When we are in pain, we all want to get rid of it. And preferably fast.
We are obsessed with shortcuts.
Diets. Instant-fix. Instant gratifications. Drugs. Alcohol. Food. Want now. Now now now. Ironic isn't it, that most of us have tried every shortcut under the sun, only to struggle with the very same thing year after year, decade after decade. Not much of a shortcut now is it then.
The thing is, that when we try to speed up recovery for the sake of shortcut, we miss out on the growth that comes only through pain.
Our main growth in life happens through pain.
That is why we should embrace pain, rather than just try to get rid of it as fast as we can. That, and the fact that what we resist, persists. So the only real shortcut is to embrace that which we fear. Why 95% of all diets fail and most people who are on a diet will gain weight.
Being on a diet is the single dominant predicative parameter of future weight gain.
Shortcuts are not the solution to our struggles. Mastery is. And mastery is not something we learn overnight or by fearing failure. Mastery comes from picking ourselves up again and again and again... and yet again. Mastery builds a solid foundation, that cannot be rocked, when we want to break habits, addictions and eating disorders. If we do not build mastery of emotions during recovery, we have built our house on sticks, that will break when the next storm hits.
And the next storm will always come. That's part of life. The only thing we don't know is when.
If we cannot dive into the moment and create a journey in which we can thrive.... destination will not matter. Destination will feel hollow and empty when we reach it, because WE have not changed.
We cannot circumvent or compromise the process in order to reach the goal. Life is about the journey. A meaningful life is about understanding what life is trying to teach us, embracing the message rather than suppressing it.
Have you ever noticed that those times, you were focused only on the outcome, white-knuckling your way through the process, hating every second, trying to do everything you can to speed up the process to finally arrive to your destination, that when you got there.... it left you feeling hollow, like something was missing. Yet we create a new goal, a new future destination, always thinking that when we get there, everything will change. This time it will be different.
Well, if we don't embrace change during recovery, nothing will change.
Results will be meaningless, if the process was not core changing. Simply because our thoughts are the same, our story is the same. We have not mastered the steps of making a solid fundament, that will support another way of dealing with our emotions.
When we simply check off the list of things we feel that we need to do, we tend to feel.... well, empty. Why we rush out to reach the next goal - in vain hoping that once we get there, then our life will be perfect.
Always escaping into the future, never in the moment. You see this pattern with people, who cannot go on a vacation without checking their work-email constantly on their phone. You see this with people, who are constantly going on one diet or another. You see this with people, who are always in the gym, aiming to transform into perfect life and body, counting every calorie burnt on the treadmill, yet hating every second - calling it motivation on instagram.
That's not motivation, that's obsession.
Same obsession as that which drives self-destructive behaviors such as addictions and eating disorders. Always this, 'if I had xyz then my life will be perfect". Never any time to be in the moment. Always trying to get to a destination. Life is not a destination. Life is happening right now. And we can only change perception and our reality in the now, and through that form a brighter future - everything else is escapism.
Motivation has a zest for life, and an energy that is contagious, not a constant white-knuckling, self-hating connotation to it.
Obsessive type of behaviors tend to leave us feeling empty, lonely and insufficient in this skin, we are in. We are obsessively avoiding our greatest fears in life, and through that distracting ourselves with nonsense and fake images of perfection.
Total dedication, total commitment is the only thing that taps into our purpose, our calling in life. It is the only thing, where we risk vulnerability and growth beyond our imagination.
When we don't invest ourselves fully, we are not vulnerable, we are not authentic. We risk nothing in reality, because we can always tell ourselves, that we didn't really give it everything.
Change cannot happen without complete vulnerability. Complete letting go of our image of perfect life, attachment to outcomes and check-boxes.
So how do you speedup recovery?
You breathe into pain. You lean into the moment. You embrace fear. You stop focusing on shortcutting everything and commit to the process - body, mind and soul.
It is very simple. Yes, the journey is not easy, but it brings a sense of life purpose, of greatness that you cannot ever reach via any shortcuts - by cheating yourself of taking that deep breath in and deciding to just let go of all your toxic beliefs. Step into the wind, step into the unknown - that which we fear so much, yet exactly there is the key to everything we long for.
Mastery of anything requires failure, failure and once again failure.
If we cannot accept failure, we cannot master anything. If we are obsessed about perfection, we often fear failure so much, that we do not commit to the process, but obsess about creating a glossy image, an unsustainable quick-fix diet. Living a lie where we slowly suffocate from the inside out. Until we break down, once again.
A life of value comes when we overcome the prisons of our mind.
Breaking the illusion of security, that is holding us stuck in our self-sabotaging behaviors. We stay stuck, because we feel safe - safe in our misery.
When we risk everything, we can become truly alive.
No shortcuts can ever make you come truly alive. So today, I want you to commit to the process. I want you to make a decision, that you are willing to give up knowing the outcome. Any one who has a self-sabotaging behavior, is somewhat attached to the need to know the outcome. Even if that outcome is negative, at least it is known.
Every day, every hour, every minute you need to make a decision to invest yourself fully in the now - or escape back into distractions and temporary quick-fix solutions.
Every day matters - what can you do today to take the next step in your recovery?
Ask yourself. And then do it.