I am in the striving. Because I know too well, that is the only place satisfaction ever lives.
I am choosing to let go of some control over my projects. I am choosing to build some structures to support them and trust they will turn out right.
It hit me today with full force that my fear of being unable to control this unknown, uncertain, messy, amazing life I am creating had caused me to resist fully living it. It had caused me to shrink myself into a corner in an attempt to control everything so that I could do it all perfectly the way I planned and be happy. The end.
But the problem is everything becomes impossible and overwhelming when I am backed up into the corner because I can only reach so far.
My life coach described to me last week the image of Gulliver tied down and controlled, and this week the image of me lopping off my own limb. Both were accurate reflections, yet I refused to see how my resistance to being completely and fully in my life was setting me up to fail at creating this life that I love.
Overwhelm occurs when we resist the unknown and resist letting go of control. Magic.
I have a feeling I may have repeated myself a few times in this post, but I am choosing not to review it and edit it over until it is just right. I am dipping my toe into the waters of the unknown where I don't try so hard to control every outcome and end product, and I am just writing as it comes. So you get to experience it along with me, repeats, nonsense ideas, bad sentence structure, and all.
And here is the conclusion you've all been waiting for: I am letting go, jumping in, and bringing back the LOVE.