With this year wrapping up soon, I’m noticing myself tell others lately how “this has been a really freaking hard year.” It has been one of those years where, literally, it feels like hit after hit of something to deal with emotionally. A lot of loss has filled 2016 for me. My own personal loss, loss of people around me whom I love so much, just loss.
……………It’s been a hard year, but it has not been a bad year. It's been a year filled of growth.
No matter who you are, what your social, financial or personal situation is, challenges are apart of this life. It’s not so much the challenges that come our way that “make us” upset or tear down the quality of our life. Often, it’s how we interpret what’s happening to us that has the power to allow us to see dark and feel upset about our current life circumstances.
Whenever we reject or don’t accept what IS happening in our life, we are going to suffer. It’s so natural for something unpleasant to happen, and feel sad, awful, upset, etc. It’s important to feel our emotions and own what’s coming up for us because that awareness allows us to process our stuff. In simple terms, by feeling it, is how we can get through it. So often, we can become stuck in comparing our life to others and feeling less than for the life we are living. This can lead to so much shame and judgement of ourselves. Learning how to accept where we are, trust our own interesting life path and just be with what is happening can help us to find more peace. Until we learn to embrace and accept our life, we will suffer more than we need too.
Here are some thoughts on how to practice acceptance when the struggle is real:
Own what? Own it, meaning own the complete and unique person that you are, who nobody else is like. We can compare ourself all day to everyone around us, which will make us feel less than and unhappy. The more positive option would be too put energy toward owning our unique way, which just is. Allowing our true and natural essence to emerge without judgement and blocks will lead us to feel so much better about our life. It will also attract the “right,” like minded people who have the potential to add to our life. It can be surprising to sit back and witness what emerges when the self comparing and thoughts of “not good enough” are ditched. We already have everything we need. More money, more cool clothes nor the rad home decor will fill the void of what we're looking for. It’s already within. *(Don't get me wrong I love design, fashion and style, although there is always a point of balance to keep in mind with external objects.)
Own where you live. Own your job, whatever it may be. Own your relationship status. Own your age. Own your life. Own it.
BE HERE NOW
Learning to simply be where we are by reminding ourself that it’s just where things are now, can be relieving. It’s so easy to believe that things will never change and that we will always feel stuck. Although, the reality is that things are constantly changing and change is the one guaranteed aspect of life. It’s a fact that things will be changing.
Embrace life now. Be present in this life now.
Listen intently during conversations, feel the energy of the day and enjoy the moments of connection and grace. Taste the food, feel the sun, sip the drink, laugh with a whole heart, look others in the eye; be fully engaged.
FOCUS ON ABUNDANCE
When we are faced with hardship, it’s easy to get caught up with focusing on what is lacking. This can send us into a very dark place. When we create a habit of looking at what we don’t have and invent creative stories about how we will be miserable without “it,” that’s a sure fire way to feel unhappy. Perhaps we don’t have what we want ……yet. Just because we don’t have all our desires filled now, doesn’t mean that they’re not apart of our journey down the road. As we focus on what we do have, which we feel thankful for, we will help ease the frustration around what has not shown up ……yet. Removing the focus from lack will help pave the path for a focus on abundance, which, you guessed it, will create more good feelings and joyful experiences for our lives.
By embracing what is happening, we can start owning our lives now. This way of living will bring all the growing and rich experiences to us. Trust the process. Especially when you can’t see the road ahead. Stop asking why and just be.
* The above image was taken by Shannon Bailey, San Diego Photographer.