What if it REALLY isn’t up to us?

I had a pretty baffling insight yesterday.

The non-mystical, very logical kind of epiphany.

The clear and not very spectacular but nevertheless WTF!-version.

So here it is.

I’m working with a client who wants to quit drinking alcohol.

He’s struggling with it now, and he has been for many years.

I’ve seen him for over two months now, and he’s in a rythm of not drinking for 3 or 4 days, then giving in to his desire again for a couple of days, and the cycle starts all-over again.

While I was in Athens last week for Supercoach Academy Europe, he didn’t drink for more than seven days, and yet somehow, somewhere after that period he fell for it again.

Yesterday we were talking and he was sharing his confusion about the difference between able to withstand his thoughts about alcohol for a couple of days without too much trouble, and yet somehow switch to the other, darker side and get mentally and physically pressured into drinking again.

And I honestly didn’t know.

Then it hit me, and I said:

“You know, what if this way of quitting alcohol is absolutely perfect for you. What if this struggle and confusion is part of the deal, and not part of the problem. What if the only thing that’s wrong right now, is you and me comparing reality with how we would like it to be, how we planned it to be. What if where you are right now, is exactly the right pace for you, including the drinking and stopping and drinking, this temporary agony and shame and confusion. What if it’s completely tailormade by the universe and suited for the human being you are, 100% fitting to your particular situation, simply because… that’s what’s happening right now.”

Do you feel me?

We make detailed plans ALL the time, we come up with targets, we project desired changes in behaviour into the future.

And then life doesn’t comply to those visions.

But did we really make a mistake?

Did we just gave up on our project?

Did we fuck up?

Are we too weak, are we to blame, did we lose the game?

Of course not!

It’s just that life is laying out a different path for us, a way of unfolding that just doesn’t resemble our supposed future.

And instead of giving ourselves hell for not reaching our completely made-up and arbitrary goals, we could flow lightly with the situation, realizing that it was never up to us anyway.

And in that moment of awareness, we can let go.

And in that letting go, we can find clarity.

And in that clarity, maybe drinking suddenly seems like a really stupid idea.

Don’t you just LOVE not knowing?


Marnix Pauwels. Schrijver. Expert verslaving/angst/depressie. Transformative Coach. Helpt mensen ‘n briljant leven voor zichzelf te ontdekken. Onderweg.

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