Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Disengage the Auto Pilot


‘Where you are going, Mum?’

My son’s voice snapped me back from whatever dreamland I had been visiting.

‘I’m taking you to school,’ I was about to reply. But then it struck me. I was heading for the Primary School, when my son had been at high school for nearly a full year.

Now I might have driven my son to the High School for nearly a year, but I had been driving him to the Primary School for seven times as long. For some reason, on that particular morning, a moment of inattention had me reverting to old habits – retracing patterns and paths from the past.

In the course of my life there has been a succession of people who always managed to make me feel that I was somehow inadequate. Rather than being clever enough to use this as fuel to fire me up and prove them sadly mistaken, I let it drag me down and did stupid things which only served to prove them right.

But, we all reach a stage in our lives when we have a choice as to what path we intend to follow for the rest of our days. I believed that I could break the cycle of failure and despair. While I may never have become the person that others expected me to be, I have certainly become the person that I am comfortable being.

The trouble is that I was that ‘other’ person for a large part of my life – and I’ve been this new person for a much shorter time. And sometimes I forget. Sometimes I find myself retracing old patterns and paths from the past; reverting to old habits.

There is no one in my life now who expects me to be anyone except who I am. There is no one who doesn’t see me as capable and efficient. In fact, dare I say it, there are even some who suggest I might be … talented???

But I make a mistake and immediately I am operating on Auto Pilot – beating myself up for being such an idiot; so incompetent; so careless. I take a little longer than normal to do a job and I am making excuses – must be getting old and slow; I wasn’t properly organised etc.

And my husband looks at me with bewilderment in his eyes instead of the disapproval I seem to be expecting and says

‘Okay. So you made a mistake? So what? You took a bit longer than normal? So what? I wasn’t timing you anyway.’

Thankfully, the only person who expects too much of me now is me. And that’s good, because, after all, I am the only person I can really change. I just need to learn to disengage the Auto Pilot.
©Lyn Murphy 2011


travellerlina said...

You are just wonderful. And what you write talks straigt to the heart. Auto-pilot can be switched off. Now. Loads of love and light from the other end of the globe...

kden said...

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog! This post is very well written and so true. It's so easy to get sidetracked and derailed into bad habbits and thinking. Sounds like you have a pretty sweet husband ;-)