There's Only One Direction

There's Only One Direction

The Union Path Podcast

"There's Only One Direction"


can be so tempting, it can feel so desirable to want to move backwards, to want to attempt to recreate the past, to want to go back to a simpler time, an easier time, a time when things just made sense, a time when things were just working out for us, especially if we've been battered and bruised a little bit.

Or especially when we're just kind of caught up in the stagnation of our own life, or the frustration where we've found ourselves being left off at a place in life where we really don't want to be. We find ourselves living a life we really don't actually want to inhabit. It can be so tempting, it can be so alluring to think that we can just go back and have a do over.

Just start from where we are and recreate some element of the past. Just do again what worked before. But there's a problem with this thinking, there's a fault in this logic, is that's actually impossible. We can't go backwards. There's only one direction we can ever possibly move, and that's forward, to keep going, to go on.

That's how life works. Life is constantly unfolding and us with it whether we like it or not whether we want to move backwards or not whether we want To recreate something from the past or not The reality is life only moves in one direction in that direction is forward Onward and if we don't choose to go if we resist this force if we resist this flow And this will be the conflict that we create an experience.

This will be The resistance becomes resident in our life. This will be the grind that we feel against us. This will be the rough edges that we feel in the life we encounter. Is our own resistance, is our own pushing back, is our own refusal to go with life, is our own refusal to cooperate, is our own insistence.

To me, indignant, our own refusal to live, to be alive, because the past is just an idea. The past is just a memory. The past is not alive. Life can only exist in the present moment. Life can only exist in the present moment, stretching out to infinity, moving forward. So as much as we'd like to, we can't go backwards.

We can't go back in time. We can't recreate. Something that seemed to work before. Yet that doesn't stop a lot of us from trying, especially in times of fear, especially in times of pain. This could be almost a reflex to want to redound, to want to reduce life. Back to the known. And the only thing that's known is what has been experienced.

But then that sets up this unfortunate cycle of resistance. That sets up this unfortunate cycle of us not moving with our life. Of us refusing to go. Refusing to take the path that our life is actually unfolding in. To attempt to turn around and retread an old path. But again, it doesn't work that way.

Life can only be lived forwards. We have no choice. And the sooner we make peace with this, the sooner we reconcile this, the better. Not only because of freeing us from this resistance, but this is actually what creates the opportunity for the very solution, for the very salvation that we crave so much, that we want so badly.

That part of the deal with life is reconciling that life is pain, life is loss, life is grief, life is sadness, but life is also joy, life is also beauty, life is also nourishment, life is also reward and fulfillment, and we have to be willing to experience all of it. We have to be willing to accept and experience life on its own terms, because otherwise we're just holding back.

Otherwise we're holding ourselves back from the full life that we really want. Because at its core, this idea of not going with life, not really accepting life, not really participating, cooperating with life, is us fulfilling a role that isn't really ours. I think a useful way to think about this It's in looking at the role that we play in our life and asking ourselves the question, are we doing too much?

Are we playing a role that isn't actually ours? Are we getting a little too invested in the control and the steering of the course that our life takes? Are we getting overly invested in forcing our life to only take certain forms, to only deliver certain experiences, to only be a certain way for only certain things to happen to us?

Have we gotten a little too invested in control? And if we find that we're too invested in control, how has that actually diminished our life? How has that actually caused us to avoid, or at least delay, the good things we actually want? The life that we actually want to live? Because life is happening, and we can choose to cooperate with it or not.

We can choose to go with it, we can choose to refuse to go with it. The choice is ours, but with that choice will be amount of resistance that we feel. With that choice will be other choices. In a lot of ways, that's refusing to go with life. is us choosing a much more limited life, choosing a life that is locked in to only certain possibilities.

Of course we can think this is what we want, but we don't really understand the limiting aspect of this control and resistance up front. We don't really understand what we're bargaining away. We don't really understand that we are limiting creation's ability to act in our own life. We are limiting the channels.

That creative energy can flow and express through us. We're limiting the possibilities and the potential of our own life by insisting on a level of control. But more than that, we're setting up a life lived in conflict, a life lived with a hole in our heart, a pit in our stomach. A frustration in our head.

