The Dangling Carrots

by Raegan Cairney, Clayfield, Australia

Throughout my life I tended to always focus on the ‘dangling carrots’ ahead – you know, the goals you set for yourself that you never quite reach, no matter how much you try. I would either change the goals before I reached them or set unrealistic goals in the first place, always ensuring that I didn’t reach them. Or if by chance I did, I would never let myself enjoy it, because I’d have set another one that was bigger and grander than before. They almost always had the undertone that if I reached my goals, my life was in some way going to be ‘better’ and make me ‘happy’.

These dangling carrots came in many shapes and sizes. Some examples sounded like these:

  • When I lose five kilos, I am going to feel better about myself.
  • If I just go on that holiday, I will feel more relaxed and life will get back to normal.
  • I will be happy when I have a man in my life.
  • If I clean the house every day, it’s going to make me feel better.
  • If I just have a few drinks, I am going to enjoy myself so much more.
  • I am going to exercise five times a week.
  • I will start to enjoy myself at work when I know more.
  • If I just finish this course, I will feel like I am good enough because I have more knowledge.

And the list would go on and on…

Dangling carrots, these unreachable goals, were how I drove my life, always keeping me on a treadmill – one that never seemed to stop and certainly didn’t slow down. In fact, it actually would speed up. The more anxious I became about achieving things, the faster the treadmill would go… so I would then have to go faster to keep up.

As a result, I was living very much from my head and I wasn’t very conscious of my body. If I felt to do or say something – as in, felt it in my body as a kind of ‘knowing’ rather than just an idea – I would override it, instead opting for what my head told me. Living like this meant I wasn’t able to really connect with myself, let alone others around me.

So, to ignore the fact that I was overriding what I really knew was true, I went along to meditation groups, read every spiritual book around (or attempted to), and I was very rarely seen sitting down. I exercised myself silly at the gym and of course drank myself stupid every weekend, really to drown out the voices that were always in my head.

Over the years I did start to curb the drinking, but when I did, what lay underneath were those horrible voices. Comparison, judgment, self-doubt, self-hatred… it was like these voices had been kept quiet against their will and they were not happy. They were back – and they were LOUD.

These voices just perpetuated the dangling carrots cycle even more. Driving myself, driving my body. The urge to silence them again with alcohol was so great!! But, there was a part of me that knew if I did, they would just continue to get louder and louder. Plus, my body was showing the signs of pure neglect: digestion issues, high anxiety, glandular fever – my body was just exhausted. So I was forever looking for solutions to ‘fix’ myself – naturopaths, homeopaths, acupuncturists, chiropractors, psychics: you name it, I went to it, always looking for someone to give me answers.

Then three years ago, I was drawn to books written by Serge Benhayon, founder of Universal Medicine. Reading his books and attending presentations and workshops was the real beginning of turning my life around and allowing true self-healing to occur.

What was presented was not radical or over-the-top, in fact a lot of it was very practical: real-life tools I could apply that assisted me to get off the treadmill – like being more aware of when I needed to go to bed, feeling into what and how I was eating, being more gentle and loving with myself, which in turn created the space for me to be more gentle and loving with those around me. I simplified my life, simplified how I dealt with things. I learned how to ‘stop’ and ‘feel’, something that I had totally shut down the ability to do from when I was a little girl.

It has taken time, and effort, over these past few years. It has taken honesty and the ability to take responsibility for myself and my own healing, which does not happen overnight. But what I can say is the loud voices have gone, only returning when I know I am not connected to the heart of me… even then they are but a mere whisper. My health is amazing and I have wonderful, ‘true’ relationships with family and friends.

I don’t live my life by looking at the dangling carrots anymore. I have actually learnt to stop, feel, and express in a loving and joyful way. I do this by connecting with me first, listening to me first, and expressing from there. I have found a voice, a voice that is so loving and gentle, yet strong and empowered.

Yes, the voice I now listen to is ME!!

245 thoughts on “The Dangling Carrots

  1. The dangling carrots feel like all the must do’s and should do’s of life, everyone else’s expectations rather than honouring the impulse that comes from the body that is perfect for you and what you are here to offer life. An outward imposing inward from the world if you like, rather than an inward expressing outward to the world.

  2. What’s great about this Blog is that it shows that it is not just about stopping those obvious self abusive behaviours that damage our health but about digging deeper as to why those behaviours are there in the first place. What are they covering up underneath?

  3. I love this, all the dangling carrots that promise us something in our head when we achieve them, yet the truth is that every dangling carrot takes us further away from our true connection, the more we work on ourselves the more we realise that everything comes from within, and there is no need for dangling carrots, because we already have everything.

  4. We like to make our problem important and complicated and big, but the answer is often very simple and practical and everyday ordinary.

  5. A timely read for me. Dangling carrots have been featuring quite a bit in my life, particularly the one ‘I just need some time off to rest and get myself together’. Great to be reminded of the abusiveness and irresponsibility of them.

  6. The lure of dangling carrots can come at us from all angles of our life and can be both unrelenting and very very enticing but nonetheless just and you shared Raegan they will always leave us dangling, dissatisfied and craving more.

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