Sometimes you just have to get ready to get ready to get ready
Brooklyn, NY: During the 9 months spent careening, then stumbling, toward a likely divorce from my husband of nearly 3 decades, I tried to interest him in an approach that felt much more possible to me than simply “staying the course” hoping we would wake up one day glad to have stuck it out. (This seemingly works for lots of people and I admit that I had moments where my pain was intense enough to believe I should have made that choice.) Instead, I suggested that we try the “fake it ’til you make it” approach meaning that we’d try on, keeping or discarding as we went, new patterns, new roles and new ways of understanding who we were–together and apart, then and now– instead of further extruding our dried-up patterns and hardened recriminations through the tortuous play-doh machine “fun-factory” of traditional therapy or midnight hash-outs. To me the standard tactics felt like the classic insanity definition of trying to come to a new place via the route you took to get where you already were –IMNSHO (“In My Not-So-Humble Opinion” which, I came to find out, was also one of the problems–my lack of humility but that’s a story for another time).
No, he did not think this a viable option and from many perspectives, save mine, he was perfectly justified in distrusting and discounting ANY idea I was bringing to the table at the time. And, once I realized that we would not be trying this approach, or any other except a court date with Judge Equi, I decided to try it myself.
I would, theoretically, begin faking my own way into new patterns, roles and ways of understanding. So, first, I began faking not drinking alcohol by not ingesting alcoholic beverages. That worked remarkably well. Next, I decided to fake being happy by acting joyful whenever I could and actively rejecting or rephrasing thoughts of gloom and doom about the loneliness of my future or that I might not thrive financially. Every day. Since December of 2009, I have had one short three-month bout of not not drinking, and some occasional dives into darker moments but, 9 years later, after getting ready to get ready to get ready to be sober and happy, I am still successfully BOTH.
Soooooo….when I first heard the SPOKEN concept of “getting ready to get ready to get ready” (up to this point, it had been wordless but palpable to me) from an Abraham lecture by Esther Hicks, I felt such comfort. What this “getting ready” concept basically means is, well, let me give you an example. I can honestly tell you that I have gone to NO yoga classes in the last few years but I know I am getting ready to. So, I keep my yoga mat out where I can see it at home. I’m getting ready to get ready to get ready to go to yoga. And, right now, that is good enough and sure beats regaling myself with daily stories about what a wretch I am for not doing this thing that I know is good for me and all of my friends just CAN’T imagine their lives WITHOUT!! Hence, the comfort of getting ready to get ready. AND, when the time comes for me to begin going to yoga, guess what? I’ll. Be.Ready.
As I was working this practice in the first few years, I realized that my husband and I had both been getting ready to get ready to get ready to divorce for much of the previous decade building an amazing momentum toward what we both actually wanted and needed in our lives (hint: not this extruded marriage based on a dead past and an unimagined future). I felt a loud call to drop all my fears and get ready to get ready for a vision quest across our great planet. He wanted something else entirely different (surprise!) and quickly beat a path to it once the ink was dry on our decree.
Now we are both free to get ready to get ready to get ready for whatever we both desire.
Me, I have a 9:25 flight to Edinburgh and, guess what. I’m ready.