Is your need for “right order” keeping you stuck?
I have to lose 15 pounds before I start dating.I must have my website perfect before I reach out to clients. I need a graduate degree before I begin the work I love. I must know exactly where our relationship is going before we move in together. I need the best recording equipment before I write the songs. My business must be self-sustaining before I take a vacation.
In other words, there’s often a right order in which, we believe, things must be done.
I’ve been noticing this idea of right order come up a lot lately with my clients. Some believe they have to be a certain weight before they accept their bodies, some espouse they can’t move forward in their good work before they have the right education, while others believe they can’t date before they feel 100% emotionally ready.
In other words, A must come before B. It’s simply the natural order of things.
A year ago I would have agreed. Being a sucker for order myself, I love the certainty that ABC alignment provides. It creates a sense of control and safety in an otherwise chaotic, unpredictable world.
And yet what I’ve seen with my clients and in my own life is that our obsession with right order can dampen our curiosity and keep us blinded to other possibilities. We all have ideas about how things should be; however, when we can experiment and let go of our right order, even for a moment, we open ourselves to new opportunities of how things could be.
We’ve all got a list of “right orders”, and the right order paradigm I’m currently working with is: I must be married before I have children.
This has been an ongoing discussion between my “I don’t want to get married and I want children” dude, and me, who wanted both marriage and children.
This is a major right order thing for me and of course, not just me, but for society in general. Everyone knows that marriage comes before children. A before B, or M before C, as it were. (Everyone except my dude and an ever growing population of unmarried, co-parenting couples, that is.)
One of the things that keeps me on my toes in my relationship is the fact that his right orders don’t always line up with mine, which requires me to get curious about why I believe I need things the way that I do. (Don’t worry, he’s questioning his right order too.)
I’m currently sitting with the idea of children before marriage, and though I don’t have it fully figured out yet, questioning the right order that marriage must come before children has opened me up to explore what I believe about long term commitment, parenting, love and what I truly need in a relationship.
Digging into my right order has been incredibly helpful to the growth of our relationship, growth that wouldn’t have occurred had I been forever locked into how things had to go.
Right order can also be used as a very sneaky loophole to avoid the things we want most that also scare the shit out of us. It’s all too easy to say we have to lose 15 pounds before we start dating. Or we need an MBA before we start the business. Or we must have a load of free time and a perfectly appointed art studio before we begin painting.
We put all kinds of obstacles in our way because it’s scary to go for the big love, the big career dream or the big creative project our soul is asking for. Right order can easily turn into an escape route we take to subconsciously avoid what we want in our lives.
Here’s what I know.
There is absolutely value in certain right orders. I still believe it’s best to wash your vegetables before you eat them, best to wash your hands before you leave the bathroom, and best to wash your hair before an interview or a date.
And I also know that sometimes we think our right order is the only way to proceed, when it’s actually the exact thing keeping us boxed in, narrowed and stuck.
Over the next few days, think about how right order plays out in your life. What things do you currently believe have to happen in a particular right order?
Is there a situation where you may be able to get curious about your right order and question why you need things to happen that way? By questioning how you believe things must go what other possibilities and avenues open up for you?
And if you’ve realized you use right order as a way to avoid following your dreams and desires, ask yourself this: How might right order be keeping you from what you really want? What’s one brave action you can take to sidestep right order and just f*cking go for it?
I’d be thrilled to hear what you come up with so please, email me and lay it on me.
All my love,
P.S. If you’re struggling with needing certain things (or life in general) to happen in a particular way, let’s schedule a clarity session. A clarity session is a no-string attached, one-shot coaching session where we’ll look at where you’re stuck and give you a fresh perspective on your right order to lighten things up a bit. I’m currently booking sessions for June so simply email me and we’ll get you on calendar.
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