Do you ever have moments in your life when you shut down and just stop participating? When you “take your toys from the playground and just go home?” Sometimes we are unaware of exactly what triggers these feelings and emotions so we end up doing something we don’t want to do to sabotage our situation and in turn, our relationships.
Maybe it’s during a debate with your spouse, sibling or parent. Maybe it’s around a specific individual that seems to always makes you feel “less than.” It might be an overwhelming situation that is lurking – just waiting for you to face it – and you avoid it at all cost because of the dread you feel. These situations can make you withdraw from life.
I remember when I first began to gain weight. I was dating my future wife. She was always wanting to go out with friends. When I started busting out of my clothes and my belly began protruding, I would make up any excuse to just stay home. I’d say, “I have to work late” or “I have to practice my music for the gig.” The truth was that I just didn’t want to go out and let people see how much weight I had gained. I refused to participate in my life, and in turn my relationship with my wife. I hid and the problem grew. In fact, at one point, it grew to a whopping 460 pounds!
I’m sure there are areas and times in your life that you’re “not participating.” Signs of being withdrawn can be addictions to food, video games, alcohol, work or anything! Maybe you notice that you have very few or even no relationships in your life. You might get upset during talks with your spouse, so you throw your hands up and walk away, leaving the situation unresolved.
We all have areas where we are not participating. These areas tend to keep us stuck – not moving forward in our relationships with others and in our goals and dreams. The answer is that you must begin to participate in your relationships and situations, work through the issues – not run around them.
I finally began to have relationships. I started going out with my wife instead of avoiding the issues and not participating. Through it all, I began to slowly move forward in my life and out of the traps I had set for myself.
In The Journey Training, we often see people who are playing the “Don’t Participate” game in their lives. The great thing is that by end of the training, these people have participated more in a few days than they have in years. It helps them to begin moving forward again by getting un-stuck.
It’s like that messy attic or cluttered garage that needs to be cleaned out. When it seems overwhelming and you don’t know where to begin, just start by picking up one thing. Now that you’ve started participating again, you will likely be able to see the next thing you need to do – and before you know it, you will have cleaned out the cobwebs and found your dreams again!