What is the deepest driving force in your life?
Have you ever asked yourself this existential question? Done some soul searching to find the perhaps not so obvious reasons behind what drives you. The thing working at the core level within you, motivating or maybe pushing you to get out of bed each morning, sometimes excited to start the new day, sometimes not.
There’s been a lot of ups-and-downs in my sense of drive throughout life. Looking back it has been a wobbly road, certainly hasn’t been steady. The last time I lost my drive almost completely was 9 years ago. It was a spiritual crisis and a big one. Because of a muddled situation where love went “wrong” and suddenly I found myself not knowing if I was a victim or a perpetrator in the situation.
In hindsight, I’ve realized that I was neither. It’s not black or white like you discover to be true about almost every single situation, as you mature. No hero and no villain, just fragile human beings making mistakes…
I’ve made my peace with it now. The biggest problem was that I lost trust in love and even life itself for a while. I semi-subconsciously concluded that it apparently was “dangerous” to love that much or be that happy. Because then bad things would always happen; something that felt like a shocking fall from heights. When using the words “Always” or “Never” about a situation, it is often a statement made by our inner child, who once perceived it exactly like that. My intuition told me it was a repetition of a childhood wound: that terrible feeling of falling apart and shutting down. Becoming numb.
Here’s a little mouse-fellow I drew for my book the other day which captures that awful state of being rather well…
As you can figure or perhaps have experienced similarly yourself, it is a rather depressing conclusion to live by. NO drive in that one. It took some years to get over it; to realize that it is in fact just a belief based on a past experience: not the absolute Truth.
I know that artistic expression is a wonderful way for us to heal ourselves and potentially others, probably one of the best. But being someone who used to feel only inspired when being in a state of joy and expanded awareness, it took a while to get my creative drive back. Eventually, it did come back though, thank goodness!
As a blessing in disguise, I discovered the benefits of allowing myself to express ALL feelings through art, which I didn’t fully do before. Maybe it doesn’t feel elevating to create from darker emotions, but it does feel meaningful and sometimes even healing.
Another thing I have often pondered on is why on earth some people can feel motivated or inspired by criticism or having to prove themselves; to prove their worth. For some they seem to get spurred by it, wanting to do their absolute best: to “show them”!
Our society seems to be in a trance with this competitive attitude and attempting to win or be the “best” at practically everything, that might be made into a competition. The competitive mindset is a rather masculine approach, it must originate from that old “survival of the fittest” theory.
I, instead, will most likely lose my drive under such circumstances. I’ll get discouraged by the pressure and eventually lose all joy and creativity and probably end up giving up…
I thrive with a gentler, freer, more playful and explorative approach with nothing to prove. Preferably attempting to express an intrinsic value I’ve found in something, like a tribute to life’s beauty: a declaration of love! Or maybe I’ll try to convey a realization I’ve had. A more feminine approach, perhaps?
To me it boils down to: does this feel like being driven by love or driven by fear?
The Chronic fatigue syndrome for me (at least partly) stems from being driven, more or less consciously, by fear for far too long, and being too sensitive to endure that state of being anymore. Like Pete Walker states in his book about complex PTSD; he calls it to have an inner alertness or sense of being forced in life. Luckily, fear sometimes takes the backseat but anxiety is often “simmering” below the surface which is exhausting in the long run for your body.
I can’t be driven by fear anymore. Not without getting sick again, I’m sure.
Like many Sensitives, I long to be allowed to let my own organic life force drive me: it’s flows and rhythms and natural tendencies, it’s curiosities or sense of wonder. Not having to prove my worth, but instead express the innate and immense worth and value of life which is the same as my own and everybody else’s innate worth and immense value.
It takes trust to live like that; a trust which often still escapes me. But it feels like I’ve finally tip-toed onto a path, leading in the right direction!