When I’m at that time in my life, I’ll consult my intuition, my inner knowing. I’ll ask for an insight on a decision or a course of direction that I’m considering. Over the years, I have found that I will sometimes receive guidance in the form of scenes from movies or songs. Sometimes, they may seem comical, but upon reflection, there is always a deeper message.
One of the scenes I’ve received these days when I contemplate my life and the direction I need to take is a scene from the Poseidon Adventure. I must have seen that movie over 35 years ago when I was a kid. I can’t recall anything about that movie except this one scene. It’s a scene where two escape parties meet up as they are trying to find their way out of a sinking ship. The leaders of each group, a doctor and a reverend played by Gene Hackman, have an exchange and argue about who is right in their ideas of how to get out and survive. At the end of the exchange they each stand by their decisions to go the way they believe to be the best and the reverend ends up screaming “You’re going the wrong way dammit!” Of course, in the end, the reverend’s group lives and the doctor’s group dies.
What I find interesting about the characters is that a doctor represents the thinking mind, one of rational ideas and science, the proven and familiar. A reverend represents a knowing based on instinct and inner faith which to the casual observer may seem irrational and unproven.
I find myself between lives and wrestling with which way to go. One way represents the old me… a growing, building, competing, striving me. The other way represents a new vision I have for myself that wants a life of simplicity and sustainability. I find myself standing between these selves, these lives…one that is dying and the other not yet born. It’s frustrating, because my old self and they way I lived is familiar…tried and true. I want to go back. The new self is a vision that I will have to feel out and let evolve on its own schedule…unproven and a risk.
After having closed my business of 15 years and finding it difficult to make ends meet by working a front desk job and cleaning houses. I find myself thinking over and over that right now I should be building and growing a whole new business. I find myself going back to my old thinking of build…strive…do…go! I hear my old self saying…Why are you just working desk job? Why are you cleaning houses? Why are not saving and building for the future? Why are you just “getting by”? Why don’t you have a plan? Why have you not jumped into using the new skills and talents that you have developed? Immediately, I start thinking I should start that new business right now. I should develop a marketing plan, get out and promote myself right now.
When I start thinking like this I hear Gene Hackman screaming…”You’re going the wrong way dammit!”
Then, one day upon hearing Gene yet again, it occurred to me that I might be going the right way (direction) but maybe in the wrong way (of thinking). Then, I knew that I had to stay put, stay awake, keep my vision and let my old way of thinking die into a new. I don’t like this place, this place of not knowing when or how, of not being in control, of not making it happen, but I know deep down this is where I begin to move forward and create something new. I also know that I can’t rush and force things either.
So many of us right now have found the rugs pulled out from under us. We’ve capsized like the ship in the Poseidon Adventure. We don’t know where to start or which way to turn. We want to go back to the way things were but deep down most of us know that it isn’t the way forward.
Are you between lives? Are you between selves? If you are, ask yourself…
Why am I here in this place of “between”?
Why did my life shift?
What was my old life based on?
Was it based on acquiring, getting validation, having power, or needing security?
Are you feeling the tug of wanting to recreate your old life and go back to the way things were? Are you considering options and don’t know which way to go?
I recommend reflecting quietly upon what options you are considering for moving forward. Put your hand on your heart and still yourself. Ask yourself…Is this option, “___”, the right direction for me to follow? Then listen. Trust the first answer you get. Trust your inner knowing even if it contradicts popular, rational thinking. We all have our own directions, our own paths of learning and growing. Go with what feels right not what logically makes sense. You may not get Gene Hackman screaming “You’re going the wrong way dammit!” But, you’ll get your version of knowing and of feeling what is right for you.