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Are you feeding possibilities? Or is suffering draining your energy?

Message 12, January, 2021

Dear Guest,

We have to decide what we will - and won't - choose to give our energy away to.

This act of choosing feeds the way you live your life. Do you want to feed the suffering or do you want to feed the part of you that wants to live a more fulfilling and satisfying life?

I realized a while back that I was giving away my energy to suffering. I was feeding resentment, bitterness, guilt, shame, pride, hurt, doubt, fear, cynicism, sarcasm, need for control. I didn’t intend to do it, but I was. I wasn't really surprised when I saw it, because I had been able to feel it in my gut for a long time. I couldn't put a name on it, but I knew there was something distracting me from living the life I wanted.

If you had asked me then, I would have said the problem was the people and circumstances in my life. But it turns out that wasn't my problem. My problem was that I was choosing to put my energy into thinking about how difficult my life was. I was choosing to focus on the difficult emotions that seemed only natural given my circumstances.

I was choosing to feed these painful emotions, over and over again, every day.

I was also choosing to pay attention to all of the voices around me that agreed with the suffering. Of course, they said, your life is supposed to be hard. It's supposed to feel hard. That's the way it is when you are an entrepreneur, wife, mother and caregiver, they said. That's the stage of life you're in. That's the way it is. 

I was choosing that as my truth and I was choosing to give my energy to an expectation of suffering. I was feeding a suffering mindset.

I was not choosing possibilities. I was putting my energy into anything but possibilities. And possibilities don't show up when there is no food for them.

Now, every day, I choose possibilities instead.

My circumstances haven't changed. But I have changed.

Don't get me wrong, I still hear the voices that tell me I would be normal to choose a suffering mindset. Those voices are real. They haven’t disappeared.  But I don't put any energy into believing them any more. Now, I let those voices pass by me. I don't feed them.

And when one of those voices does get lodged in my head - when I find myself putting energy into a suffering mindset - I don't put my energy into punishing myself for it. Or not for long, anyway. And I don’t push it away. Instead, I notice it* and I feel it and I figure out why it's happening. And I do the work to be at peace with it so I can stop choosing the suffering.

I think of it as my choosing diet. Which choices do I want to feed with my energy: the suffering or the possibilities?

In the next message, I'm going to talk about why it's not up to me, or anybody else, to judge the size of your dreams and possibilities.  

Please let me know how this is working for you, or if you have any thoughts or  questions, by leaving a comment here.

Kay Coughlin

*If you want help noticing your thoughts so you can figure out what you’re feeding with your energy, take a look at my free “Thought Download Cheat Sheet” for caregivers.  


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Copyright 2020, Facilitator On Fire, Galena, OH, 43021, 614.426.8062

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