I find myself in the midst of a home-improvement project, and it got me thinking about the times when we feel as if we are under construction. Being under construction implies one of two things. Either there are places within us that may have been loosened or broken or we are ready to create a completely new way of being. In either case, there is some work to be done.
There was a TV series in the 70’s titled, The Six Million Dollar Man. Astronaut Steve Austin experiences a devastating accident and is rebuilt with machines. The end result is that he is “better, stronger, faster.” Your construction process may not appear as dramatic, but it too is an opportunity to evolve into an improved version of yourself.
Being under construction can feel daunting. Here are some tips, inspired by my own construction process to help you navigate the journey. While a symbolic comparison, the nuts and bolts still apply.
1. Embrace the Chaos.
Being under construction may require that things be ripped, taken apart and torn down before the new can be set in place. There is going to be a mess. Not wanting there to be disarray is pointless. Things will be out of sorts. Do yourself a favor and embrace it. It doesn’t mean that you enjoy it. It simply allows for what is without creating internal tension. Resistance to the process has no redeeming value. When we acknowledge that things are messy and that it is part of the process, we can coexist with what is taking place without generating added stress. We allow things to flow without adding to the chaos.
2. Create Safe Havens
When things are in disarray, it is helpful to have pockets of serenity or just plain “normalcy” to which you can retreat to keep your balance. I made sure that my bedroom and living room stayed clean and tidy, so that I could escape from the mess. I made it a point to connect with friends which took me out of the chaos for a while. When construction involves an internal process or major life change, it is important to find the activities and support system that will take you out of the situation for a temporary breather. This will help you maintain your strength and resilience.
3. It Is Only Temporary
Experiencing a transition can feel like a never-ending ordeal. Time may even appear to pass more slowly than usual. Remind yourself that this too will pass. Human nature dictates that we avoid pain. Even the slightest bit of discomfort prevents many from creating positive change, but in order to get to the other side, we must experience the process. Keep in mind that this is only a temporary state that is necessary to incubate what is being born.
4. Take the Day Off
Sometimes you just need a break. Take the day off, and do something fun that will allow you not to think. I went white water rafting, got soaked and even fell in. But I’ll tell you what, I did not once think about what was taking place back home.
5. Keep an Eye on the Prize
There is a reason why you are undergoing your experience. For me, it was an update to 1950’s walls, doors and electrical system. For you, it may be something deeper. Perhaps it is the desire to be free of painful memories, to undo habits that prevent you from moving forward, or to create a new lifestyle to support a healthier body. Keep your focus on your intention, your vision, the glorious result.
If you don’t know why you feel the way you do, you have two choices. Either you decide that something is conspiring against you, in which case you choose to become the victim to unknown forces. Or you decide that the universe is on your side, nudging you to discover and embrace a better, stronger, faster version of yourself. The choice, as always, is yours. You decide the meaning of your experiences and through your choices, create your life.
At the end of the day, the prize is always the same. Coming closer to You. Alive. Awake. In joy…Fully You.