Obstacles come in many forms and unfortunately life doesn’t give you a play-by-play guideline on what to do, how to act or the harder conundrum, how not to react. Life has a funny way of making you pay attention even when you don’t want to, and grow when you’re comfortable and seemingly content with where you are and the things you have. It forces you to extend yourself because if it were up to us, we’d run in the other direction of any opposition.
As a result of my childhood, teen years, early adulthood and onward, I used to feel like the world was against me. It seemed as if there was a dark cloud hovering over my entire life. I struggled with being hopeful. I recall conversations with friends who’d talk about happiness, serenity and faith and I’d often look at their earthly wealth and think, “well, no wonder you’re happy; look at your life!” How can someone who has not struggled the way I have; begin to empathize?
We take a snapshot at other people’s situation and make unfair assumptions. Sometimes things aren’t even what they seem but sometimes they are. However, we cannot and should not look at others and compare them to where we are because we have no idea where they’d been. I touched on this on my last post, Distractions: how to avoid them. When we aren’t content with our lives, instead of figuring our problems, we distract ourselves with comparisons. These comparisons don’t even make us feel good; they make us powerless.
Let’s be solely transparent for a second.
Do you have a friend—whether it’s childhood, high school or college or maybe a coworker that you’ve known for a period of time, you follow them on social media or they show you different photos of maybe trips they’ve taken, their wedding, vow renewals, etc. When you’re not in a good place mentally and spiritually, a part of you is happy but another part of you is jealous or sad. You in turn reflect on your life and think why don’t I have this? That marriage, that beautiful home, those amazing kids—whatever subjective ideals you’re measuring. Sometimes the jealousy isn’t as bold as to wish they didn’t have it but you ask, “when will I have my break? When will things get better for me?”
Instead of looking inwardly when we are unhappy we look outwardly. Why? Because we don’t want to face our truths. We don’t want to admit that we squandered time or opportunities. It’s hard to look into that mirror up and say, I am the reason that I am here.Instead of looking inwardly when we are unhappy we look outwardly. Why? Because we don’t want to… Click To Tweet
Granted, you may have suffered with illnesses, struggled with substance abuse as a result of an absentee parent, seen a repeated pattern of abuse and have somehow gotten caught up in that cycle—no matter what your demons you’re faced with, until you stop that victim thinking; nothing will change.
When you’re in this phase, as much as you want to be happy for others, you can’t because you aren’t happy with yourself. You find yourself in a place filled with negative thoughts which inevitably leads to negative outcomes because well, the law of attraction says that the things we think and attach emotion to, is what is manifested.
I envisioned a life with children—I always knew I wanted to be a mother and wife. I wanted a two-parent home, great writing career; I’d come home every day and cook extravagant meals—the average Martha Stewart (minus the prison sentence). I saw myself having thought provoking and highly intensive conversations with my partner on the opposite side of the table as our children eagerly admired. I saw my children heading out to college and visiting their dad I as we celebrated thirtieth and fortieth blissful anniversaries. I wanted to create a quintessential relationship that they looked up to and would grow from. So, uh…yea—didn’t happen. Not even close. But that’s life. As soon as I accepted that my reality was furthest from this fantasy, I challenged myself to find happiness.
The point in sharing this is that we all have plans for our lives until we tell God and realize that his are completely different but as his comes to fruition; we realize that we couldn’t have envisioned more perfection. I’m here to tell you that as tough as life has been for me, the heartaches, sacrifices and disappointments; spawned a woman that became truly content. However, I didn’t find my happiness in order to become content; I became content then found happiness.I didn’t find my happiness in order to become content; I became content then found happiness.… Click To Tweet
When we stop thinking about the life we should’ve had, and get over the fact that we aren’t where we thought we would be and pay attention to the lessons learned, the friendships built and even the ones lost because some friendships are so detrimental to our health but no matter how many signs God shows us, we tend to hold on to that toxicity.
Am I where I thought I’d be? No, but as cliché as this may sound; I’m right where God wants me to be. I have never been so pleased with my life before. My divorce has been so ugly thus far but I cannot allow this variance of “my plan” to put me in a negative place. I did what life had taught me to do thus far, changed my perspective and realized that “challenges” are learning opportunities. Bad things don’t happen to good people; it’s all about how you look at them. If you have negative thoughts and feelings towards something, please understand that these feelings will bring about everything you’re fearful of!
I challenge you today to be aware of your intentions and feelings. Don’t think for a second that you can trick the universe either. Don’t say, “I’m blessed. Today is a great day!” but you don’t feel it.
Let me share my three-step secret to the happiness I found:
- I started being real with myself. We all think we are but some of us are the biggest liars and even try to fool ourselves. If you’re unhappy at your job, admit it. Acknowledging your realities is an eye opener that helps push ourselves up against our boundaries. Understand however, that this only the first part.
- The second step I made was, changing the things that I disliked. Why complain about your job over and over again if you’re not ready to fix it? Accept that this job may not be challenging (or whatever’s your issue) but find one that is.
- The last thing is to, be intentional. Your thoughts manifests energy so focus on what you want, speak what you desire and take appropriate action/steps to get there. Thought without action is different compared to goals with a plan—one will leave you in the same unhappy disposition and the other will move you closer to contention.
It’s up to you to make it happen and change where you are now!