What do you do when life tries to get your attention?

by | Nov 16, 2013 | Getting Real: The Blog


I’d like to think that I pay pretty close attention to the things in my life. I learned the hard way early on, that I’d rather course correct with a whisper, than by getting knocked over the head!

But for all my self-awareness, I can still miss the obvious sometimes. I’d like to say right now… those times are NOT the fun parts.

I’ve shared about my farm being on the market, and my own grieving process, and reimagining my life around this transition. Well, that’s still happening.
I have the joy of raising my two boys, growing my coaching business, and spending time with my sweetie. It’s a full life, and one I dearly love. It’s also ripe with challenges, confrontations, and opportunities to stretch and grow.

What has slipped past my awareness, is the cumulative effect of ongoing stress. Living in the limbo of saying goodbye to the farm, while not yet being able to rebuild somewhere else, has been taking a larger toll on me than I was willing to acknowledge.

So life began getting my attention with catching a bad cold last month, from my youngest son. Now, after raising 2 boys, there’s not much that I’ve not been exposed to. I’ve got good ‘herd immunities’ and rarely get sick.
I seemed to get over it fairly fast, and being the high energy person that I am, I jumped right back into the fray. Well… round 2 of the cold knocked me flat out. I completely lost my voice, and as a life coach, that’s one thing I do need!

The message began sinking in, and I allowed myself to slow down. We took time at the beach with my parents – sleeping in until 7:00am… going out on my dad’s boat… hanging out with the people I love and simply allowing myself to relax. I began to heal.
I began to question some of the driving need to ‘go and do’ that’s been present with me.
When I was willing to look at what was behind it, I saw the loss of control I felt with all that’s going on around the farm; that scary ‘free fall’ into the unknown…
And in my meager attempt to feel secure, I did what my old patterns lead me to do.
I got busy.
There’s nothing like busyness to bolster the illusion of control!

So I’ve been practicing being with the discomfort, without having to make it go away. Turning my life back over to the Love that holds me. And asking what it might feel like, if I knew, down in my bones, that I was truly safe, and that all would be well.

The week after coming home from the beach, I threw my back out. It’s been more than a decade since I’ve done this.
This was an invitation to check in deeper… asking what is here that I don’t want to see?
What am I afraid of?
What am I feeling overwhelmed around?
What do I need from myself in this moment?
Breathing into the pain… and becoming willing to hear its message…

I’m being asked to trust.
Trust more deeply than I have before.
Trust that I’m not the one who is in charge – but the Love that holds me, and moves through me, is wanting to hold my life.
Not having a lot of baggage around the word, I call it God. I’m not particular about the name though. It’s the Presence that I can lean in to.

I’m being asked to sit in the limbo… to live in the feeling of free fall… to be present with the not knowing.
And this is not because I’ve done anything ‘wrong’.
But because this is exactly the kind of trigger that will reveal my deep need to control my life.
Without this being called out, I would live with that weight on me indefinitely.

I have a gift in this season.
The gift of learning to let go of my control.
To take each next step, and trust that I’m being led, being held, and being cared for.
To trust that my safety isn’t dependent solely upon my abilities… but that there’s a greater plan, a greater calling from deep within me, that’s leading me forward.
And to follow that into yet another wilderness… on trails unmarked, and unrecorded.

What a gift.
Life pushes me to my own edges – not content to let me stay in a comfort zone that limits who I am.
I breathe into this new perspective, and feel myself stretch to encompass it.
This is one that asks me to marinate with it a while.

It’s not about changing my landscape this time… it’s about allowing that landscape to whittle away those things that will no longer serve me where I’m going.

When you’re feeling like you’re hitting walls every way you turn, and your efforts seem to all be thwarted, I want to invite you to stop and ask:
Is there something here Life wants me to see?
What am I afraid of?
What is driving me?
What perspective might serve me better here?

Hitting it harder, doesn’t always work. And when Life is trying to get our attention, slowing down, sitting with the discomfort, and allowing it to reshape us, can be the fastest way through.

Celebrating your growth and unfolding…

Elizabeth Love



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  1. Suzanne Belnap

    As always, I love your writing, your looking into thyself! I love seeing into who you ‘were’ before I knew you… but in actuality it’s probably not really who you ‘were’ but more of how you got thru what you were going thru back then…. and a view into your thoughts and growth during those times. I suspect you’re (we all are) the same person you were, just a refined, better you, having learned and grown from all of life’s experiences. They changed and molded you into who you are today, just a more rounded, better you, with a more compassionate, loving understanding of others. Once again, thank you for sharing.

    I know these are older posts, I started with the recent one, but just get drawn to going back…..

  2. Nancy Smith

    Again you have have spoken what I often feel as well as what I hear so often in my practice. I know in my case the need for “being busy” “always working” was so much a part of my family of origin. Keep writing, as it provokes so much thought! Love it!

    • Elizabeth Love

      So glad it resonated for you, Nancy!! I’m amazed at how the growth and learning never stops… :)