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Procrastination & the Higher Self

The picture frame in the photo is empty and the caption says, “Procrastination. I’ll find a picture for that later.” I had posted this photo on my Facebook page a few weeks ago and got a response I wasn’t expecting from my friend Barbara. She said, “We're always where we're supposed to be when we're supposed to be there. We always do what we're supposed to do when we're supposed to do it. Our higher self knows how to time things for us perfectly! Some things we thought we were supposed to do never get done by us because we really weren't supposed to do them.”

Having read Barbara’s response I was in conflict because I believed what she said was true but I also think there are times in our lives that we procrastinate, delay, put off, and put off doing something until an opportunity is lost. The two ideas seem to contradict each other. But do they?

In my eyes the higher self is that part of me that is connected to a greater consciousness that I don’t really understand and cannot explain. Perhaps it operates on a cosmic level, perhaps spiritual, or both; I’m not sure, but I believe it works to bring my life the greatest good and highest joy available to me as well as those around me. I also believe that I have to take action in order for that to happen. A spiritual teacher I had many years ago said that if I were to take a step, God would take two.

It brings to mind the parable of the man who is caught in a flood and is stuck on the roof of his house waiting for God to rescue him. He turns away the life raft, the boat and the helicopter that come to save him, and ultimately he dies. At the gates of heaven he asks why God never saved him, as he believed would happen. St. Peter reminds him of the many ways in which help was offered but never taken.

For arguments sake let’s say that by having my accident and ending up in chronic pain, I’m right where I’m supposed to be. I’m not happy and I’m in so much pain I cannot see past it. Life is miserable and I feel stuck. Aside from dealing with all the emotions that go with chronic pain I basically now have two choices, stay stuck, or find a way back to feeling happy.

Not even a month had passed after I was diagnosed with the herniated disc when I was told about how beneficial Reiki healing would be for me. I tried it decided it was a waste of time and discarded it. But I took other steps, like exercise, meditation, and journaling. Each helped move me in a direction of healing and eventually I came back to find great benefit in Reiki healing.

What if I had just sat back and said, “This is it for me. Nothing can ever change in how my body feels. I’ll just have to live in pain.” The opportunities would have come along, but I wouldn’t have seen them. Or what if I had procrastinated and not started with the little bit of walking that I did? Without it the atrophy, the stiffness, in my muscles would have taken over making it even more difficult for me to get moving at some later date. By not taking any steps my pain would have been even worse.

Perhaps I am supposed to have this chronic pain. Through my healing process I’ve not been able to fully heal my physical body, but I’ve healed old emotional wounds and I’ve brought more peace into my life than I ever hoped for. The pain has also given me a new purpose in life. But none of it would have had happened if I hadn’t taken a step. The opportunity would have slipped by.

As for those things I thought I was supposed to do but never did? Well, maybe I really wasn’t ever supposed to do them and they fell by the wayside because I was taking action on some other aspect of life. Or maybe they fell away because I did nothing and the opportunity disappeared. I think the deeper question is whether or not you are at peace with where you are in your life.

Yes, I agree with Barbara that we are where we are supposed to be but I firmly believe that you need to take action to see the opportunities that your higher self opens up to you. When you take no action that is a decision but if you are simply putting it off I think it is a sign of fear or not wanting to face some aspect of your life. And I also strongly believe that when you are ready, and you take a step, you will have more help than you can imagine.

What do you think? I’d be interested in hearing your view of procrastination and the higher self.

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