Engage Fully

See the first post in this series here.

I have a tendency to be outside myself. While I am being, enjoying, doing, there is generally some other part of me that is simply observing.

While this certainly grants me perspective, there is also the self-protective aspect of it. If I’m not fully present, I can’t fully internalize any conflicts. If I’m not in the moment, engaged with my whole heart and mind, failure doesn’t hurt so bad. If can withhold just a little of myself from the world, I will never get sucked into a maelstrom of misery and suffering.

On the other hand, there are many joys that I am too cerebral to appreciate fully. I am sometimes too cool to attract exciting possibilities. I am too distant from the process to engage in wild success.

I am working on that.

It seems so simple

I am an enthusiastic person, engaged in pushing my boundaries. But.

There seems to be a firewall. Some sort of failsafe.

Something that says, “Look here, dear one. I know you love to throw yourself into new challenges. I know you don’t always look before you leap, and sometimes stubborn pride and misplaced sense of responsibility digs you deeper than you ought to go. It’s great that you will still push those limits, even though it seems a little dumb. After all, some really cool things happen sometimes after all seems lost.”

I think the of the firewall of kind of a big sister. She’s the one who watches dispassionately and lets me screws up, but then also helps perform the debriefing.

“So, what went wrong?”

“What could you have done differently?”

“Did you learn something here?”

“Was there something you overlooked that was important?”

“What are some other ways you could interpret the data set?”

These are good skills. There’s no disputing that. Goodness knows people come to me to help them learn how to do exactly this. But ^those^ skills? I’ve got them nailed. Now I have to learn the skill of giving over completely.

How about you? Do you have a certain skill or set of skills that you know people would kill for, but you actually need to develop the opposite? Share in the comments!


Other posts in this series:

Labours of Heracles

Engage Fully

Accept No Limitations

Give Freely

Breathe Deeply


10 thoughts on “Engage Fully”

  1. Oh, I know this firewall feeling, of sorts. I’ve worked hard at trying to let it drop some, to open more ports or what have you. It’s not easy, but… when it’s done, it’s worth it. Even with all the nasty hackers and virii out there – it’s still worth it for those times when it all comes togther and I’m THERE. <3

  2. I know. The firewall is *so useful* but I think after a while it comes time to prove to yourself that you actually are pretty much a juggernaut, and flying shoes don’t really hurt that much after all.

  3. My problem… talent, I suppose, is the ability to see many sides of an argument at the same time.

    This makes it hard to form an opinion of my own and even more difficult to maintain my position. So that’s what I want to work on, not being so open minded my brain could fall out.

    1. I have so been there! Especially when other people are so rigid and dogmatic and you get stuck being the bigger person until you completely forget your own desires and values. I think it’s as hard as being an HSP; you can completely (and I have, in the past) displace your sense of self, by putting yourself so completely in another’s shoes.

      Great answer. High five!

      1. Awesome feelings! It’s great to be able to see multiple sides of an issue like that!

        I also have a debriefing session with myself after some events, but sometimes it leads to over-analysis. Sometimes I deliberately don’t spend time reflecting over and over on an important moment just to give it the space to be equal to other moments — not easy!

        I like your blog, btw. Thanks for commenting on mine. 🙂 I look forward to reading more.

      2. Hey Michi! Thanks for coming to hang out. That’s a good idea about *not* debreifing. I think it was just in the comments of David’s last post, somebody or the other was making the point that memories are false, and not only are they false, they get rewritten each time you remember them.

        I have this incredible false memory of being sideswiped by a semi. I would swear that it was me driving, that I saw the clearance lights on the trailer loom large in the sidewindow. In reality, I know that’s false because it was only a few months after my first accident, and I wasn’t driving yet. In fact, I *know* (because I was told) that when my mom yelled at us to hold on, I held onto my head, terrified that one more blow would destroy it completely.

        So, always best to be wary of things happening more than ten minutes in the past. 😉

        [If you have no idea what I’m talking about, I apologize. Check this series for backstory: http://feedthespark.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/traumatic-brain-injury-the-etch-a-sketch-inspiration/

    2. Yes, Caroline! Let’s do call it a “talent” rather than a problem!
      …and then, how DOES one step back from it enough to hold a genuine “this is what *I* think / feel / see in the situation” position?

      A very wise friend of mine suggested last week, that “the first thing you need to throw out, is half the questions you’ve invented!”

  4. Ah yes, you are referring to my comment 🙂

    I read your story – incredible! Some of your mental experiences sound familiar, states I’ve only very briefly (but intensely) reached through lots and lots of meditation. Rock on!

    Best especially was this, “A thought floats up and then drifts away like a soap bubble.” That is something I’d love to experience more often. I’m studying for the bar right now, though, and I really need my thoughts to stay in my head hahahaha though I guess the point here is to let non-law thoughts drift away…

    Anyway, great work, great story, great writing. 🙂

    1. Oh, was that your comment? That must have been why I clicked your name.

      It is *very* similar to meditation. Now just imagine being stuck in meditation for several months, never knowing if you’re going to leave again. Suddenly, one is not so content.

      Good luck on the bar!

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