When I take time to dig deep and be with my thoughts and emotions, I uncover more internal diamonds. A few years ago when my father was in the intensive care unit and I was pretty sure he wasn’t going to make it, I went back to digging into my thoughts. I started with a gratitude journal, then I began to ask myself why I was upset. I just wanted to dig into the pain to understand it better. He was connected to machines and tubes. All his muscle mass was gone in just a matter of weeks. He was flabby as a baby. It was shocking to see my tough German father so weak. He was ready to give up. It was at this moment that I knew that I didn’t want to make the same mistakes he made. He never forgave his own father for the mental and physical abuse.
Do you ever notice yourself acting like your parents?
My father could be a bully sometimes. He bullied himself as well as my brother and me. He was not as bad as his father, but it was still traumatic to me. I was a sensitive kid and took everything very personally. The fear I have over small things like closing a car door too hard still causes me to cringe. I’ve uncovered a lot of these diamonds and brought them to light so I can learn from them, but there are thousands more to uncover. More diamonds to uncover than is possible in any lifetime. I forgave my father because I know he loved me. He did the best he could considering the rough circumstances that he grew up in. He was born in Germany right after World War 2. His family fled to Australia to escape poverty when he was 12. He started working when he arrived in Australia because his father forced him to help support the family. His father hit him for any small infraction. Then the family moved to America when he was 17. His father (my Opa) would bully my father in many ways. He once told me how his father took away his car, that he paid for with his own money, and gave it to his mom. He didn’t have the capacity to forgive his father.
He passed his fears and anxiety on to me through his actions. I was scared of him when I grew up. I would tip toe past him to try to go unnoticed when he was watching TV. I was afraid he would yell at me for being too loud.
I would not have traded him for anyone else’s father because he gave me so many positive things as well. He gave me self-discipline. He helped mold my design oriented brain. He supported my writing. He believed in me. The fears and anxiety that carried through him held me back for a long time. It’s why I created Dig to Fly. I was tired of my inner voice holding me back from going after what I really wanted.
Here’s a little test to know whether you need to practice Dig to Fly:
- When you give a presentation what does your inner voice say to you?
- Does it give you honest and supportive feedback or does it bully you?
- Would you allow this feedback to be on the first slide of your presentation you are about to give?
If your answer is anything like mine was from a few years ago, it would be a big fat NO!
Your inner voice should be your biggest supporter, not your biggest detractor. This takes daily practice. When I train people in the Dig to Fly Method I suggest they do a short writing practice once a day for 30 days to build the habit. I suggest they do it at the same time every single day. I did mine at the end of the day. You might take 10-15 minutes for the first few days, but you get better the more you practice. I now can do the Dig to Fly method in less than two minutes. I’ve been doing this inner work for many years and I feel like I’m just beginning to find these diamonds and enjoy them. I used to throw these diamonds away because I didn’t appreciate their value. I didn’t see the point in appreciating my struggles.
To live a free life you must make time to find your inner diamonds and expose them. Now when I hear a door slam and it triggers my fear, I automatically ask myself how big of a struggle is this feeling on a scale of 0 - 10? Most of the time just taking a second to answer the question starts to calm my anxiety. Then I go through the method. I always feel better after I’m done. I see these thoughts as little and big diamonds inside of myself. Each diamond you find and shine a light on gives you the fortitude to dig deeper, so you can fly higher. There will be times you find silver, copper, gold. Each dive into your struggles won’t always uncover diamonds, but it will help you understand more about yourself so you can live a more free existence. Free from negative forces inside and out.
What is your biggest struggle right now? Just go and download the Dig to Fly printable and work through it yourself.
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