There are some movies that no matter how many times you see them, if they are on as you scroll through the TV, its in all probability that you will stop scrolling and watch whatever is left of it. There are many of these such movies for me, but the #1 at the top of the list and has remained there since the first time I saw it is The Shawshank Redemption. I am not sure that I could adequately explain to you WHY that is the case or WHY this particular movie, I just know that if I was looking for something else to watch, whatever it may have been goes right out the window if that movie is on. I cannot recite the movie line for line. I have only been able to do that with one movie in my lifetime; Pretty Woman, which may or may not surprise you. I know the outcome of the Shawshank Redemption. I know Red cannot handle life on the outside. I know it all. But there is a line, a very simple line that has sat with me from the moment I first heard it and a line I used to say to my Mom. And I used to say it a lot. Especially when I was frustrated with her. That line is as follows:
“I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living or get busy dying.”
There were many reasons that I decided to become a Life Coach. One of them was that I watched how thoughts can terrorize and paralyze a person to the point of leaving them almost completely and totally broken. I watched how a person can get so attached to their limiting beliefs that they felt as if there was no possible way to change that attachment or the outcome it was sure to bring. I watched anxiety and depression debilitate someone to the point that they barely left their home. And in all honesty, if I had not made this career change, those things probably would have eventually happened to me. We can latch on to a belief or a thought or a feeling and we can get as attached as Velcro or Superglue or a leech or whatever kind of analogy you can conjure that would express an almost impossible detachment. We hold on to that thought for dear life. Even if it is the worst possible thought we could have. We cannot possibly let it go. Sometimes we hold so tightly we could not even imagine our lives without that thought. And it is when we do this that we get busy dying.
My example of watching this happen to someone is an incredibly personal one. I watched my Mom become a shell of a human being and tried desperately to reroute the course she was on. A route that I never put her on but felt obligated to steer her away from. I tried physically, mentally, emotionally and financially to redirect her to no avail. I have more tools in my toolbox now that may have been beneficial and could have worked, unfortunately I am far to late to actually be able to save her life. However, I can still save my own. And am certainly more equipped than I have ever been to help someone else detach their own terrorizing thoughts.
This entire concept just came to the forefront of my mind because I was at a crossroads in trying to make a personal decision and if you know me at all, you know that I weigh all of the scenarios and possible outcomes, especially when it comes down to BIG decisions. The decision may not have been big to everyone else, but that is where we get in a lot of trouble, when we start worrying about what “everyone” else thinks. Who cares? Ultimately, when I was struggling to make this decision, the line of this movie came in to my head and I instantly felt sad, because the last time I used it was with my Mom, almost pleading her to get busy living. And then I felt a tremendous amount of guilt. It was not that she didn’t want to, trust me on that, it was because her mind would not allow her to conceive of experiencing joy, no matter how bad she physically wanted it. And that reminder, the remembering of the last time that sentence came in to my head and out of my mouth, was the very thing that helped me make this decision. It is a simple choice really. Get busy living or get busy dying. In this case, I chose to get busy living.
If you are faced with things like that or any of that rings true or you are also stuck on a limiting belief or a thought that causes you suffering, I would simply say, how can I help?