- Jason McCarty
Get Out of Your Way
Who is in your way? What is in your way? Are you looking for more freedom in your life? What might that look like if you could wave a magic wand? What is your vision of health, and freedom, and vitality? Again, who or what is in your way?
I would pose the answer that it is YOU who are in the way. We are our biggest critics, naysayers and oppressors. It is our own fears that get in the way. It is our way of seeing the world that sometimes gets in our way. We have learned lots of poor ways of seeing the world, whether that be negatively, unrealistically, cinematically, or lacking in creativity. We can also get caught up in a victim stance where everyone is out to get us, nothing goes our way, and we are constantly up against the man, our boss, our partner and our kids.
Why does this happen? Why do we get in our own way? Why do we internalize so much dysfunction to the point that we oppress our own Self? People who seek psychotherapy are asking these and similar questions. It is not always a matter of sucking it up and trying harder. If someone could do that they would. There are very powerful psychological blocks that erect early on to protect us, and help us cope, live and survive. Some are useful and some not so useful. We also live and grow up with imperfect people who might push their way onto us and it is not a good match for our personality. There are an infinite number of reasons and combinations of experiences that lead us to feeling stuck, depressed, angry and less free. The through-line is that we are the ones that keep them going, which actually gives us the power to change them.
Freedom is important to all of us, and yet, when we really reflect, it is our own selves keeping us from living – keeping us from exploring, taking risks, and being open. It is always up to us, and only us, to free ourselves. Your partner will not finally get it and be nicer to you so you can feel more freedom. Your boss is not going to finally give you all the money you need. Only you, your perspective, and your willingness to try, fail, and live, will make the difference. And you must actually start moving. Take a step. Open yourself up to new possibilities.
Getting out of our own way is a constant process that never stops until we die. We are constantly living new lives everyday, faced with new challenges, and learning new things. Freedom is not in being able to do what we want, rebelling against the man, or going through life without a plan (Rollo May, 1953) it is about taking responsibility for being the author of your life, engaging in the right next step of your life, and ultimately being present for that very experience along the way.
When are you going to get out of your way?