It's no coincidence that while driving to the airport to catch my flight to Byron Bay, I was listening to a webinar teaching about balancing emotions when I found myself becoming my own immediate 'case study' just moments after it finished. I plunged into anxiety when I realised I'd missed the freeway exit to the airport, and was heading straight for the Westgate Bridge, adding 20 minutes to my trip.
After calling my husband in tears (the benefit - he gets to step into his masculine 'action and solution' mode, and feel needed at the same time as I'm off 'stepping out in the world'; value on family, tick!), I gave myself a pep talk and got to the airport with five minutes to spare...which I quickly chewed up by going to the wrong gate, getting security spot checked for explosives twice, ordering, and having to throw out, my chai latte because of the extra security screening after going to the wrong terminal.
A classic comedy of errors, which with less awareness I may have blamed on everything in the 'outside world' or on my own stupidity, however knowing that we are always acting in alignment with our values and what's important to us, I could recognise that what was happening was my subconscious trying to keep me 'safe'; that is, the identity I hold onto as safe. My animal nature wanting to protect me from what I fear to lose if I 'step up' too much in the world, which is what this trip to Byron Bay signified. I dreamt of this when I was dreaming of bringing my daughter Sylvie into the world. I felt her energy there, and the pull to create events there too. To make meaning in motherhood and conscious conversation.
Because family and relationship, connectedness and attunement with my children, are really high values of mine, if I perceive that expanding in business will take away from that, then I'll tend to curtail myself in this area at every turn. But the thing is, this belief is not truth - it's just that; a belief. Held onto strongly at times to validate my choices in life, and perhaps unconsciously on some level, it's not even my core belief, but epigenetically handed down to me from my grandmother who worked her whole life to raise 12 kids and contribute to her Church, was absent emotionally much of the time and felt guilt for that, and my mother, her twelfth child, who gave us everything she perceived she missed out on; the pain so great she went the opposite way in service of us.
When we talk of 'self-sabotage', we miss the love in our actions. That so often, our actions are driven by what we most perceive is missing in our world, thrusting us forward to pursue what we most desire.
Could self-sabotage therefore, actually be a form of self-love?
Instead of making errors out of 'stupidity' and 'not thinking' (which is common negative self-talk), was I actually being guided by what was most important to me - albeit in a very roundabout way?
When we open our minds to consider the benefits to us of the things we judge ourselves for, we awaken a greater capacity to love ourselves for all our foibles, beginning to see that there are no mistakes.
So what is it that you would love to do, be and have in the world, but instead find a host of reasons why you can't do, be and have them?
Are these things really inspiring to you, or fantasies that having nothing to do with what your life demonstrates as important?
What feels most missing at the moment? Are you willing to create it?
There is an inspired vision within all of us, that wants to contribute to this world in our own unique way, to turn our obstacles into opportunities, and yet so often we fall into patterns where we continuously recreate the same dynamics that while 'keeping us safe' in our perception, they are not aiding our growth.
The quality of our lives is based on the quality of the questions we ask ourselves, and our willingness to step out of a 'security' mindset and into a 'service' one. To look for meaning, to unlock wisdom, and transcend illusions of pleasure and pain to find the love at the heart of it all.
Bridget Wood is Co-Founder of Nourishing The Mother and a lover of life and connecting people to themselves through wisdom, introspection and quality questions. Bridget is also the Director and Events Manager of Suburban Sandcastles. With an insatiable appetite for knowledge and a desire to understand the bigger picture of human behaviour and how the world works, Bridget is on an inspired path to learn more deeply who we are beyond the limitations that we, and our society and culture, place upon upon us.