When Our Pushing Is the Obstacle
The Union Path Podcast
"When Our Pushing Is the Obstacle"
Really, it's really easy to develop and then overdevelop habits of pushing, habits of trying to force habits of trying to. Make things happen, but what's really easy to overlook is all this pushing all of this force, all of this attempting to control precisely what happens and precisely when it happens, comes at a cost.
At the very least, it comes at the cost of effort. Trying to control something, especially trying to control everything is extremely effortful. It's a lot of work. It's really hard. In fact, I think if we're honest, especially over a longer term, it's pretty impossible actually. At the very least, it's extremely unsustainable, and usually when we think we've got everything under control, especially for a long period of time, on some level, we're kind of fooling ourselves on some level.
We're kind of tricking ourselves to think that we've got everything under control. Everything is under wraps, everything is going exactly to plan. Exactly how we expect it to, exactly how we wanted to. But of course, that's not actually how life works. Life is a complex system of interactions from the outside.
It seemed to have a mind of its own, but in my opinion, what it really is, is the confluence of infinite minds, the confluence of every bit of interaction that happens with things on their way from non-being to being. But one realization that's really handy, especially if we have these habits of pushing, especially if we have these habits of trying too hard, especially we have these habits of often doing too much, is realizing when our pushing has become an obstacle, perhaps when our pushing has become the obstacle, if we've reached a point where we're so thoroughly, completely in our own way that we can't actually see it.
We walk around frustrated, we walked around, stymied, we walk around never really getting what we want, never really being able to fully enjoy things because there's just too much that's out of order. There's too much that's too undone. It isn't the way it's supposed to be. It's too non-complete. And thus we use our will and our effort in order to make it so, and I guess where this is coming from is a realization that I had the other day.
I think it's fairly universal that I was struggling against something. I was working on getting something done and found myself getting a little angry, getting a little mad as things weren't going how I wanted, and going how I expected. And when this was happening, it kind of hit me all at once, this realization or this question, this whisper in my ear, is this even necessary?
Like kinda a third party observer just sort of beamed down and looked at what I was doing and saying, why are you doing that? Does that even need to be done? Does anyone actually need that? Does anyone actually want that? And answer all these questions where Actually, no, this was something I was working on that turns out was completely unnecessary, but for probably roughly the billionth time, I was falling back into old habits.
I was doing too much. I was trying too hard. I was like a dog with a bone. I was trying to get something done. I was trying to get something fully complete in a very maximalist sort of way without realizing that is completely unnecessary, that these ideas I had, that something in order to be done, had to include every possible option that I could think of is really just made up.
It's really just a story that I was telling myself that I couldn't just go with what seemed the simplest, couldn't just go with what seemed the easiest. I had to try every possible option. I had to eliminate every possibility I could think of to make sure that I had arrived the right solution to make sure that I was doing it the right way.
But when I started working on what I was working on, it was pretty obvious that one particular way of doing this was probably right, and yet, I went out and I looked for other ways, other other means to accomplish what I was trying to accomplish, and then got really frustrated when those other means didn't really work.
Like it's kind of one of those things where I'd already been delivered a perfectly valid, perfectly acceptable, perfectly adequate solution. If for some reason that wasn't enough, I was striving out of a sense of. I'm trying to create a completeness out of a sense of probably a bit of perfectionism that I kept looking and I kept trying all sorts of different things, even though it seemed like I'd actually already found the solution to my problem.
And when I realized this and I dropped this, pushing, everything became so much easier because I'd already solved my problem, yet I was still trying to solve it. I was still trying all sorts of different solutions out of a sense of completeness, if I'm honest, out of a sense of fear that I had missed something, that that was just too easy.
When I started working on what I was working on, it seemed like one solution would probably work just fine, would probably be good, might even be great. What I was doing, like I wasn't good enough. That was too easy. I had to keep going. I was afraid I was missing something. I was being too flippant. I was being too casual.
I couldn't just go with what seemed to work. I had to explore every possible option, which then just led me on this circuitous wild goose chase just to end up with what seemed right in the first place. I. But more than that, everything I was getting frustrated about everything that wasn't working were all of these alternatives, were all these options that I had added out of a sense of completeness, out of a sense of trying to do everything.
