On a weekend retreat I attended recently we were asked to think about the question – who am I? and then to answer the question by completing the sentence – I am… in as many ways as we can think. The ‘obvious’ answers that came rolling off the tongue as I started the exercise were in terms of my various roles as wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, career-woman etc and then came some descriptive words and adjectives such as calm, happy, clever, funny, wacky and so on. Once I had gone through many of the descriptors that quickly rolled off my tongue, I found myself taking a moment to quiet my mind and allow words to flow without any logic and without a particular reason. I continued in this way, allowing the words to flow until my time was up.
One of the words that came through with this method was 'done' – I am done!
Upon reflection, this word really surprised me. I wasn't sure where it came from but it led me to ask myself – what are the areas where I feel I am done?
Here are a few answers that I came up with for myself. I am done taking on work that I don’t really enjoy or want to do. I am done with superficial relationships that drain me. I am done giving permission to others to treat me in a way that puts me down. I am done making choices because I feel that I should rather than that I want to. I am done holding myself back because of what others may think about me. I am done with keeping busy for the sake of being busy. I am done with complicating things when they can be rather simple. I was amazed at how many things I could think of to be done with!
This line of thinking then led me to the question of choice – if I am done with those things, what are the possibilities that are open to me and so, what do I choose? That became quite easy to answer and got me thinking about even more things that I am free to choose. Some examples are… I choose to do work that allows me to contribute in a meaningful, fulfilling way. I choose to build relationships that are honest and allow me to be me. I choose to express myself in a way that brings who I truly am to the world. I choose to be busy with the things that I enjoy and bring fulfilment to my life.
That gave me pause… I could take a fresh look at the things that I just do without understanding quite why I do them and with the result that they make me feel miserable at least some of the time. How many of us are sitting with many things that we are tolerating just because they happen to take up space in our lives?
So now it is your turn…
What are you done with?
What choices will you make as a result?