A Moment to Reflect

A moment of regret, frustration, disappointment, wondering why different choices were not and are not made, a life lived less than all that I am and that it could be…

These were some of the feelings that washed over me one morning recently after attending a Universal Medicine event: my own regret and devastation of living life in delay, in avoidance of living all of me in every single moment.


Great question, and one I asked myself many times that morning while sitting at my desk. My answer to myself: there was no reason other than my own choice to not live anything more than what I had been choosing and had chosen up until that point.

I have always had an innate feeling, a knowing of what was needed, the choices I could make and should make, but avoided at all costs. Distractions and excuses were always close at hand: computer work, household duties, children, work, eating, shopping – you name it, there was always a plethora of things at my beck and call when I needed to avoid feeling the purpose of life.

If things were going well, it flowed. I was healthy, financially well off and supported, no arguments in the relationship, the kids were happy, so why bother to change anything. Sure, a few adjustments here and there at times with my routines, rhythms, relationships and diet, but that was it, and to be honest, at the time I felt like that was enough.

I was making the odd adjustments, what more was there to do?

Even with this thought, there was always a tension in my body, a knowing that that was not enough, that even though my life looked amazing, it still was not it.

I was sitting back resting on my laurels, and when the realisation came that I was where I was at because of my own choices, that just because life was ‘good’ – it did not give me a free pass to kick back and relax.

There is always more to me, to life, to the bigger picture and the purpose. Life is not meant to stop still, it is forever unfolding, deepening and developing, and I was the only one that could initiate that – no one else. The realisation and devastation of what I had been avoiding was overwhelming, it hurt and was not something I could run away from; it was in my body, raw, uncomfortable and confronting.

I could hear the children play and sing in the backyard, unaware of my tears that flowed and the thoughts I had been allowing to come in to keep me in a state of Un-Godliness, a state that had been impacting on everyone in one way or another.

The choices I had made and was making created a tension in my body, a tension that would come out at times in frustration, resentment, comparison and judgement of and towards others – not because of anything they had done, but because of what I was not doing or living. My heart ached, as if it had been ripped out, broken in two and stomped on, a pain and devastation I had never felt before.

The biggest hurt of all was that I had allowed myself to continue to live in such a way for so long with the absolute knowing and awareness of what I was choosing and doing. I’ll do it tomorrow, one more day won’t hurt, but tomorrow never came, and it did hurt. Avoiding tomorrow meant I didn’t have to feel the hurt.

It had become a game: how far can I go, how much can I stray and yet still come back when I wanted to? But what I have come to realise is that each time I take that step away from what I know to be true and needed, I only ever take half a step back to myself as I begin the walk back through the muddy footprints I walked away in.

Walking away from the presentation yesterday, I could feel the discomfort and awkwardness in my body, how I had begun to give myself a hard time for not living the more, for not making different choices when they were presented. The regret and beating myself up began to flow thick and fast, and it had a good hold on me for most of the evening and the following morning.

Now I have a decision to make, whether to walk back through the mud, through the imprints I left behind, to walk in the glory that is all of me, honouring and living true choices, building a foundation in my body that allows nothing less than absoluteness and fullness in every instance. How that looks and feels I have no idea. What I do know though is I have a great marker in my body of how it doesn’t feel.

It took me a while, but eventually I realised giving myself a hard time, beating myself up, only kept me in the momentum of that choice – a choice I was trying to move away from.

By letting myself feel the devastation and hurt – and it hurt a lot – I felt my heart had never ached so much. I wanted to run away but couldn’t. I let myself sit, cry and feel all that was there to feel.

I know I am not going to get it right all the time, that I may still push aside those feelings of truth, that the awareness may be too much in some instances and I may want to reach for an addiction of some kind, albeit as simple as a household chore to distract me or some Facebook time, but regardless of what may present itself, ignoring what I feel and see it is too painful to walk away from again.

By Nicole Serafin, 46, Woman, Self Employed Hairdresser, Wife, Mother, NSW Australia

Related Reading:
Is change possible? Understanding the choices we make and why!
I got to see how the choices I make for myself impact me
The importance of expressing truth

627 thoughts on “A Moment to Reflect

  1. The sad thing is is that we all have that knowing, we all know what we need to do and how we need to move. What the purpose of our life is – it’s simple, look around and see all the people who you interact with, what do you bring to these interactions, look at the work you do and what you bring to that, are you somebody who gives it your all, do the tasks to the best of your ability engage in conversations, stay present and open to those in front of you, to the best of your ability, or do you cut corners, try to just get things done, rush through conversations because you don’t have time, and cut off people because you don’t like them? There are so many things we can observe in our everyday lives, so many little moments of glory to learn from, yet we are constantly looking for that big hallelujah moment to to give us guidance on life…

  2. A moment to reflect is well presented – for the voice that tells us it’s right to say or do this or that is often a liar. To bring it back to ourselves and what we have to learn is so important.

