I’m sitting at a cafe, trying to concentrate, and I swear there are crickets in here. Now everyone’s looking around, and the more they chirp, the more irritated I’m becoming. I follow the noise back around to my area and tap the guy next to me on the shoulder. He takes out his earbuds, and now he’s annoyed.
“Dude!” I snap, knowing with 100 percent certainty that he’s the culprit, “do you have a cricket sound on?” He shakes his head. OK, it’s not him. Frustrated, I reach down into my bag to get my phone and see what time it is, and guess what? It’s. My. Alarm.
Now I vaguely remember resetting my sound to “crickets” a few days ago, thinking it would be a sweet reminder of midwestern nights. In reality, it’s more like a car alarm. Red-faced, I turn it off, and now I’m back at work, only with a new realization: that so often, the things seemingly coming at us from others, the frustrations we feel toward the world and the moments that take us off our game, are nearly always coming from inside our own damn bag.
It’s only when you have gone inside, and silenced the major dysfunction in the relationship between you and yourself, that you’ll stop the inner and out alarm bells from going off. So why don’t more people just open up that bag and turn the cricket off? Our resistance to reaching into the depths of that bag stems from fear.
Big, ugly, scary fear is at the root of all our shadows, just as love is at the root of all our light . . . . If you want to be happy, you’ve got to open up that bag and let in the light. Yeah, I know. It’s probably a terrible time for you to do this today. After all, who looks at their watch and says, “Oh! Three o’clock – what a perfect time for me to revisit my childhood traumas and stress! I’m superbusy, but hey, I can make the time to drown in horrible heartbreak again for a few hours.” Again, that’s fear talking.
You can’t protect yourself from feeling by stuffing fear down to the bottom of the bag and pretending it’s not there. It is there, in most people, scaring you into doing things that limit your Core Strength and diminish your joy. Time to clean it out.
If you can open yourself up to some inner reorganization, you don’t even have to know what exactly you’re releasing, only that you are ready and willing to do so. The rest will happen organically. When you do get a sweet release, you will feel a clarity and satisfaction that mean you have more fully integrated yourself with who you really are. Then sit back and watch your outer world do the same.