Self-Compassion and Unrealized Goals

by | Jan 2, 2022 | Inner Work | 0 comments

Whether you use the term “goals” or not, they tend to be on our minds this time of year.

The aspirations for 2022, what we did or didn’t accomplish in 2021, our ideals around the big areas like health, money, and relationships… and all of the emotions that go with it.

Feeling any Deja Vu this time around?

Most people I encounter, myself included, have some goals that have been there for a couple of Decembers by now.

These goals do not seem particularly concerned with 12-month cycles, how much energy we are putting in, or how long we think they are supposed to take.

Perhaps inspirational at one point, these pursuits can start to become bittersweet.

They are now that thing you are trying for again. It’s the result that still hasn’t happened, despite our inner and outer efforts.

This is where things get interesting, and challenging.
It’s where the debate begins to take place:

  • Do I just give up on this?
  • After all, isn’t it the more spiritually advanced thing to let go of this goal?
  • Maybe it’s time to 10x increase my effort and dedication towards, starting Jan. 1
  • Maybe I just didn’t believe in it enough, and now it’s even harder to believe it can be possible…

… and it continues to bounce us around.

There’s emotional pain around the subject. You are now dealing with parts of you that want to avoid the discomfort, find ways to rationalize or fix it, as well as our natural desire and confusion about how to move forward.

There are two things I want to focus on here that can help with these areas.

The Harsh, Black-and-White Mind

There is a part of us that sees things in very simplistic, black-and-white terms.

In fact, a huge part of the job of our mind is to take extremely complex, intricate functions and abstract them into terms. “The planet” or “my body” for example, which you can reduce down into an object, when it’s a combination of systems so advanced it would be impossible to grasp.

Combined with the emotions around unrealized goals and desires, there is a common thread I hear when working with others through such things.

“I’ve been working on this for 3 years and I still don’t have it.”
“I’ve been examining my beliefs about money, doing tapping, taking courses, and I’m still in debt…”

Do you have any of these?

It’s very cold – you’ve worked X number of hours, you should have Y results.

SHOULD can be based on all sorts of things, most of which do not help very much:

  • Other people seem to have done it in this or less time, at least according to the internet
  • I’ve been told this technique could get the results in this or less time, at least according to the internet
  • I feel I should have been able to do it by now
  • IF I were good enough, I would have done this by now

These do NOT help us move forward. Self-assessment has validity, but not like this.

Taking stock of what you are doing and if it is helping you, tracking your progress in a more objective manner. This can help.

Examining if you could benefit from re-assessing, getting coaching or other assistance to help with any area that could use it can help. It could be a nutritionist, a facilitator like myself, a support group.

The harsh black-and-white mind is NOT the tool for this job. We want something far more compassionate, and able to assess our needs without so much emotional overhead.

Your Path is YOUR Path

The simplistic view of “you STILL haven’t achieved this” is often based on a misperception of the nuances of the path.
YOUR path, and your particular process, is what it is.

You may have areas in your life where you seem to be able to create what you want.
Perhaps even with little effort. Where the ‘allow it into my life’ principle flows like magic.

That IS a real thing

Maybe you haven’t experienced that quite yet, but you’ve still seen positive results in other areas much faster.

There’s just something sticky, tricky, and seemingly hard to crack about these particular goals or subjects.

That does not mean you are doing something wrong.
These particular goals or areas of your life are likely where you have deeper wounds, a sense of identity, family programming, or much more.

There is more to unravel there.
The path is NOT as short.

However, you are growing more from it, even if it seems invisible.

As you approach the subject of debt for example, you may be tapping into deeply ingrained beliefs about money and worthiness that you were surrounded by at a pre-verbal age. There could be family programming and painful circumstances linked to that which are barely accessible to your conscious mind.

You may have to go through many twists and turns, unlock several treasure-troves of beliefs and even trauma to process through.

(I say “may” because there are no hard and fast rules, and I don’t want anyone to feel limited. It can happen that something with seemingly endless programs and pain behind it can drop away tonight. Life is limitless and mysterious.)

It’s important to cut yourself some slack in these circumstances, and see that it is not as simple as “nothing is happening” because you don’t have the final end goal as you picture it.

Even if you don’t have a tangible result you can point to yet, you may have cleared several rocks, planted several seeds and re-organized your energy in all sorts of ways.

This is Real

This is NOT just trying to paint a fake-positivity around your struggle. It is giving yourself the space to see that the struggle is legitimately part of a deeper process that is unfolding for you.

Examine it closely, see if it resonates as true for you. See if it’s really true that “nothing” has happened for you – there are likely to be insights, realizations, shifts in your energy that might not be perceptible until you really look more closely.

Examine your path – not what you think it is supposed to be.
Acknowledge the growth that you may have missed because it does not look like the final result you were visualizing.

Be kind to yourself.

Happy 2022!

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