  3. I love to reflect and learn from past choices. Sometimes we may not want to make the changes, but it’s great to learn to accept we have caused what has happened and take responsibility because then we can let it go. It’s so good to see through the games we play to delay.

  4. I have been in that regret and beat up recently, not accepting the choices I have made. But in that non-acceptance I make further unloving choices that I will then not accept! Yes they hurt but I don’t have to give myself a hard time over it. And I’ll repeat them until I choose love over and above anything that isn’t love. The more I feel my choices the easier it is to change them.

  5. It is interesting to consider that to sit back on our laurels means sitting on the energy and purpose that has already been given to us.

  6. The beauty about what you are presenting here is the realisation that the power always lies in our own two hands. The way we live is not to blame on anybody else but is our choice in every moment.

  7. “It had become a game: how far can I go, how much can I stray and yet still come back when I wanted to?” I know this one too. Time to stop and feel what’s really going on. Acceptance and appreciation feel the way to go for me.

  8. “But what I have come to realise is that each time I take that step away from what I know to be true and needed, I only ever take half a step back to myself as I begin the walk back through the muddy footprints I walked away in.” This is the honesty of what we do – often a half-hearted commitment to life. It can be confronting to see the mess we have been involved in and feel like a big step to correct it … but it is so worth taking the full step back towards our glorious joyful selves.

  9. It’s great to reflect, but what are we then going to do about our reflection? How are we going to be with our selves?

  10. It’s great to give ourselves a moment to connect to a choice, a decision made that we later regret. By bringing in some understanding and some deeper reflection on what motivated the decision, offers a great point of learning to choose something different next time.

  11. Beautiful Nicole that you stopped and reflected and allowed yourself to feel what was there, no matter how painful. It is so easy to distract ourselves and numb ourselves and just carry on as normal.

  12. It seems to me that allowing oneself to feel the pain or have that it even surfaces is a willingness to unpack more of the falseness one has lived by.

  13. It can feel tough to be so aware of the tension we feel, but it is a way forwards to grow and allow these moments to be felt deeply because then we can move on to the next step.

  14. Every moment is a choice and we know the choices we are making, choices that keep us in comfort, hiding so we are not seen and those that don’t.

  15. ‘…my own regret and devastation of living life in delay, in avoidance of living all of me in every single moment.’ Realising what it means to be living ‘all of us’, what we have left behind and not following through is a devastating feeling, but we can’t change the past, only make a different choice in the present.

    1. And that is the inspiring and liberating bit. No more wallowing in either self-flagellation or pity, we have the choice to learn from all that has past and set ourselves on a different trajectory.

  16. “Life is not meant to stop still, it is forever unfolding, deepening and developing, and I was the only one that could initiate that – no one else.” This takes away any excuse we may have to lay blame on another for how our lives are now. By taking responsiblity for our choices there is an openness that allows more to be offered and then there is a willingness to say yes to whatever comes our way.

  17. “It had become a game: how far can I go, how much can I stray and yet still come back when I wanted to?” I can so recognise this one – putting off til ‘tomorrow I will do xyz…’ Time to pause and reflect and make new choices.

  18. Thank you Nicole. Your sharing comes to me in a moment in that I feel a bit stuck, invites me to let go some thoughts that I’ve been allowing to affect me and empowers me to make choices that honour and support me in this time of letting go and deepen. Love when you said that ‘I know I am not going to get it right all the time’ and that’s true, we don’t have to be perfect, just aware and responsible for our choices.

  19. Sometimes the impact of our own past choices hit us a bit like a brick, but the reflections are great to feel because this affects and confirms our future choices we can make differently.

  20. I was listening to some music just the other evening while preparing supper and I was over come by a great sadness that even now I’m still living life in delay, as you say Nicole in avoidance of living me in every single moment and like you I am asking myself why?
    I’m glad to have this moment to feel that I am still missing my self and the beauty that is God in every moment he is there just a breath away. I realise for far too long I have listened to other people’s views rather than holding steady with what I know to be true.

  21. Taking a “moment to reflect” can be one of the most valuable gifts we can give ourselves, but at the same time they can also be very uncomfortable and sometimes painful moments. I know that I used to avoid these moments as often I didn’t like what I was being shown, but making that choice of avoidance didn’t make the issues go away, instead they sat and waited until the time came when the wisest choice, was to take note. What I have now found, is that the more uncomfortable the reflective moment, the bigger the lesson and the bigger the gift I can give myself.

    1. Yes, me too, wanting to avoid the deeper feelings that arise when I pause and reflect. I would go into ‘keep busy’ mode to avoid feeling – a technique taught to me at boarding school and still going strong many years later unless I make a conscious choice to stop and feel.

  22. Without the stop moments to reflect there can be no deepening as we fail to complete the full cycle of moments from which the next moment unfolds.

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