When Self-Discovery Needs a Breather

What is one supposed to do when you’re sitting across from your therapist and you hear the words, “I think it’s time to slow down with the self-discovery.” I mean, there was no flicker of doubt that she was right – my head felt heavy with trying to figure out why I do what I do. If given the chance, I can psycho-analyze myself into a circle. None of this is healthy, and it is exactly why I pay to sit across from someone who can say the truths I know I’ve avoided.

Just recently, my friend Rebecca quoted the great Dallas Willard when she said, “You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.” I remember hearing that and knowing it resonated with me. I felt the words bury themselves in the pockets of my hurried life. I asked myself how I could “ruthlessly eliminate” the rush in my life and got to work. (Because that’s what one does when they struggle with perfectionism.)

As a Chicagoan, it is easy to assume the fast-paced lifestyle that is Chicago. Whether it’s by foot, bike, bus, ‘L’ or car, our destination cannot be reached fast enough. The stop lights every, say, five feet, don’t help the already-hurried Chicagoan, either. With this lifestyle already learned and practiced, I decided to become conscious of my rush. Why did my feet feel the need to be five steps ahead of the girl in front of me? Or why do I always choose the stairs and take two at a time?

Physically, I knew the rush was very real. Mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, I wasn’t aware… until my therapist said what she did. What it came down to was that I have been so consumed with the idea of knowing why I am the way I am, but not allowing myself to just be in the process and allow transformation to happen. You cannot rush transformation. When I felt the need to rush, it was like being in control of a speeding boat and trying to challenge an 80 foot wave (the wave always wins). I just needed to let it be, or rather, I just needed to get into a canoe. Or maybe an inner tube.

I’ve been fearful of letting myself become immersed in who I am already, without trying to underline and italicize every detail that is wrong. I have failed to celebrate the accomplishments.

In order to set the perfectionism and self-discovery at a slower pace, and learn to celebrate more, I’ve decided to stop reading non-fiction for the time being. This consists of self-help books and spiritual thinkers. I trust that time spent with Jesus and my Bible will meet those needs. I have also crashed into some really great fiction in the meantime.

At the end of the day, I know self-discovery is necessary. I believe that in unearthing the past, I have learned to find healing for my now and future. Rather than continuing the nit-pick of self, it is time for me to slow down, eliminate the hurry that plagues me, and celebrate what has occurred thus far in the process of healing.

2 thoughts on “When Self-Discovery Needs a Breather”

  1. Ahhhh eliminating hurry is so tricky isn’t it??! But that quote sticks in my mind hour-by-hour each day… Why are we so inclined to hurry so??! It’s a process… just as transformation is… but I’m convinced the more we practice, the more it becomes a natural way of living…
    Also – fiction!!!! Perhaps we should reinstate our Book Club…!!! Summer??! What you reading!

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