When confronted with the unknown, you don’t have to continue with your old way of life. Take the bold step, like a mythological hero, and cross the threshold into a new way of living.
The adventure is always and everywhere a passage beyond the veil of the known into the unknown; the powers that watch at the boundary are dangerous; to deal with them is risky; yet for anyone with competence and courage the danger fades.
Joseph Campbell. The Hero with a Thousand Faces.
Life is asking you a question. The question was once mumbled, misunderstood, or nearly inaudible. It’s not surprising that you haven’t answered yes, but, unfortunately, failing to answer or answering no have nearly the same results, and they have those results whether you know that you are being asked a question or not.
It’s time to begin to jump. Answering yes to the life question, no matter how narrowly it’s cast, is such a jump. It is a jump into the unknown. It is a jump into a world in which getting rid of or managing your own history is no longer required in order to begin to live the life you truly want to live. It is a world of self-acceptance, openness, ambiguity of content, and clarity of purpose. It is a world of psychological flexibility, in which you let go of the struggle, give up and live, less concerned about being right than being alive.
You do not have to say yes. Life will accept either answer. There is, however, a cost to silence or to saying no. Indeed, you’ve been experiencing those costs. Your pain is your biggest ally here. Have you suffered enough? Have you?
We don’t want to scare you. You don’t have to begin by jumping from the Empire State Building. You can jump off a sheet of paper, or a thin paperback book. But if you are going to start, you must start.
Steven C. Hayes and Spencer Smith. Get out of your mind and into your life: the new acceptance and commitment therapy.
* In a series of posts I call mythology Monday, I look at quotes from the work of mythologist Joseph Campbell and consider them alongside extracts from books and papers on acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and related publications.