Getting Stuck in the Familiar
by Jackie Woods
Recently I attended a tea party. It was well done. The decorations, the food, the entertainment, and the laughter were all perfect. I appreciated that I was extended an invitation even though I was an outsider to this close-knit group of friends. They were familiar with each other, and I was an unknown. Feeling myself to be the outsider felt awkward until one very gracious woman reached out to make sure I felt welcomed. I was so grateful she stepped away from her group of friends to join someone who was unfamiliar.
I went away determined to break the habit of latching on to the familiar. While there is nothing wrong with enjoying longtime friends or supporting your favorite restaurants, it is easy to miss what is being offered if you are stuck on looking only for the familiar. I could have reached out to welcome those at the tea party as the gracious woman did with me. But since they were unfamiliar to me, I didn’t.
Soon after the tea party I listened to a video my son did on the heart quality of reverence. His message was that if we just stick to expressing the qualities with which we are most comfortable, we will not be holding our total essence in reverence. He made it clear that our small qualities must be expressed as part of our whole being in order for us to feel whole. I personally took that message to mean that I must consciously choose to step beyond the familiar.
I am now looking at every area of my life to see where I have fallen into tight routines. For instance, I have done the same workout routine for years, and I pretty much have eaten the same foods—healthy but the same. So while I could argue that I obviously was loving health, I had fenced health into a small area.
So to break out of the contained space of the familiar, I allowed my heart to offer some new qualities. I am now bringing more creativity to my food choices as well as adding a couple of strength-building exercises to my workout. Of course, this has also pushed me to move my scheduling around a bit. This means the heart quality of structure has moved from the familiar as well.
When you hold in reverence every heart quality, no matter the size, you will not get stuck in the familiar. This intent will allow you to push aside the discomfort and fear that guards the familiar. In other words, you will begin to grow up.