Make a list of all the things you spend time doing in a regular week. Call this list “Busy.”
Make a list of the things you are willing to commit the next 10 years of your life to. Call this list “The Deep Dive.”
They say it takes 10 years or 10,000 hours to truly become a master at something. Mastering requires a deep dive. As you reach your 30s and beyond, three categories of people will emerge around you: those who have done a deep dive, those who have not done a deep dive, and those who can’t do a deep dive. The majority of people will fall into the middle category; they are neither driven enough to stick with something nor sufficiently wounded to be stuck. They’re just busy. And busy is tempting because it looks productive and normal.
Don’t fall for it.
Subtract all the items on the Deep Dive list from the Busy list. These are the things that you do all the time, which by your own admission you are not willing to commit to for 10 years. Which of these things can you just stop doing? Maybe you should think about that.
Now subtract all the items on the Busy list from the Deep Dive list. These are the things that you are willing to commit to but are not presently taking any steps toward. Stopping the busy is only half the battle; now you need to start the deep dive. Set to the clock to 10 years, and begin.
If you’re too afraid to take the risks necessary in order to make a deep dive then you need to be honest with yourself about this. No one is going to bail you out or magic your life into something different. Whatever happened to you was probably not your fault and yet you are invited to become responsible for your recovery all the same. The trouble with trauma is that it stifles and blocks, it freezes us and locks us down. Trauma is the person that your heart became in response to your deep wounds, and trauma is desperate to not be wounded again. It wants you to stay exactly where you are, the way you are, so that it will never fear that you might abandon it. Trauma doesn’t want to be left alone but it is a dominating and controlling personality.
Don’t fall for it.
You can instead befriend trauma, listen to it, earn its trust, show it love and draw it out into the light. Find people to journey with, people who you can introduce it to, who will love you the same way you have learned to love yourself. In time, you won’t find trauma speaking to you anymore. There will only be you and you will be ready for the deep dive.
As for those of you who are in the midst of your deep dive, my encouragement is to find others who are deeper still, or who have returned already as masters. Befriend them. Invite them to speak into your life. Form a community that rejects busy, commits to one another and dives deep together, in order to bring healing to the trauma around you.
It’s worth it. Trust me.