At the end of October, I’ll be moving into an apartment in my home town of Lancaster. That part you might have already heard me mention. The part I haven’t mentioned yet is that I’m not renting that apartment, I’m buying it. Just over two months since I sold my apartment in London and told myself I wouldn’t do this again for a really, really long time.
I wouldn’t buy another home. And I sure as hell wouldn’t live in the UK.
I’m talking about this again because it’s (one of) the biggest realisations, lessons and knowings in my life right now. It’s a learning that’s turned everything upside down and inside out but which, at the same time, has given me a sense of peace that wasn’t there before.
For the last four years I’ve read personal development book after personal development book. I’ve lived in this world where the constant mantra is “you create your own reality.” There’s an obsession with being in charge of your life and directing it in any which way you choose. It’s an empowering belief to hold. It can also be stressful and frustrating – when the direction you choose isn’t the direction things seem to be going.
So here I was, thinking that I just get to decide. That I get to sit down, write out my reality and everything I want and have it happen.
And yet I did that, day after day and week after week I did that. I sat down and I wrote. I imagined what I wanted in my life. I wrote my reality. It involved NOT being in the UK. And it involved NOT being a home owner. It involved lots and lots of…freedom.
So when I came back up North for a little bit of a pit stop before starting this new life that I’d decided I was going to have, it was quite a horrible time for a while there. Every day I woke up and I was still in the UK. I was in a place I’d spent my entire life wanting to escape from.
It was like I was in my own worst nightmare.
Things only began to change when I started to STOP arguing with reality. The pain I felt was caused by wanting to be there but being here. By wanting this but having that. The more I stopped arguing with what was, the more space seemed to open up. And the more space that opened up, the more I realised that I really liked the here and now.
And the more I realised I liked the here and now, the more I realised that what I thought I wanted wasn’t I wanted at all. What I wanted was what was actually happening – what life was already giving me. It just took me a while to stop focusing so desperately on my fantasy future to notice what was going on right under my nose.
I told you that the reality I wanted for myself – the one I’d been focusing on when I left London – involved lots and lots of freedom. What I didn’t see then is that I’d totally misinterpreted and misunderstood the freedom I sought. Accepting the here and now, quitting the constant arguing with reality – that’s the biggest freedom I’ve ever known.
What I can’t deny is that since I stopped arguing, life has felt easier. Everything has fallen into place piece by piece with next to no effort on my part. And I didn’t choose any of it. I didn’t create my own reality. I only accepted and allowed the reality that was already happening.
I’m not saying it’s a bad idea to sit down and think or fantasise about the things you’d like in your life. What I am saying is that when what you want is in constant battle with what IS, perhaps it’s time to slow down and see what message you might be missing in the here and now.
You can want what you want all you want, but that doesn’t mean that life is going to agree with you.
What might happen for you, if you stopped arguing with reality?
Love and courage,