As a culture, we’re often obsessed with the next best thing. One of my dearest friends is moving in the next few months. It’s been so fun watching her move from buying the land to creating blueprints to the construction of her new place. I walked through it last weekend before the drywall was put up and the floors installed. We talked about where she’ll place her children’s beds in their rooms and where the massive walk-in pantry will be in the kitchen. She was thrilled to be moving into this beautiful space after having searched with her husband for some time. As we left the construction site and hopped into her car, she said, “I’ve got 11 years of stuff to go through before we move in!” in an exhausted voice. She knows that she needs to purge through old baby clothes and unused household items because boxing them up for the new space would be nonsense!
Just like this dear friend, it’s a lot more enjoyable to look at the next big thing before going down into our attics and basements to clean up and clear out old junk. And what’s true in life is also true in our own journeys. I’d far rather date someone new than deal with the disappointment, pain, and heartache of the last relationship. It’s so much easier to blame an ex-boyfriend for the demise of the relationship and go out the next weekend with someone new than focus on my part that needs healing and growth.
Human beings are excellent pain avoiders so it makes sense that we would try to avoid painful parts of our childhood, past relationships, unwise financial decisions, blind spots in our careers, and unhealthy lifestyle patterns. Denial is way easier, but it’s only time until we find ourselves back in the same place frustrated and stuck. We believe that you have the potential for greatness in your work and relationships, but before you accelerate to the next best thing, you need to accept, address, and work through the stuff you’ve been trying to ignore. Trust us, those boxes are ones that you’ll be glad you let go of!