I’ve recently started an e-course called ‘Overcoming self-sabotage’ created by the late Debbie Ford. The course is a combination of mediations, journal writing, and reflective learning aimed at recognizing where we create barriers to our good. During the first lesson, after we identified the areas in our lives where we stand in our own way, we are asked to name one thing we are willing to give up for the length of the course that will radically change our lives. My first reaction was, huh? Give up something? You mean, I can’t have a new life AND have everything remain the same? I didn’t sign up for this!
Seriously speaking, I’ve done enough spiritual and personal work to know that it is impossible to move forward and stay still at the same time, however, that didn’t stop me from experiencing anxiety with the question raised. After the initial panic wore off, I got curious. Not so much about the question, but about my response, my resistance and my anxiety.
I entered into silence asking Spirit to help me understand my reaction; why giving up something that isn’t serving me would cause me such confusion and resistance. The answer came to me in a memory of a story I heard on an episode of Super Soul Sunday several years ago. I don’t recall the person being interviewed but I recall the story very vividly: A pregnant dog was hit by a car and as a result of the injury, she walked with a permanent limp. Even though the puppies were born perfectly healthy, they, too, limped just like their mother. Because the puppies’ only experience of walking as a dog was with a limp, they didn’t know there was another way to walk. It was the only thing they knew.
And the same is true for humans as well. We are raised in environments where strong beliefs or behaviours are modeled and we often mimic that which is familiar, unaware that there are other options available to us. It may not serve you but at least it’s comfortable. So, yes, giving up something from your comfort zone is truly scary for many of us. So, we limp through life doing the very thing that limits us from the life we seek.
So, how do we NOT stand in the way of our good? What is the antidote to self-sabotage? I believe, it’s compassion and self-love. Because when we treat ourselves with gentle, loving kindness despite our mistakes and judgments, we no longer look for ways to sabotage ourselves. We know that we are deserving of all the good that we seek. The old beliefs, patterns and judgments melt away and we are left with an open heart that welcomes new experiences and greater expressions of Life.
by Jana Stocker