Madeleine Eames

- Psychotherapist
- Mindfulness Teacher

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What Happened When I Gave Up?

You might be thinking that I was really depressed, flopped out on the couch or decided to walk away from something.

The truth is, I gave up running from myself. Do you know that pattern?

And I stopped following the “I should really…” and the “I better….” and the “What if’s” that were keeping me in perpetual motion. 

It seemed that I was so busy doing without really looking at the reason behind it. 

It was because…

it’s just what is done

everyone is doing it

I have to get it right

if I don’t I will be…

  • lazy
  • unfit
  • broke
  • nothing
  • a failure
  • sad
  • ashamed
  • abandoned
  • not liked or rejected

It’s not that I would actually BE all those things, but often these fears are behind all our running, escaping, and exhaustion. 

We create patterns in childhood or adolescence to avoid feeling left out, stupid, or abandoned in childhood. 

Sometimes they fit as adults, but often they don’t. They lead to burnout, frustration, sickness, and more fear.

Yes, they might have been necessary at some point but then the patterns keep going LONG after they are useful. 

In fact, we may start to believe that they ARE us. 

Maybe you were compared to others so had to prove yourself.

Maybe you had to fit in at school so you learned to be who others validated.

Maybe you had a chaotic family situation so you had to read the room before yourself.

These are all clever ways the nervous system adapts to survive. Yes, survive. At least in it’s books.

Sometimes it is not until we have to stop from an illness, injury or burnout that, once we move through the grief (crying out the pattern) we might catch a glimpse of ourselves without that reactive pattern. 

But it doesn’t have to be that way. 

Our patterns are there to be loved for what they were, how they helped us to stay safe, but now you are safe without them. 

There is nothing wrong with doing, achieving, trying hard, but my question is… what happens when you stop?

You might simply stop and love it, or you might find out the fear lying dormant that has been running your life. 

It’s easy to find out… try stopping:

expressing an opinion

controlling something

a certain habit

checking your phone or some other media

… and see what happens. 

If you can stay put through the fear and see that it is old, and any other emotions such as shame, sadness, grief, anger, this is what happens….

  • Other doors open up that you would have missed. 
  • New opportunities show up
  • New friendships, relationships and other surprises show up…. 
  • Life becomes more fun, more playful and less serious  

It’s like having your head in a dating app while the available, gorgeous neighbour is just waiting for you!   

All of this can’t reach you when you are a moving target. You will still act when you need to act, and this is a secret you might not know…

You will be more efficient and productive than ever because your energy is directed in places that matter and feed you. 

Every time I get caught up in the outdated hustle that is slowly going the way of the dodo, I ask myself “What is the path of least resistance?”.

Strangely enough, it is always the easiest and the one that benefits all because it’s not a battle anymore. It is flow. 

If something doesn’t feel good or right to you, stop trying to get it right. 

Give up, put down the arms and  surrender. 

You might be guided back there, or somewhere completely different. 

If all your “shoulds” tell you you have to get it “right”… you can’t get this life “right” because there is no “right”.

Only you, in this moment, open to a million possibilities for the next moment. 

Permission to give up running. 

See what else comes in. 

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