How is your relationship with time?
Over the last few weeks – perhaps couple of months – I’ve felt myself crumbling.
Not in the bad way. But in the way that an ever-evolving sculpture is made; parts need to be allowed to fall to the ground so new forms can take shape.
Before those parts can break off, there might be a bit of pain. Perhaps resistance. In fact, the call to release those parts can be repeated until you finally relinquish what is no longer needed for your evolution. The metaphorical chisel might be representing an external trigger such as a life event that keeps digging into you, asking you to soften.
That life event for me has been tiredness. This is something I’ve written about before on my Facebook page. Until recently I have felt GREAT shame around this.
“I should do or be more” is a thought that has circled around and around in my head.
The problem lies with keeping my physical challenges a secret. If noone ever knows about my challenges, noone will ever know why I behave like I do, taking actions that preserve energy, or spending a little longer on self care that may not make sense to the next person who has never experienced such challenges.
I don’t need to be understood.
However, my body needs a voice.
By denying my body of a voice, I deny myself the chance to stand in and live my truth to the fullest, and not always be holding myself back.
To be clear, what I’m saying is that by feeling shame and judging myself as much as I have and then deciding not to talk about it, I have kept myself locked inside a cycle of trying to live up to impossible standards that I’ve been setting myself.
But, the moral of this story that I want to tell today is not so much about my denying myself of my true voice, it is more about what came about to make me do this to myself in the first place: the shame.
Everyone has and will experience shame as part of the trials and tribulations of life. There can be many, many reasons for that. But I wish to uncover one significant and specific factor that may help YOU today.
Let’s come back to the question I began this post with: how is your relationship with time? How do you usually talk about time throughout the day?
If you can, take a moment to recall the regular phrases you use day-to-day.
Common ones might be “time is running away with me”. Or, perhaps, “there’s never enough time”. Do you feel that time is always moving too fast, or maybe too slow? It’s likely that how you view time changes depending on the situation – one minute it’s your friend, the next it’s your enemy.
You are not alone.
We grow up with this habit of using time as the nearest and easiest scapegoat when things don’t go our way. We love to claim we are a victim to time simply because it’s a factor out of our control.
But also – and more importantly in my case – we can use time as our slave driver.
Have you ever compared yourself to someone next to you and concluded that you’re too slow? You should have achieved more? You need to do more in your days? That your days aren’t worthwhile because you didn’t find time for X (even though you did A, B, C… to W!)
Healthy competition is a GOOD thing and keeps us striving to be our best. What I’m talking about, though, are the types of comparisons you make that are followed up my self judgements that conclude with forming harmful beliefs such as “I’ll never be good enough until I do…X”.
I have been using time as a way to beat myself up for not keeping up with my visions of how I’d like my days to go. “I don’t get enough done in my days” is a common belief I have allowed myself to hold on to. But enough is enough!
What if you LET GO of time?
What if time was NOT an indicator of value?
What if what you’re creating and your destiny is bigger than all the collective little things you could have done but didn’t manage to do?
What if it DIDN’T MATTER how much you did in your day, only that you chose wisely what you did and didn’t do?
I want to give you a few examples of how the very passing of time itself is a benefit to allow you the chance to develop new, healthier goals and beliefs for yourself, no matter how much/little you do in your days:
- Dancing: If dancing was confined by time and the only benefit of the dance was the result, the final pose… that’s all we’d have. The beauty of a dance is in the dance itself. Movement to the music. Expression. The enjoyment lies in the duration of the dance.
- Music: Again, if the only benefit of music was the final note then we’d only ever hear that last chord. What a pity it would be not to experience those highs and lows, and fail to feel the emotions that the composer/artist felt in the creation of the piece.
- Art: While art is often thought of as a final piece such as a painting, how often have you heard the phrase, “an artist’s work is never done”? That’s because art is created via a process. It’s the living through the process of creating the art that means artists are able to create something that is beyond words and is almost impossible to express in the same way via an instant printout. Immersive art of any form is just the same.
So, I ask you to challenge your beliefs that ALL the tasks on your calendar must be tightly boxed into a set time frame. Sure, some do – most people who read this likely live in a Westernised culture like I do which is defined by time. But I challenge the belief that ALL activities in your life need to be defined and boxed in by time, or even VALUED by the duration of time spent on it (fast / slow… but did you enjoy what you did?)
I also challenge you to find a new way of judging the value of a unit of time – can you make it less about the density of tasks completed in that time frame and more about the enjoyment felt.
Life is for living and enjoying. Be. 💓