My head is empty. Blank space is what I call it. I want to fill it, but I'm crippled. Crippled by doubt and confusion. What do I want to fill it with? I could put anything in - tv, books, social media, conversation, education, prayer, play. Nothing feels right though. I doubt what I want. I've been through this before. It's all about doubt. Doubt that I'm spending my time the way I want to. Doubt that I can do what I've set out to do. Doubt that I can be who I want to be. So then I freeze. I stop. Hold my breath. Wait. Go numb. What am I doing? Who am I to do this, be this, want this, achieve this? I could quit. I could shrink. I could be quiet. It would be easier. No rejection. No fear. No doubting. Just safe and small.
It feels good to think about quitting. About shrinking. It feels like a relief. It feels simple. I am not a "quitters never win" kind of person. I believe quitting is an option. I believe sometimes quitting is winning. I think our culture has wrapped quitting in shame, but that sometimes quitting is the most liberating and beautiful and brave decision we can make. When we consider quitting anything, we can ask: "What would I do instead?" This is where many of us get stuck. We don't know. We just don't know what we want. We only know that what we're doing isn't working. Or we do know what we want, but we doubt. We doubt our abilities, our support network ("What will people think."), our worthiness. So we freeze.
This is me. What to quit? Am I quitting because it's right or because it's easy? Is it purpose driven or fear driven? Is it the right or easy thing? I doubt my ability to determine. So I freeze. Everything. I'm paralyzed by doubt. I can't move because doubt has come and I'm so ashamed of it that I can't breathe. I have to hide it. No one can know that it has crept in, that I'm unsure, that my footing is slipping. If I don't move, I'll be safe. If I don't move, I won't have to decide.
Decision by indecision. It's a thing. We paralyze ourselves with doubt and fear until the decision is made for us. We decide not to decide. That is a decision. We could choose what we want. We could do the work. We could pray. We could ask for help. We could flip a coin. We could choose, but we decide not to because we are afraid to own our decision. So we let the world decide. We let life slip by. We let our calling go stale. We let our questions go unanswered. We stop looking for solutions. We decide we are not worthy of taking control. We are so ashamed of our doubt and of quitting that we trudge along numb and lifeless. But we don't have to. We can choose. We can decide. We can make our doubt work for us instead of against us. We can quit what's not working. If we can remove the shame we've wrapped doubt and quitting in, they might just lead to everything we always wanted.
I see my doubt and I am considering quitting some things. My doubt is paralyzing me. Telling me not to move. To decide by not deciding. To make me ashamed. But I'm taking my doubt and I'm saying, "I see you and your sharp edge. But I know you can help me as much as you can hurt me." I'm going to let my doubt drive me to ask questions. To pray. To act. My doubt means I'm growing and my growth means I'm living. I can choose not to be ashamed of my doubt. I can choose to quit what's not working and get to the heart of things. I can choose to live a whole and full life and to use my doubt to drive me forward. To ask questions. To do the work. To quit what's draining me. To pursue what's worthy. To let go of shame. To learn and grow. To decide. To live.