Trying to cover every base, trying to think about every angle, trying to entertain every possible solution, even though I'd already gotten kind of an intuitive nudge or an intuitive hit. That I had already found it, but I had found it so early and so easily that I dismissed it. I didn't give it its due credit.
I didn't give it its due attention because it was just too easy. But the funny thing is, more often than not, this is my experience with how creativity actually works. It isn't the slog. It isn't this strain that the most important aspect of creativity is that we know what we're trying to create. We know specifically what we're trying to make, what we're trying to build.
We know what it's supposed to do. We know vaguely what it's supposed to be like. We have an idea, we have a thought form of the form that we're trying to create, and all this is fed out of a desire we strive to create because we want something, we want something different. We want something to be different.
We build a container for our creativity through our desire, and once we want something, and once we're clear about what we want and why, and once we're aligned with that, oftentimes the solution just seems to pop in on its own. In a funny way, it seems to show up when we're kind of thinking about it the least, when we're trying the least sometimes when we'd actually forgotten what we're trying to create.
It's just poof. The ideal solution shows up, but it doesn't show up in some grandiose package. It's not this giant fireworks display of creation. It's a little more subtle. It's a little more easy. It's something that just fits. It's efficient, it's tailor made for what we're trying to make, what we're trying to build.
We're trying to construct what we're trying to create, and oftentimes we don't really pay attention to it because, It doesn't really call a lot of attention to itself. It's not grandiose. It's not in our face. It's not loud. It's just something comes in and when it's almost like we have to stop and look at it to realize how perfect of a solution it is, it's so easy for these things to fly right on by for us to not even know they're there for the solutions for what we're trying to create, to appear, but we don't even notice them.
We don't notice them because they don't fit our ideas about what they should be, or we're just trying so hard. We're just doing so much. We're creating so much noise through our own thinking and effort and activity that we don't actually notice what's really happening, what's really coming to us, because all this pushing, all this, trying all this effort creates a lot of friction.
All this pushing is resistance, and when we're trying and striving and doing everything we can to make something happen, that can very easily turn into an obstacle that can very easily turn into a situation, we're at the very least, we're not really paying attention to what's actually happening because we're so engrossed in our own effort.
But more than that, we're, we're pushing against. The very solution that we're trying to create, we're not actually listening. We're not actually set up to receive because we're pushing so hard. We've erected this obstacle of our own pushing, and it's something that can be easily overlooked by the, but this is one of the reasons why going through life being open is actually really challenging.
Because so many systems, so much about our culture, so much about how we're raised, so much of how the incentives in our culture work pushes us towards pushing, pushes us towards making things happen, pushes us towards force. But the creative act is a two-way proposition. We come to it with our desire. We come to it with something specifically that we want.
We come to it with our own container, which then gets filled through us receiving creative energy. Sometimes this happens in our world. Sometimes we really want something in Poof. It just appears we didn't actually have to do anything. We wanted something in one day. We find ourselves in a situation where someone just hands it to us.
Or it's just there. It's low hanging fruit there for the picking, or sometimes it shows up as an inspiration, as an idea, as a way to get or achieve whatever we want. But this is always a two-way process. This is always an ask and an answer. This is always a call and a response. It's never just one side.
Because conversely, to us pushing all the time of trying to make things be a certain way, if we dawn the opposite approach of where we're just completely passive or we're not actually asking for anything, or we're really vague, we're really passive, we adopt an attitude in a posture that we let the world or someone else or something else tell us what we want.
We surrender our specific desires and let the external fill these things in for us, but that isn't really asking, at the very least. That's extremely indirect, and that doesn't create the container for creativity to flow into. In order to get what we want, we have to know what we want and we can really spin ourselves in circles.
Tried to convince ourselves that the things we want are just the things that come to us. We can rationalize, we can justify, we can pretend. We can pretend that the things we want are just the things that are already coming to us, but that's missing a big opportunity. That's missing a big opportunity that our intention could create, that we could intentionally steer and direct.
Creative forces to us by being more intentional about what we were trying to create. And so it goes both ways. It's a co-creative process. It's a dialogue, it's a conversation. It's an interaction that when we find ourselves very clear about what we want, one of the side effects of this clarity can often be pushing.