A life of pushing, of forcing, of fighting. And the beauty is we get to choose. Life is already flowing. We don't have to control that. We can't create it and we can't stop it. But we can absolutely resist it. We can absolutely live in conflict with it. We can absolutely push against it if we wish. But the cost of that resistance will be felt.

will be experienced. There's no way around it. But even more importantly, there's a really important truth embedded in this idea that we can't actually go backwards. Because the goal of all life is to learn and to grow. The goal of all life is to create and expand. The goal of all life is to create and expand.

is to progress and move forward. But if we're attempting to go backwards, if we're attempting to relive some sort of past, often an idealized past, that may not have actually happened the way we think it did, but it feels safer, it feels more comfortable. That we can crave this safety and this comfort, especially if we've been hurt, especially if we've experienced pain, especially if we've experienced grief or a loss or sorrow or tragedy.

But the problem is, if we let these feelings overwhelm us, if we let these feelings override our cooperation with life, cause us to resist life, cause us to try to go backwards. And we bring that pain with us, and we set ourselves up to experience that pain all over again. Because if we feel some sort of fear, if we feel some sort of pain, and we're attempting to go backwards, then that moving backwards will be imbued with the energy that it was created with.

And it is sustained by that attempt to move backwards will be colored and experienced with sadness and pain. We'll experience the continuation of our fear because we're nourishing our own fear. We're acting with the energy of our own fear and pain and thus we're keeping the experience of fear and pain alive.

And continuing in our life because whatever we nourish and sustain is what we continue to experience. Whatever the energy is behind our actions, behind our behavior is going to be what we experience. And we can see this happen. We can see this play out. If we reach a point in our life where we've been battered and bruised and beaten down a little bit, or if we're just a little burned out, a little dissatisfied, a little frustrated, a little stuck, a little stagnant, And then we try to recreate past circumstance, a past life, which may only really fully exist in our imagination.

Then we're actually locking ourselves into these feelings. We're going to set up the circumstances to experience these feelings over and over and over again. That if we want to move backwards, if we try to move backwards out of a sense of loss, Then it's that loss that we will experience over and over and over again, because we can't.

We can't recreate the past. We can only move forward, and by us refusing to move forward, by us having that resistance to life, bonds us and locks us in to these feelings of pain, to these feelings of fear. This is actually the beauty of the fact that life only moves forward. Is this is an opportunity that's available to us in any moment to start to move past these feelings, to start to do something different, to start to be something different, to grow and evolve and change beyond these feelings, to be able to design and construct and inhabit a different life that doesn't feel so painful, that doesn't have so much fear.

And we can choose to move with, we can choose to go with life whenever we wish, we can choose to accept. That the past is the past, and the only thing we can do is move forward. And of course we move forward with all of our past experiences, with all of our past learning, with everything that we've picked up along the way, but we move forward to experience what happens from here on.

We move forward with the acceptance that life is moving forward, and we do ourselves a great service by learning to go with it. By learning to not resist it, learning not to use our energy against life. Look at this forward movement as an opportunity. Something new. This is what creates the ground state for hope and change.

Because if life didn't actually move forward, If life wasn't constantly changing, there'd actually be no reason for hope. There'd really be no reason to believe in change. This forward progress, this forward movement, this constant growing and changing, truly serves us. Because we're meant to participate.

We are a part of creation. We are meant to create, and we squander the opportunity of life attempting to recreate. Creation is moving forward. Recreation is reaction. Recreation is attempting to recreate something that already existed, the point that gets lost on us. When that time existed, that was a time we were moving forward, that we were cooperating with life.

That was in the present moment then, and we truly do liberate ourselves. By learning to let go, we truly liberate ourselves by allowing ourselves to move on, to keep going. Because often the desire to stop, the desire to go backwards is fed out of these uncomfortable feelings of pain and fear. But the only way to transcend pain and fear is to move forward, is to create something new.

We cannot dissipate our pain and fear. By recreating past experiences, we can only move through and move beyond our pain and fear by creating new ones. If it's change we want, then it's change we have to experience. And change can only be experienced moving forward. In a lot of ways, wanting to move backwards, wanting to recreate the past, is kind of like rumination and worry.

