You Can’t Handle The Truth

Happiness is a Beach in Kauai

So I’ve learned something.

I went to Kauai to find answers, not really even knowing what my questions were, but feeling like there was something I was missing that I needed to find. Or maybe I needed to be found. One of those. I don’t know.

I wait for answers too often. If I want something to happen, I assume things are simply going to work out, eventually. Someone or something will swoop in with neon signs and arrows showing me every step of the way. 

But clearly, for awhile now, I’ve been unhappy. I’ve felt unsettled and awkward, almost like I was intentionally avoiding something. And for the first few days in Kauai, I wasn’t settled either. I was thrilled to be there, of course, but I felt a little like I was phoning it in. The truth was, I was starting to panic. What if I didn’t find answers here? WHAT IF THERE WERE NO ANSWERS?! Gack.

Fearing this, I became determined to find that answer, no matter what. It was there. Somewhere. Dammit.

We were on horseback, in the rain, clip-clopping through the Kauai jungle when I got an inkling of what I was looking for. Oh gawd, I wasn’t going to have to come up with these answers… myself, was I? Oh no, no no no, there had to be an easy way for me to just find the magical path of direction where it already existed. Right?

The next morning, we were having tea on our lanai, listening to the waves, about to head off for the day, when I heard this little voice inside my head say, “Help.”

I was praying. For a sign, an answer, something obvious. Please, I thought, let there be something obvious.

A few hours later, meditating in a beautiful setting intended for true inner peace, I said the same thing. Help. Where? How? What? When?! I asked.

Immediately I got a reply. The same voice (sounding a bit wiser) said, “It’s your choice.” 

Fuck. I really was going to have to figure this out myself. No sign. No direction.

This was not the answer I was hoping for. I was hoping for something easy.

Yet… wait. You mean if I just committed to something and set a date that would be… the answer? That’s it? Said and done? OMG that was too easy. That can’t be right. Can it? 

Suddenly the stress disappeared. The weight I’d been carrying was gone. I knew that I’d gotten my sign, and that inner voice I’d heard earlier was smiling proudly at my accomplishment. The answer had been so… obvious.

What the hell? How did I go from clueless to confident in three seconds?

I had been afraid. In retrospect, it seems silly, since the fear that comes with not taking action is so much greater than the fear of choice. I can’t avoid choices. Well, I can, but it’s not going to forward anything. Kind of like running the wrong way on an escalator. Choices are opportunities, not catalysts for paralyzation. Waiting is death. Actions are what make up the very purpose of our lives. It happens so fast. I’d rather meet life at each point, run up to it and plan something amazing so that I don’t get lost in a whirlwind of wishing and waiting. 

Not that I’m very good at it.

I learned, yet again, that I have to be the person I want to be. I have to live the things I want my story to be about. Always.

The truth is, it’s all up to me.

Written by Shayla Maddox for Art & Musings

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About ShaylaMaddox

I paint, and travel, and absorb the universe. And then I paint about those things. My work is a blend of science, Zen style, and Sacred Geometry. I am inspired by stars, moons, sunsets, tropical beaches, humidity, coloring books, crayons, glo-worms and lite-brites, the Disneyland Main Street Electrical Parade, Jules Verne, The Science Channel, ancient technology and civilizations, the study of the universe, spirituality, stained glass windows, sea glass, telescopes, down-tempo music, Zen wisdom, rainbows, fireflies, water and light.

2 thoughts on “You Can’t Handle The Truth

  1. Shayla, I’m searching for answers to and sometimes just want to wait for them to appear and when they don’t I do find it frustrating. Lately though the frustration doesn’t ebb and flow… it just appears and then disappears rather quickly. It may be due to quitting smoking and also due to being honest with myself with what I want from a relationship.

    I’m three weeks smoke free now and re-opened my dating profile. These choices were difficult to make as they are leading to more choices.

    And in this modern life choice is so abundant and that is where the problem lies and our anxieties indeed rise because of this abundance of choice. I think it’s nice sometimes when someone else makes the choice for us but ultimately when that happens we lose a bit of freedom if we aren’t happy with the choice that they made. Now, I’m rambling.

  2. I totally suffer from option paralyzation. If I have too many choices, I panic, and can’t choose anything. And sometimes I think I specifically make more choices for myself so that I can justify shutting down.

    I’ve been frustrated more often than not lately. I can’t seem to shake it.

    Many congrats on your 3 weeks. :) I hear it just takes 21 days for the “new habit” to finally stick. :)

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