Several months ago I was feeling particularly overwhelmed by some work related responsibilities and deadlines. The to-do list kept growing and growing and my energy reserves kept shrinking and shrinking. One day I thought, “It would just be easier not to.” Isn’t that so true?
It’s easier not to.
It’s easier not to try. It’s easier not to change. It’s easier not to put yourself out there, not to speak up. It’s easier not to be vulnerable, not to take the risk of uncertainty and exposure. It’s easier not to unpack the baggage that keeps tripping you up. It’s easier to quit when it gets hard. It's easier to believe you can't. It’s easier to keep doing the things you’ve always done even though you know they are bad for you. It’s easier not to choose health.
Or is it?
I’ve thought about this phrase a lot since that day. I’ve thought about how true it feels, yet how dangerous this belief is. Yes, it is easier… in the short term.
In the short term.
That’s the key.
It’s easier not to in the short term. But in the long term, that easy path turns into a pothole filled road. Choosing not to rarely leads us to where we want to be or who we were created to be. Choosing not to leaves us outside the arena looking in. And when we are on the outside looking in that is when we are most likely to be judgmental and critical of those who are on the inside.
Isn’t that the kicker? We choose not to, but then we resent those who choose YES over NO. When we choose not to, we end up staring through the window and watching as people pursue new adventures and opportunities, as they unload their cumbersome past, as they make healthy changes that bear sweet fruit. We end up staring through that window as we wrestle with the most uncomfortable of emotions- resentment, regret, fear, and frustration.
No, it’s not easier not to. It feels like it in the short term. It feels like it, but although our feelings are valid, they are not always true.
Everybody has those days when it feels easier not to. That’s normal. The challenge is how do you keep picking yourself up and dusting yourself off. How do you keep going?
We keep going by learning when we need to sit and be still and when we need to move. Sometimes the very thing we need is rest. Stepping away from the problem and doing something totally unrelated might be the very thing that gives you the perspective you need. Giving yourself compassion and validation that this is a tough mountain to climb is often just what the doctor ordered. More often than not, sharing your frustration, concern, and anxiety with a trusted loved one gives you the ounce of energy you need to keep moving forward. We keep going by refocusing on why is this so important to us anyway. Why does this matter to us? What do we feel called to do? When you push through the temptation to choose not to over I’m going to, you move closer to your unique purpose and farther away from your fears. Yeah it may feel easier not to. But when you choose not to, you miss the blessing.
I hope this week you give yourself the rest or compassion or time with loved ones you need to continue in your journey. Choose long term over short term. Choose purpose over fear. Choose the blessing.
Do you ever have those days when you think, “It would just be easier not to”? How are you learning to choose “I’m going to” over “not to”? Which path are you choosing today?