Very difficult or traumatic experiences in childhood without the care and support we needed at the time, may result in us feeling that we have been abandoned by life itself. The natural trust that a small child has in herself and in life can be severely disrupted. This can lead to an unconscious decision that “it is all down to me” or “I have to go it alone” In adult life, this can look like a difficulty in receiving help from outside or a need to maintain a high sense of control. It can feel very challenging to risk the vulnerability of not knowing what is going to happen.
Ultimately, this can become a very tiring way to live if we do not feel able to deeply relax in the arms of life itself. It is as though we have an inner “strategy expert” who is very swiftly activated when we are confronted with difficulties, upsets or simply things not going the way we thought we would. It can feel reassuring to know that have a plan of action or there is something that needs fixing or sorting out, because that maintains a sense of control for us. Sometimes this can be very effective and bring a genuine sense of resourcefulness.
However, if we do not experience a sense of choice in how we respond and feel compelled to come up with an immediate solution, then we are no longer free to explore new possibilities. It can take many years before we finally wake up one morning and feel exhausted by all the effort. We may then come to the realisation that the one thing we haven’t tried is not to try at all. What if life is actually supporting our best interests even when it may not be immediately obvious? What if we could entrust ourselves to life? What if there is an innate benevolence in life that wants to support us?
Can we dare to relax all our striving and find out what happens? This can be the unexpected invitation hidden in the experience of exhaustion.