If I am truthful, all of my weekly insights, to date, happened upon full reflection once I’d had some distance from the actual activity. Indoor skydiving was not that. My perspective was instant.
My biggest revelation the day I stepped into that wind tunnel was there is a right time and a wrong time to let go of control. I could not control the wind. I could tame the direction it took me but, the wind was going to win this competition and instead of fighting it, working with it was going to be the only way to embrace the experience. Even the slightest movements in the delicate balance of body versus wind made a monumental change.
I like to managing everything. It probably goes back to being raised by a single father and having to take on so much responsibility, but I enjoy the control. I prefer having all the information, making plans, and ensuring all the ducks are in a row. It means I get the praise or the backwards glances, but more the recognition, and I like that.
However, there is a great deal of pressure and stress associated with always being in charge. For take-charge junkies such as myself, it goes both ways. We decide to have the cake and hold on to it until it liquifies in our clenched fists or turns to dust so that others choke on it. That got dark fast.
Recently, our family had the fortune to holiday with good friends. My girlfriend is even better at taking charge than I am and I chose to surrender to her sound judgement and impeccable taste. I’m not going to lie, it was amazing! I went along for the ride, having no say in the complaints, but enjoying every single decision, I did not have to make or arrangement I didn’t have to organise.
Having others make a move to take the lead and sitting back to see where the excitement carries you is freeing. I knew my friend had our best interests at heart and wanted our collective vacation to be stellar. Relinquishing the decision making to her as a result was easy.
I would be lying if I told you I was chill the whole time though. I had a bit of a stress attack for a few weeks before we left. Am I taking advantage? Am I adding stress? Am I a pansy? Where are we staying? But when I surrendered and let the others in the room make the decisions, I felt lighter. It is liberating to let the wind take you. The world opens up just a little to see what is available when someone else’s ideas come to fruition. The art of possible is enlightening.
What I am growing to realise though is monumental change can happen with even the slightest of movements, just like in the wind tunnel or the holiday. Allowing our friend to plan that trip made her more comfortable and allowed me the head space to work on my weekly challenges. It is a monumental change for me to give up control of our holiday. And I survived.
The last two-plus years, depression has been the wind in my life. I surrendered to it for as long as it took to heal, but am resuming the piloting of my thoughts. Sure, those lies my mind tries to tell me worm their way back to the surface on occasion, but I can control those now with the slightest of movements.
To be in control of my life, however, I have to own my depression. I am not shy about telling people I’ve been depressed. I think it helps my healing and allows people to relate to me on another level because most people have someone in their life who has a mental illness. But owning my depression means accepting that it took control. That’s scary. I can apply my new-found knowledge and accept my depression for what it was–a person planning my life without my best interests at heart. I can move on from that and decide who makes the decisions in my life. The answer is me. I get to choose. I chose my friend, but I do not accept depression.
Depression will not take charge and rule my thoughts and actions or be in control. I recognise it wants to push on me and win me over, but it is my turn now. I can own my thoughts and how I react to them. I can slow my decent. I can jump out of that perfectly good couch and try fifty new things this year. Depression is not going to stop me. I am my wind, and I get to determine the direction I want to go.
My Turning 50 Like a Boss Tip: Only allow those people who are interested in seeing you fly to have any impact on the decisions in your life.
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