What birds nests, mean comments, and attachments can show us about getting derailed
We say we aren’t, but we really are. We’re attached to everything. We know all of the buzz words and teachings that tell us to release the attachment to outcome…but we can’t help ourselves. We attach ourselves to people, places, things, ideas, visions for our future, you name it. Bear with me. At the risk of sounding excessively ‘woo-woo’, you know — all that just be one with the moment stuff — I don’t actually think that all attachment is bad. It’s about how we use it or are used by it.
Some attachment provides us with the motivation to actually get up and do something — to go for what we want. The key is to not get stuck there and rather to create the tools to observe ourselves (objectively look at the bigger picture), process it (just sit with it) and then reroute (do something with it).
Recently on a trip with the resident teen touring colleges, we got slapped in the head by our own preconceived notions of how this was all going to play out. As we excitedly traveled to what we thought was going to be the #1 choice of schools to apply to, we quickly discovered that it was instead our, never going there school. I know this may sound contrite, but it sucked the wind out of our sails. If felt like a cloud had descended upon us and we all kind of moped around for the next 24 hours, struggling our way out of it.
We can’t toss disappointment or any other feelings aside – dismissal is just a form of denial.
But the key is to not spiral down in a black hole of disillusionment. Things don’t always go the way we think they should — in our relationships with others, in our business dealings, in the plans we hatch and the dreams we dream. It comes in many forms. We’ve all been there.
We also care too much about what other people think of us. There is a small you inside who still wants to be liked, still wants praise and accolades, wants to be accepted and wants to be seen. Recently, I came across some mean comments made about me on social media. They directly referenced my skills as an interviewer. And suffice it to say, they were simply intended to be hurtful; no constructive criticism here. OUCH. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t sting, but I took a deep breath and reminded myself of 2 things:
- Is there something I can learn from this — is there a morsel of truth within these comments that can help me to be a better interviewer?
- What’s the motivation of being mean? This isn’t my stuff, this is theirs.
I’ve come a long way, baby. Sometimes I cringe when I watch my early interviewing, but you know what? I mustered the courage to try. I put myself out there. I worked hard, I took those first steps and because of that I have grown, expanded and created something. The comments made me sad — the inner me felt like a child on the playground with wounded feelings. But we can’t allow the attachment to others’ ‘stuff’ to stop us from pursuing our dreams, for going for it in our own lives. If I were to stop interviewing, it wouldn’t change the world of the people writing negative comments, but it would change mine.
The other day a mama bird built her nest aside the front porch of my house. It looked precarious at first (perhaps like my earlier interviewing style – we have to be able to laugh at ourselves). With the first gust of wind, it sadly toppled to the ground. Despite needing a contractor, she determinedly got to work building nest #2 (which frankly didn’t look much better). The entire construction appeared to be all over the place, with many pieces and parts hanging. After a few days without activity, I was sure it had been abandoned and was almost ready to rid the porch of it. But before doing so, I took one final peek and with the use of the ‘ol selfie stick — managed to capture the most delightful of sights, two little eggs. Me of little faith. Attachment to outcome can have its advantages — just ask the mama bird.
The key is to identify what you are truly hatching for yourself. What is it that you are giving birth to in your life, what are you protecting, nurturing and bringing forth — and most importantly, what’s your why?
Life is a beautiful journey of expansion. We want to be excited about things. We want to have passion in our lives. We want to create and dream. And along with that, we will face off with our fears, our limited thinking, our inner demons, our self-deflating thoughts, disappointment and even unkind words from others…but so what?! This is your big beautiful life. If you want to attach to something, attach to your unwavering commitment to being your best self. Word.
Here are 3 things to keep in mind when derailment is riding your ass:
Observe: Check in. What’s coming up emotionally for you when something doesn’t go according to plan? Is there an emotion underneath this that actually needs to be addressed?
Process: Allow yourself to feel whatever feeling is coming up no matter how silly. When we discard our emotions as trivial, they settle in somewhere else. Bringing the emotion to the light of day helps us to peel back the layers and move through it.
Reroute: Trust in your resiliency, your strength and your ability. Remember all of the times in the past when you thought something was the end of the world and in fact it worked out far better for you. We can’t always see the forest for the trees. Move through the disappointment and trust that it will reveal itself to you. Most of all, keep on truckin’!
And here’s the good news: while one college dropped off our list, another we had somewhat discounted became a top contender. As of this writing mama bird sits vigilantly upon her nest. And I’m still interviewing. Bottom line, however this shows up for you, don’t let the hecklers on the sidelines, the naysayers or the meanies derail your dreams. Now, that’s some new thinking that’s hatch-worthy.
As always, I love to hear from you. Tell me how this shows up for you. What are you hatching?