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I Can't Finish Anything!

January 05, 20245 min read

While I lay there thinking about what the dream was telling me, it was tempting to extract the meaning. I thought, "I just need to be more focused on finishing things."


In a dream last night there was this rubber stamp that said COMPLETE. It was the focal point of my dream. There were all these things that needed to be stamped: this project, that writing. Every time I'd complete something, I had to rubber stamp it with a big red COMPLETE. 

Every time I did, there'd be something else for me to complete and stamp.

The further I went, the more frustrated I became, as though the only objective was to complete. The focus wasn't on the process or the journey, but on the completing.

In the dream, I kept noticing, the more I completed, the emptier I felt.

Over the years, I've learned that there are personality types that begin things, others that are strong executors, and yet others who are skilled at wrapping things up.

When I learned about this, I found myself in real life having the opposite frustration of that which I was experiencing in the dream: "Why can't I be someone who completes things?" 

It's something I've secretly held against myself for a long time. The frustration I experienced in my dream about completing things was particularly interesting, because it's a weakness that I have hidden and criticized myself for.

When I woke, probably because of the distress I was experiencing in the dream, I was perplexed: generally speaking I am an initiator.

When I woke, probably because of the distress I was experiencing in the dream, I was perplexed: generally speaking I am an initiator. Completion's never been a strong suit for me. Or at least that's what I've been told by my critics.


While I lay there considering the message of this dream, it was tempting to extract the meaning, 'I just need to be more focused on completing things.' Interestingly, the growing distress around the dream's theme of completion kept coming to mind.

Then it hit me: maybe there's something in my design that really is just about initiating! But that felt shallow, and it didn't really ring true: I do finish things all the time--just not everything, so I went a little deeper.

Then this came: I do respond to the impulse to initiate, and to the impulse to move through. Then at a certain point, I find myself with the impulse to initiate again.

The completino impulse does elude me sometimes, perhaps simply because... I don't want to complete (?!) Could this be? When this dawned on me, it was like being hit with a ton of bricks. I don't want to complete?

As I thought about it, I realized how painful it can sometimes be to complete some things.

Completion means things change. When you complete raising a kid, for example, things change. When you complete a project you love, it's over. When you complete something, you have to move on.

I realized I don't want to be complete. In general. I want it all to continue. I don't want to be done raising my kids, I don't want grow up. I don't want it to be done. I want it all to keep going, and that's what's been behind my unconscious impulse to stop things I've started.

That dawning is very liberating. Literally. It means I'm free now to complete things.

Not completing stuff is a control trip. It's like saying, "There we go. If I don't  finish this, things won't change." 

It's a juvenile strategy to try to keep things the same...

Withholding completion from myself just keeps me from moving forward freely to initiate with consciousness, and with the power and momentum behind me of graduation: the momentum needed to move all the way through to completion. 


Something I learned working with Bryan Franklin is that I won't ever really be complete. I'm in the continuous process of becoming. We all are, like it or not; consciously or not.

In the deep recesses of my other-than-conscious mind, as Bryan refers to it, completing some things has been equated to it ending--or even to something dying.

Here's the part that's liberating: regardless of whether or not I complete something, things always change. There's nothing I can do to stop that.

Completion isn't an end to anything. Now that I've got a handle on this in my aware mind, I see it certainly isn't an end for me. It's a beginning.

I am and always have been in a continuous state of becoming everything I'm here to be. There's no end to that. And, there's nothing to fear in completing. On the contrary, completing things propels us ever further in the direction of becoming more of who we're here to be.

Knowing that I like taking my time, taking things in, that I like the scenic route, taking things slowly means that I can do that, without being afraid that it means I'm dawdling, slowly toward the 'inevitable bail-out' which I've harshly criticized myself about, through the years, thus unconsciously driving myself right toward it.

Now I can take my time and enjoy my processes without being driven by the unconscious mechanism that's sometimes kept me from finishing things. Knowing that, I can now consciously choose to take the scenic route, knowing that when I get to my destination, there will be yet another destination, beyond that for me to look forward to.

Really, it comes down to presence, doesn't it? When employing the mindful practice of presence, every moment is a completion, and every moment a beginning.

Maybe that presence has something to do with who I'm here to become.

You are welcome to share your insights and stories about completion or overcoming your aversion to it.

Originally written and posted: September 29, 2014 Angelina Frost

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