Have you ever stepped back and noticed yourself creating ingenious ways to avoid your deep inner knowing that your relationship or job has run its course?
You might even be in this exact situation right now.
This meticulously executed avoidance is one of those super interesting human behaviours I see often in my work with clients and that I have come to know a lot about.
It can show up in any area of your life – in your friendships, interests, hobbies, favourite places to eat out or go on holiday. The two big areas in which I notice it show up most however, are those of romantic relationships and career/work.
Sticking With What You Know
There are different reasons people stay in unhappy relationships or jobs. For example, it can be overwhelming to consider the effect that breaking off a long-term marriage or partnership can have on the extended family, when you as a couple have been a constant reference point for others for years. Then there are the financial benefits, especially if you’ve grown used to certain luxuries and creature comforts. Pride, embarrassment, and shame around not wanting others to know that your relationship has failed are common reasons as well.
Similarly, if you have been in a job for many years, the realisation that you are slowly dying inside can be a terrifying one. You are in a position that over the years you have become heavily associated into. You know your organisation and colleagues almost as if they were family. This is the role that you have filled for many years – the person your world knows you as. Your job has been your identity, a badge you have worn. You have grown used to a certain lifestyle and as with unhappy marriages, there are financial considerations around leaving or changing your job as well.
It doesn’t take much to realise that to leave invalidating, loveless relationships and jobs behind requires a lot of courage and faith. To be at this place where everything within you is screaming for freedom and change is to find yourself at a major crossroads in your life.
And if this is you, the cold, harsh reality is that decision you make now will affect your happiness, health, and well-being for years to come. Without a full and solid understanding of the urgency of your inner call, sadly, many people end up burying their heads in the sand, relegating themselves to a life of misery, depression, and deep emotional pain.
This pain is the result of selling out on yourself – your fundamental entitlement and NEED to be happy and free, to laugh and thrive. There emerges an undertone of sadness that envelops not only your mind/body system, it trickles into the way you see the world and everything that you do. This is the heaviness that people refer to when they describe themselves feeling despair, hopeless, demotivated and stuck.
This is what happens when you inadvertently choose to ‘stick with what you know.’
Recognizing & Saying NO To What You’ve Outgrown
At some times more than others, you will notice that your inner call for freedom and healing gets REALLY LOUD. It doesn’t give you a moment’s peace because it is literally there, all the time. At times like this, it can feel almost impossible to ignore your intuition or inner knowing because there is just so much unrest within.
It is as if your Spirit is saying, “I can’t live one moment more like this. I am just not going to leave you alone – actually, I am just going to continue to scream at you – until you commit to making a definite change.”
If you’ve ever had this experience you would know that normally, it will not be very long before you realise and fully admit that your karma or agreement with the person or workplace in question is over. You become increasingly aware that you have mindlessly been putting your attention and energy into something that your heart left behind a long time ago.
And the clearer this becomes, the more you begin to notice that there is a mismatch between your inner growth process and the way you have been engaging your outer world.
Bringing Your TRUTH & Life Into Alignment In The Present Moment
Noticing and being able to consciously honour this gap between your inner needs and outer world is truly a place of power.
Here you have the clarity required to make the decisions that will bring these two aspects of yourself into closer alignment.
And you do that often by first admitting it to yourself, if what you have been doing has been flogging a dead horse.
It can seem a startling admission, and emotional as well. But, here’s the thing – doing so presents you with a golden opportunity to take an honest inventory of yourself and your needs in the present moment. This is the very first, crucial step of letting go of what has been blocking your happiness, true purpose, and fulfilment, in order that experiences that are more aligned with your fundamental needs can come in.
You see, you have actually been ready for this change for some time now. You probably just haven’t been quite able to articulate what has been happening within you, to yourself.
What you need to safeguard against here is the potential fear and paralysis that can occur in response to the idea of leaving behind what you know!
Handy tip: It can be hugely insightful to consider the distinction between commitment to your happiness as blurry, negotiable, and conditional on the promise of external things such as financial security or the understanding of others, and the commitment to your happiness – no matter what.
So if you’ve been reading this and recognise that you have been flogging a dead horse, chances are you are SO ready for change. Here are 5 questions that will help you get even more clear on where you personally have been getting stuck:
- What is the relationship, job, or other situation you are seeing that you are so DONE with?
- What are your soul-level needs that haven’t been getting met?
- On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, how committed are you to your pursuit of happiness? Why?
- How much longer can you stay in this relationship, situation, or job before you possibly start sabotaging yourself in order to create a hasty way out?
- Now that you know this, what does your intuition say is critical for you to do, investigate, or take action on now to honour the part of yourself that has been denied for so long?
Make a sacred promise to yourself to follow through on this intuition and give yourself a specific deadline date to take this action within the next week. And then, once you’ve done that, open your eyes and look around. Keep looking ahead. Notice what you are seeing for yourself next and be sure to follow through on whatever intuitive action you sense you need to take. Above all, trust yourself and the journey that has led you here. If you act from a place of grounded common sense, self-trust, and 100% commitment to your pursuit of happiness, it simply isn’t possible for you to fail!
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