Oh, the soul-numbing effect of living within the confines of the familiar!
This was the theme that 41-year-old Angie and I discussed in our counseling session. She came to me wanting help with her depression. “I just can’t seem to shake this no matter what I tell myself,” she said with a sigh.
Angie described her life as “comfortably predictable, but boring. I’ve always gravitated toward security. I won’t take risks . . . I’m too afraid.”
Angie is not alone. Fear is the natural response to reaching the edge of the known and contemplating the next step into unfamiliar territory.
Let’s face it, security seduces us into staying put. But a life without risks is life standing still, a recipe for a dull existence.
Angie has been working for a printing company for several years. “I know that job like the back of my hand,” she said, “but it’s no longer challenging. I dread the thought of doing it for the next 30 years. I feel like I’m wasting away.”
“If you weren’t afraid,” I asked, “what would you do?”
Her face broke into a wide smile. “I’d go back to school and earn a degree in marketing.”
“Why are you drawn to that field?” I asked.
“I design all the posters and write the ads,” she said. “When people contact us with inquiries, I’m the person they talk to. I like dealing with the public and I’m intrigued with the science and art behind selling a product.”
Unfortunately, Angie’s job description doesn’t include marketing, so she does it on her own time. And, because it’s a small company, opportunities are sparse. So if she wants to escape the prison of the status quo, she must sacrifice the security of the known. Hard to do.
Angie’s one of a multitude of people who have transcended—outgrown—their present set of circumstances.
What was once gratifying and rewarding is now stifling, whether it be a job, a role, a routine, a relationship or an environment.
When it’s time to move on, we sense it at the core of our being. We may try to ignore it, distract or even scold ourselves. From our bully within, we’ll receive an abundance of guilt-blabber about being selfish.
But those things fail at quieting the soul’s discomfort. When it’s time for change —when it’s time to grow —our soul lets us know, typically in the form of depression, as was true of Angie.
Three months later, Angie took the leap and signed up for classes. In essence, she chose to reject her predictable life and reach for greater fulfillment instead.
That bold step automatically eradicated colorlessness from her life.
I’m happy for Angie. 🙂
Names are changed to honor client confidentiality.
(c) Salee Reese 2018