We can choose to worry as long as we want. We can choose to worry about as many things as we want. We can choose to worry forever. We can choose to worry about things that don't actually even ever happen. We can choose to fill our lives with worry. We can choose to fret and fantasize about all the negative calamity that could possibly happen to us.

But I think if we're honest, I think if we actually look at our habits of worry, we soon realize that the majority, if not the entirety of our worry is pretty pointless. It doesn't actually do anything. All it's doing is stoking and feeding these fears. All it's doing is keeping alive this pain. We're not actually moving beyond anything because we're not actually doing anything.

We're stuck in our heads, we're stuck in the past, we're stuck in potential futures. We're not actually living because we're not actually in the present moment. We're not actually moving forward and we're not moving forward freely. Our worry confines us. Our worry builds very specific, very narrow paths that we must very carefully follow.

That we must have a perfection in our behavior in order to avoid risk, in order to avoid danger. But of course, this is only not reasonable, this isn't actually possible. And even more than that, By us being overly devoted to our own worry, gives us a little bit too much credit, gives us a little bit too much confidence and faith in our ability to predict what's going to happen.

Which as human beings, we're actually pretty lousy at a lot of the time. I mean, when we think about the best and the worst things that ever happened to us, what percentage of the time were those things a surprise? Pretty high, right? So doesn't that call into question all the value and the utility? Of worrying or trying to recreate some sort of past.

If we don't know as much as we think we know, if we can't control as much as we think we can control, then why are we so invested in these ideas? What do we keep trying to do? So, because we're afraid because we're in pain, these are very uncomfortable feelings that are very good. motivating us into certain behaviors.

But at some point we all have to decide that living a life grounded in pain and fear simply isn't worth it. It's simply too stifling. It's simply too limiting. It's simply too small. It's simply directing us into detours away from what we really want. It's directing us to a life we don't actually want to live.

is directing us away from our true expression, from living a life that is a true reflection of who and what we really are. So if we find ourselves with pain in our life, we find ourselves with fear in our life, it's important to look at our own behavior, own perspective, and ask ourselves, Are we moving forward or attempting to move backwards?

Are we going with life or are we resisting it? How much of that pain and fear are we volunteering for? Because we're refusing to go where life is trying to lead us. We're refusing to experience what life is trying to deliver to us. We're refusing to be fully alive. We're refusing to cooperate. With creation and instead attempting to recreate and these are all questions These are all ideas that each of us need to ponder.

We need to choose our own path. We need to choose Especially when pain and fear are involved. Will we succumb or will we overcome? Will we find the courage to re engage with life fully? Will we find the courage? To try something different, to try something new, to start from right where we are in this very moment and create from here.

Are we willing to move forward? Are we willing to cooperate? Are we willing to be a full contributor and co creator? With all of creation, are we willing to accept the gift of the creative energy that flows through us? Are we willing to seize the opportunity to grow and change and progress and move beyond all of this pain and all of this fear?

Are we willing to volunteer to experience something different? By creating something different, can we find the courage to acknowledge where we've been trying to move backwards, where we've been redoing something over and over again, where we've been engaging in behaviors that actually aren't serving us at all, that are actually keeping us stuck, that are keeping us grounded, that are keeping us bonded and mired.

In the very pain and fear that we want to move through, are we willing to try something different? Are we willing to create our way out of our pain? Are we willing to live our way out of our fear? And we get to choose. We get to decide. That's the beauty of life. We have ultimate say. We have ultimate agency on whether we move with it or not.

We get to choose whether we cooperate or whether we resist. But I'll tell you, it's my belief, it's my experience that cooperation is the path to what we want. That cooperation is the life we actually want. That cooperation, that moving forward from where we are, is the path to where we want to go. And that it's a worthwhile choice to lay down our own resistance.

It's a worthwhile choice to lay down our own reluctance. It's a worthwhile choice to lay down our own pushing against. The flow of life. And instead, learn to go with it. Learn to co create. Learn to participate. Learn to live a life where we are fully alive. Because we're living a life fully in cooperation, fully moving forward with life.

Episode Video