Autumn is coming. It is a sweet time of year: the slow dimming of the day, a time of endings and beginnings. As the parade of new years takes off, from Rosh Hashanah and Samhain to our global Auld Lang Syne, it’s a good time to slow down and listen to your own deep self. What is it asking for, longing for? And what assumptions, lies and invented obstacles are holding you back?
I have a lot to say about resistance (see In Praise of Harry Potter’s Mom). But it’s the untruths — the assumptions, lies and inventions — that I’m thinking about today.
How often do you catch yourself in an untruth? How often do you actually go looking for them? It’s a game worth playing. Even worth enjoying. Every “lose” (Look, Ma, I’m lying) is actually a win. Each discovered lie reveals a truth, and each truth, a door to freedom.
Here is a lie I recently caught myself believing: I don’t have time for that. I would have sworn that it was true. I work a split shift and feel like I’m always on the run. Then one day I realized that I had just watched four entire seasons of FarScape in about eight weeks. That’s 88 hours I time I was sure I didn’t have. Busted!
Even if half of that viewing was essential to my emotional self-care (don’t knock the medicinal factors of a well-timed story), it still leaves 44 hours I could have used for something else. Note: this is not about how I choose to use my free time; it’s about the myth that I don’t have any.
So as the days shorten, and the nights pull us inward, listen to the things you say, and believe, about yourself. Beneath every “I can’t, I don’t, I never, I always, I couldn’t”” may be a false assumption running the game. And under that? The voice of your deep self, aching for possibility: “I want… I could try…Wouldn’t it be great if…?”
So question. Listen. What do you hear?