But it didn't stop there. Over the next few days I started recognizing other thoughts – most notably, hopes, dreams, goals and aspirations – that also seemed to face some pretty rough travels through my mind. I began to notice that almost as soon as some hope or desire popped into my head, it was immediately surrounded and assaulted from all sides; attacked by a barrage of how it hasn't worked out so far; how distant it appears from where I now stand, and all of those aspects of my current life that I only seem to be able to view as obstacles.
They're my dreams, my goals, my hopes. And, it's my head. Why all this hostility?
We're told, and rightly so, to hold on to our dreams; never give up; don't let go; keep on keepin' on. Cliché? Of course. True? Absolutely. We see it everywhere. Behind every great accomplishment lies some valiant story of persistence, perseverance, consistency and constancy.
But there's an invisible asterisk next to each of those words that we sometimes forget; a corollary principle that's also abundantly true. The good folks at Despair Inc., creators of funny and sarcastic Demotivational products, were kind enough to put it on a poster for me: “Consistency is only a virtue if you're not a screw up.” (Ouch! Personal foul – unnecessary roughness; fifteen yards.)
I thought I was pretty good at holding on, not giving up and being persistent with my desires, hopes and dreams. But just like my new-found awareness with forgiveness, in actuality, the persistence of my focus (where, and to what, I give my attention and donate my energy) had slowly shifted. By zooming in and magnifying every possible angle of my perceived obstacles, I had inadvertently stopped asking “How can I” or, “How will I” and honed in only on “Why can't I.”
It may seem like only semantics or grammar. But I think this is definitely a case where language and grammar, even neuro-grammar, makes all the difference in the world – especially when it comes to allowing my mind to be, once again, a safe place for my highest hopes and dreams.
So, how can I begin reversing this hostile environment? How will I start? (See how I didn't ask “Why can't I?” Baby steps.