The Knowing/Doing Gap

I was complaining to my friend Sunshine the other day and she let me go on for a while which was really nice. But then I said, “I just don’t know what to do.” And she didn’t buy it. She was like, “Yes, you do. You know what to do.” And that was helpful, because of course I did and a friend doesn’t let a friend get away with fooling herself. I knew what to do, but I didn’t want to do it. It would involve changing something and changing something is not really what I want to do. Pretty much ever. If I wanted to change something I would have already changed it and it wouldn’t still be something needing to be changed. Get it?

I want the results of change. I want the results but I don’t really want to do the actions that might lead to change a lot of the time. Ever. And I’m quite creative, so I can spin a lot of stories either about how I don’t actually want the results or about how I don’t actually know what to do or about how what I actually know I don’t know or, or, or. You get the idea.

And then, if I breathe deeply, a few times, like sometimes even ten times both in and out, counting, which feels like a freaking trip to Bali it takes so long and I totally recommend it, if I breathe deeply I get to a lovely point of clarity, even calm, sometimes.

And the clarity is, “Yes, I know what it would take for me to get X and I am willing to do it,” or “Yes, I know what it would take for me to get X and I am not willing to do it.” Not right now. Not willing/willing. And it’s okay if I’m not willing right now but it’s better for me to know that’s what it is and think about why I’m not willing then to spend a bunch of time and energy telling myself stories about other barriers and issues that aren’t the crux.

Willing/not willing to close the knowing/doing gap between knowing what I could do to lead one way and doing those things. Consistently, sticking with them, falling off and getting back on the horse day after freaking day, even when it’s rainy, or sunny, or that time, or I have visitors coming in, or I’m tired, or whatever. Playing that incremental game day after day after day, remembering we get to do this living thing, it’s a gift --

How important is that thing to me? If it’s important I’m gonna work on my willingness to close that gap. If it’s not that important to me after all, when I look at it and think about what it would take to get it, I’m gonna let myself off the hook, take it off that list of things worth precious brainspace, put it in a nice mental basket labeled “long term storage” and stick it on a shelf. It mattered at one point so it deserves a nice storage bin. But it doesn’t matter now so I don’t need to keep it out on display on my mental kitchen counter pestering me all the time. Ahh that’s better.