Blocks, broken

There’s something I noticed this week, as I’ve been handling various things around home that I had put off for one reason or another. Before I did the things, they took up a good deal of mental and emotional energy. Afterward, I didn’t give them a second thought. I moved effortlessly on to thinking about other stuff. Tasks that had seemed so big, so potentially difficult or traumatic, became inconsequential in hindsight. Blocks look so different from the other side. It seems they always look bigger before one goes through them

I think it’s wrong, though, to say that it’s all illusion, that a block really and literally is smaller than we think when we look at it unbroken. I think we do ourselves a disservice by saying that “I thought that thing was going to be hard, but it was all in my mind.” Of course it was in your mind; that’s the thing that gave the block power. Just because “it was all in my mind” doesn’t mean it’s inconsequential; maybe it’s even more consequential, because the thing that’s holding you back is part of you. The thought “that was such a small thing after all” is too easily followed by thoughts like “so why couldn’t I just deal with it before? What’s wrong with me, anyway? Why am I so weak?”

So I’m noting today that it’s a mistake to give blocks too much credit, to see them as things we can’t overcome, but also a mistake to give them too little credit, because they really do matter and it really is hard to get through them — otherwise they wouldn’t be able to block us. Give them too much credit, and you never get to move on; give them too little credit, and you also discredit your own achievement when you finally get through.

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