Treadmill or The Open Road?
It’s that time of year when many people reflect on the past year and consider what is to come and changes to be made. Whatever your resolutions might be, I hope the following might help frame them in a way which is helpful to you.
Treadmills seem to represent the tedium of day to day life. The safe tried and tested option. The “sensible” conventional way of life. It is flat and predictable. You know that if you get on it and set the pace as long as you continue, the outcome is inevitable.
The open road offers freedom, challenge and much less certainty. There are ups and downs. The effort of running up a steep hill is rewarded by the view from the top. Part of that view is the next valley and further peaks to climb. This can be exhilarating or demoralising depending on how you are feeling.
It seems part of the “human condition” is to desire the open road when on life’s treadmill and safe and predictable looks pretty appealing when we are up against it.
I was given this version of The Rules For Being Human a few years ago and their truth has resonance for many people.
- You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it but it will be yours for the entire period this time around.
- You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full time informal school called life. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant and stupid.
- There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trial and error, experimentation. The “failed” experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately “works”.
- A lesson is repeated until learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it you can then go on to the next lesson.
- Learning does not end. There is no part of life that does not contain it’s lessons. If you are alive there are lessons to be learned.
- “There” is no better than “here”. When your “there” has become a “here” you will simply obtain another “there” that will, again, look better than “here”.
- Others are merely mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects something you love or hate in yourself.
- What you make of life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.
- Your answers lie inside you. The answers to life’s questions lie inside you. All you need to do is look, listen, and trust.
- You will forget this.
Is it just me or are we destined to forget that road or treadmill, swing or roundabout, employed or self employed there are times when “there” looks a better option than “here”. As the old saying goes, it’s not having what you want but wanting what you have that counts.
Andrew Pearce is one of our in-house therapists. He is a UKCP Registered Psychotherapist and Clinical Supervisor. At FLiP Andrew’s practice includes supporting individuals and couples across a wide range of family issues.
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