I Can! I Can!
‘They’ say that these are energetically challenging times. For these last 2 or 3 years fear and depression have been running rampant. It’s also been a period where people’s ‘stuff’, their shadow sides, the things they don’t particularly like about themselves, are rearing their heads in a big way… giving us every opportunity to take a good look at what we’ve been unaware of, hiding from, or pretending doesn’t exist.
This long period of convalescing that I’ve been in since the end of February has certainly challenged me in all those ways. The physical exhaustion led to severe insomnia, which in turn led to fear and depression… and finally coming to the place of introspection, to see SO many aspects of myself come to the fore for my examination!!
(Which is, in all honesty, round two! I went through some similar health challenges from Dec 2020 to August 2021, as well, but apparently wasn’t honest enough with myself about facing my ‘stuff’ cause it’s back to haunt me with a vengeance!)
I’ll just pick one aspect and share. The “I can’t” phrase that I’ve been stuck in. I think I hit a turning point:
One night last week, Neil and I collided (he actually fell down the stairs and I happened to be at the bottom to catch part of that fall. Don’t worry – other than a sore butt, he seems to be ok.) I grabbed my foot in pain, certain my toe had been broken. “Really!? After all I’ve been through!? Why? Why is this happening to me?”
I threw myself into a fit of self-pity and lay awake for hours that night. Laying in the dark, feeling miserable about everything I’ve been through and thinking, “How much more will the Universe give me!? I can’t take this anymore!” I suddenly became painfully aware that I had become one of ‘those people’ – the people so stuck in negative energy that they just keep attracting disasters to themselves. (Law of Attraction – what we focus on expands in our life!)
I spiralled into another pit of despair, “I know I have to change my thinking but I just can’t seem to do it! I know I should focus on gratitude, but I can’t really feel it.”
And when I heard those words – yet again – “I can’t” I realized they had been dominating my vocabulary over the last two months. I snapped and thought, “Stop laying here feeling sorry for yourself. You CAN choose differently. Get up.”
I crawled to the hallway (not wanting to put weight on my foot) and sat on the floor with the laundry basket in the dark, folding towels and socks. That was a challenge that proved useful, because it took a lot of concentration and drew me away from the ‘oh woe is me’ and into curiousity and exploration.
I asked myself, “What happened to the version of me that was full of child-like wonder, awe and appreciation? Where did that girl go who felt gratitude so deeply she sometimes wept? Where did that little girl go who once thought she could do anything?”
And then I heard, “I’m still here. I never left.” And I was genuinely grateful.
“See, you CAN feel gratitude and appreciation. Now that you’ve experienced that, let’s explore what else you CAN do!”
And the very next day I had some wonderful moments of appreciation for things I experienced in nature.
I won’t kid myself. Everything is not all better immediately. It takes vigilance and diligence to pay attention to – and change – our words.
Writing this article was a spontaneous happening, a way of reviewing where I’ve been, where I’m at, and where I want to go. I also know that putting thoughts into writing gives them power… and I trust that writing this to you will support me in committing to change.
Will you help me? If you catch me in conversation in that old habit of saying “I can’t” – or any other limiting words – please call me on it! Let me know you see it so I can consciously change it. I intend to choose to think differently.
P.S. Maybe this will prompt you to take a look at your own thoughts and words – where are you limiting yourself? Have you got that same “I can’t” bug that I caught? Or have you got a different nemesis? Feel free to contact me and let me know. You can call 403-285-5266 or write to email@example.com