Leaving things to the last minute is something that I have done quite often in my life, in many different ways. For me this has mostly played out in the form of procrastination, knowing that something had to be done, but not having the motivation to get to it and do it. Simple things like feeling that I needed to clean somewhere in the house, or knowing that something had to be completed for work but just holding off on doing so, or knowing that I had agreed to do something for another but not finding the time to do it.
I am becoming aware though, that ‘leaving things to the last minute’ can be played out in many different ways in our lives, for instance leaving home with just enough time to get somewhere and invariably running late, or being so busy with work or a project that one is made late for an appointment or meeting, even down to being so busy that going to the toilet is held off until the need is dire.
All of these things put my body under stress, creating a constant anxiety, as my body knows what is needed when, but I more than often ignore its subtle messages and push through to do what I think or want to do before I address the next thing that needs my attention.
The other thing that I have observed when I am holding back from doing the next thing is the excuse I use – “oh, sorry I am late, but I had to complete…” – because it sounds good and proves how ‘committed’ I am to my work or the project at hand.
We can often make the mistake of thinking that living this way only affects ourselves and that giving the impression we are a productive person in society is enough, where it seems this is quite the opposite as many are not productive at all although they may appear to be so.
Does this appearance of being productive then become an unconscious push in our body to be seen as being just that step ahead of another? Is there an energy at play, a judgment that is underlying in society where those who are not seen to be productive are regarded as a burden, even though they may really be accomplishing more without the big show of ‘being productive’? As we do not want to be seen as being ‘unproductive’ ourselves, do we live in the stress of constantly proving that we are productive, creating a tension between ourselves and all others? And does this only affect us? Or is there a ripple effect happening that we are very knowingly choosing to ignore in preference to feeling our own self-importance?
Does leaving just enough time to get to an appointment and finding that we are late, affect just us? Are our families being impacted by our behaviour, and by how we feel when we are living under the stress of needing to prove our worth and value to society?
I have come to the understanding that there is a very real ripple effect to living with this need to prove my value. When I am late for an appointment the person expecting me is impacted. When I live under the constant drive of proving my worth in society my family is the front-line receiver of my behaviour and are impacted daily in a multitude of ways, feeling the disregard when the simple daily life processes are ‘done in a hurry’ or simply ‘left to another time.’
What I feel is so harming about this behaviour and way of living is that when I am caught up in this I am absolutely oblivious to the effect it has, not only on those around me, but on society as a whole. I now realise that this is living in a way that is in complete opposition to the impulse of my Soul and the messages my body is constantly sending me.
Innately we all know our worth, our value and what it is that we individually bring to society. We have more than enough time to complete all of our commitments along with honouring our bodies and moving on to the next thing as it is needed, with plenty of space (time) to do so.
Honouring that, if it is time to move onto something else and what we are working on is not finished, then the space will be there later to complete it. Living this way brings a flow, an ease to life and a deep trust in ourselves: it also highlights true commitment as we are no longer committed to what we want or think needs to be done, but to society as a whole.
It’s time to remember the simplicity of surrendering to our body and allowing our life to unfold with the power and glory that is naturally within each and every one of us. To not get caught up in the societal judgments that are present, but to see them and understand each person’s reason for choosing to be part of them. Living a steady solid knowing of the value of each of us and showing another the way to step out of the prison the judgements become.
By Leigh Strack, Goonellabah NSW