You Mean I Can’t Have It All?…Life Is So Unfair!

I was asked a question the other day that has been in my head for a minute.  I did not answer the question.  Not because I did not want to answer.  I did not answer the question because in that moment and in that place I simply could not.

One of the first things that you are taught in law school is:  If you don’t have an answer to a question never ever answer with an “I don’t know” or worse  feign an answer.  You reply with an “I will get back to you” and you quickly go find the answer!  Law School 101.  This strategy has served me well over the years.  But I digress. . .

The question asked of me was straight forward, honest, simple and yet powerful:  What are you free from today that may have held you hostage when you were younger?  Even when I see the question again unspoken detached and flat on my computer screen I still say, WOW!

Well I have given the question some thought and my answer today April 21, 2011 is:  I am free from believing the lies that many of us were taught to embrace as truth during our youth.     However, the “lie” that I accepted and embraced “early and often” was the “you can have it all” lie.  So.Not.True.

*Commercials, self-help books, songs, movies tell us repeatedly that we can have everything in life we ever dreamed of–Please!–there is not one single person who has ever had it all.  And there is a simple reason why:  Every yes is a no, and every no is a yes.  Allow me.  When you go to a restaurant, the waiter does not ask you if you are having the entire menu.  You are asked what entrée are you having out of all of the entrees on the menu.  The waiter is asking what are you saying yes to on the menu.  If you are saying yes to the lamb, you are saying no to the steak, fish and everything else on the menu.  That’s life.  If you are lucky life is like a menu that you get to choose from, but saying yes to being a huge success at work usually means saying no to getting home by six and being able to live a balanced life.  Not always, but usually, for most of us.  The point being that no one has ever had it all because whenever a person says yes to something they are inescapably saying no to something else!

The you can have it all lie has indeed held me hostage during my younger years.  No. More!  By ridding myself of that lie I am now free to surrender from all of the guilt, anxiety and frustration that such a lie breeds.  I can’t have it all and that’s just fine by me. (but plesase tell me that life is fair, please.  Ha!).  For now I am having what I want.  Here.  With The Recovering Attorney Blog.  And for that I am grateful.

Are you free from something today that held you hostage when you were younger?

*The Lies We Believe by Chris Thurman, PhD.  1999.

COPYRIGHT 2011.  The Recovering Attorney.  All Rights Reserved.  And I will sue.  Ha!

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4 Responses to “You Mean I Can’t Have It All?…Life Is So Unfair!”

  1. Wow, what a profound question. I’ve taken a minute to think about this. When I was younger, I was afraid of failure. Subconsciously, I think I embraced “why try if I might fail?” Now that I have more life experience, I realize that there are lessons in failure.

    I just discovered your blog and will check-in daily!

  2. Isn’t that question loaded?! Makes you stop and say hmmmm–I’ll get back to you on that! At this point in my life I don’t classify my unsuccessful attempts as “failures.” They are simply important lessons learned from mistakes made. And I keep it movinng:) We are indeed on the same page.
    Welocme aborad, Meka. I will be back
    on Monday with fresh content. Happy Easter.

  3. Of course my reply should read: “moving” and “Welcome.” Blogging while drowsy is never a good thing. Ha!

  4. Consider this stolen:

    At this point in my life I don’t classify my unsuccessful attempts as “failures.” They are simply important lessons learned from mistakes made.

    I love this!

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