In our culture, we have access to so much that we often lose sight of how luck we really are. We sacrifice our joy and we obscure our enjoyment along our quest to do or have more. We amass culture and commodities, yet, we have no time and sometimes no ability to appreciate them.
There are things that we can do to change this and these things are simpler than you’d expect.
1. Slooooow Things Down
2. Pay Attention to What You Really Love
3. Recognize that Trade-Offs Aren’t Such a Bad Thing
Change is the only constant in life. Whether you want to change your life, or it happens on its own, change is inevitable. We often shy away from change because we fear the negative outcomes it sometimes brings, or we shy away from the adjustment that comes even with positive outcomes of change. Whatever the nature of our resistance, we’re often unsure of how to work with change – or if we even want to.
It is natural to crave constancy in life. It seems like it would make things easier. The truth is that when we stop changing, we stop growing. And when we cease to grow we lose our mojo. We feel flat and wonder what the meaning of life is, anyway.
To live life to its fullest, we need to learn how to work WITH change – to adapt, flex, and even roll with the punches life throws our way. When we embrace change we get more of what we want from each and every moment.
This week’s article is about how you can work WITH change and not AGAINST it.
Over two years ago, I left my marriage and with it the home I lovingly restored and the consistency I had developed in my relationship and in the rest of my life.
At first, I struggled. But then a curious thing happened. After I got through all the challenging emotions that come with a situation like that, my life opened up before me.
There’s a saying: “freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.” While this is true, I’d like to put a positive spin on this idea.
Because, in truth, my life opened up before me not simply because things changed, but because I WELCOMED the change.
Of course, there was some part of me that wanted to hold onto how things were “supposed to be.” I’d come to view my life and my future in a particular way and I didn’t want to let go of that vision. There was a part of me that wanted to assign a meaning to my divorce so that I could protect myself from future heartache and loss. Another part of me wanted to play the victim. I can tell you that none of these inclinations were helpful.
Acceptance Really is Your Greatest Ally
We come up with notions about what our life is supposed to be like. I call this the proverbial “white picket fence” syndrome. With “white picket fence” syndrome, we attach our ideas about what will make us happy to a particular thing, person or scenario. For me, this meant being in my relationship for the rest of my life and all that came along with it.
Yet, the more that we cling to this image of what our life should be like, the more we suffer. The fact of the matter is that right now, your life looks exactly as it’s supposed to look. The uncertainty and doubt, the joy and passion, the tedium and boredom – these are all necessary sensations that make up the life you have in front of you. These feelings are, in a sense, information. And you can make a lot of decisions about what you want to do next with the information you have at hand.
When we look at the life we have before us – and not the one we trick ourselves into thinking we have – we’re able to see what truly serves us. This perspective allows us to increase our happiness in infinite ways.
Change Calls for Brave Hearts
Unfortunately, most of us are entranced with the false idea that we’re destined to “have what we want”. We’ve mistakenly come to think of “having what we want” as a guarantee for enduring happiness. Sadly, this is not how things work. “Having what we want” is the net result of an ongoing and evolving effort through which we bring into our lives what works for us and strip away what no longer serves us.
There are times when life throws us a curve ball and we lose something we want or value. It’s easy to clench up in these moments. It’s understandable that we’ll do just about anything to prevent uncomfortable feelings such as loss or grief. When unexpected change or loss occurs, we tend say to things to ourselves like I made a bad choice, I’m never going to do that again, or – worse yet – I’m not meant to have this thing I really want.
But what if you grew your tolerance for difficult emotions? What if you actively built your ability to shift into positive emotions? How might you respond differently to change with these skills at hand?
It’s likely that you’ve noticed that even in the most painful moments of your life you’ve seen glimmers of potential happiness.
When we embrace change we also embrace the trust that we’ll be able to withstand the pains that can come with change. The only constant in life is change. And yes, some of that change will be painful. But if we put courage in our heart, we can move confidently into change with the faith that even the worst of it can be traversed.
Freedom’s Just Another Word for the Ability to Choose
Blame is many people’s favorite way to deal with the loss of what they want. People who blame others feel that if they hold someone else accountable they will somehow retain their sense of power.
However, this is not power, but rather a false sense of control. True power is the ability we have within ourselves to take charge of our own life and our own emotions.
This is the opposite of blame. This is accountability.
A wonderful thing happens when we know that we have the ability to make choices in our life. When we don’t like something – whether it’s momentary or more chronic – we can change it. When we know on a deep level that we have the ability to make a new choice, and change our situation, we feel empowered.
This is why I get so excited about teaching personal development work. Because once people have a sense of their own power and gain the skills to navigate life, their life never looks the same to them again.
Change can feel overwhelming at times and there will be moments that challenge us like we never believed possible. But we can learn to embrace the changes that come our way. When we do this, our hearts, minds, and bodies feel lighter as each day passes. I help people achieve this lightness and empowered state every day through my Personal Breakthrough Intensive. Ready to transform your life? Click here to learn more.