When we've gotten really specific about what we want, that can really lead us down a road of trying to push, trying to make things happen. Cause it's almost reflexive sometimes. And when we figure out what we want, our minds start building plans, start building all the ways that this thing is going to come to us, and then either we embark on our parts of the plans.
Or we have an eagle eye waiting for signs and clues that these things are on the way, but that's getting a little too involved in the process. That's doing more than just our part. Our part is done when we've gotten clear about what we want. When our part is done, we, we've aligned with what we want. When we've created the container for creativity, for the creative forces to flow into.
And it's us giving too much attention about how it's going to happen. It's us trying too hard. It's us trying to control too much that shows our resistance, that shows how much we're actually pushing away whatever we're trying to create. It shows we're not really being a trusting partner in this creative process because a big part of the creative process is learning to let go, is learning to trust that whatever we need to do, We'll know it when we need to do it.
Cause that's the other funny thing about pushing too, even if we're on the right track in doing the right things, if we're doing them too early, or if our timing is just not quite aligned with what needs to happen, that can be really frustrating too. That can create a lot of stagnation. That can create a lot of one step forward, one step back.
But I think we all know that when the time is right, it's obvious. I think we've all experienced that. We've had some sort of great idea. We've had some sort of inspiration, and either we instinctively or intuitively knew that it wasn't quite the right time, or we tried to do some things and didn't really work out, but we still believed in the idea.
We still knew that this was right. We still knew this was a good thing, and we let it go only to have it show up later. We'd have a show up in a way that we could interact with it and embody it in a far less effortful way where it came to us so much more easily. There was so much less work involved, so much less striving and struggle and strain and setbacks because it was the right timing, because it was an idea coming to form in alignment.
No force was necessary. Because a good idea had reached its right time. Growth of anything has its own right time. And so the question to us is, do we have the confidence? Do we have the faith? Do we have the discipline? Do we have the maturity to let go, to let things play out on their own? Time to stop pushing so hard.
Stop trying to do five things when we know there's actually only one that we want to do to stop trying to make things happen, and it seems like it's just not the right time yet, or just not the right set of circumstances, can we find the courage to let go? Can we find the courage to trust that the things that are right for us will and do flow to us at the right time?
Can we trust that there's actually nothing we need to make happen. We can go along with what is happening. We can be a participant and a creator to what is. We don't have to manufacture our own reality. We can create and participate equally, and that's the way it's supposed to be. That's the way it's designed as a human animal.
We aren't meant to consume all the time, and we aren't meant to create all the time either. It's a balance. It's a two way system that we get to participate in, both as the creator and the consumer of creation. Is when we boil everything down at the root of this idea of when our own pushing has become our primary obstacle.
The lesson in that, the awareness in that is learning how to trust, learning how to be aware of what's really going on, learning to be aware of what we really want. Learning to be aware and acknowledge when sometimes there's just nothing to do right now. Be aware and acknowledge. That the choices in front of us may not seem perfect, but it doesn't mean they're wrong.
Maybe there's something we have to learn. Maybe there's something we have to do, but if we're trying to get something done a certain way, if we have this vision and picture in our mind, that can only happen a certain way. The truth is we don't actually know that, or a broader truth is we're actually probably wrong.
We're either wrong, at least a little bit on exactly what we really want, especially if it's something we've never really experienced and we're probably wrong about how that will eventually show up for us. How that eventually will exist for us, how will eventually interact with that? And so we can learn to let go.
We can learn to be open, we can learn to allow, and we can learn to drop the pushing when it becomes an obstacle. We can go with what seems right. We can go with what feels right and trust that that will lead us towards what we want, what we're trying to create. We can trust our judgment, we can trust our discernment, and we can trust our feelings.
It's all valuable feedback and we can keep taking steps forward. We can keep walking along the journey of our lives. And will make that journey far more pleasant, far less effortful when we learn to stop erecting obstacles through our own pushing.
I hope you enjoyed this episode. All episodes are given freely. If you feel inspired to give, please visit the union path.com/donate. If you have a question, you can contact me at the union path gmail.com. Take care, and all the best.