I received an email from a client who found herself back in a dark hole. What came to me as I read the email is that once we are starting to get clearer on what we want and need, we can often become less tolerant of the situations, things and people we don't want. The challenge is how to notice this and move forward with more grace and less heartache! That's not an overnight process.
"Accepting yourself means, accepting where you are right now, without trying to be anything you are not right now. This is hard because where we are right now might be painful."
We feel the biggest pain when we put expectations in place and then reality doesn't match it, ie: "If I do this then .....I will feel happier, better, stronger, it will be more fun, easier, etc". This takes us away from appreciating what is. Changing expectation for appreciation is a process that we do not learn overnight. It is a road of acceptance, of letting go, of re-wiring our old ways of thinking, of relearning what serves us. Accepting yourself means, accepting where you are right now, without trying to be anything you are not right now. This is hard because where we are right now might be painful.
Of course, pain is inevitable in life. Suffering, however, is optional. And if we can't accept the pain, we will by nature suffer.
As I mused on this, I was reminded of a conversation I had with someone earlier this week. She was telling me that she had told her daughter that if she chose to do what she loved, she would never have to work another day. Instead, she found herself regretting giving this advice as she was feeling so tired trying to make her business work by doing what she wants to do. In other words, she found herself having to work really hard and it felt painful and she was tired. When we are trying so hard to 'make it work', we forget that what it needs is for us to show up and do the work. Now, don't get me wrong, I know this to my cost and am still often caught in this thunderstorm of disappointment, frustration and even anger but I recognise it for what it is.
"We can only control how we experience what is happening and knowing how to do that is simple, but simple doesn't always mean easy. It's a process of growth and very likely we will feel growing pains as we move to the next level."
The implication with the phrase '... then we won't have to work another day', though, is that if we do what we want to do, then life should be easy, there will be no pain. "If .... then"!
The fact is that life does become easier when we simplify things and when we are vibrationally aligned to our soul's purpose, but to believe it will be 'easy' sets us up for unrealistic expectations as a) we will still have to do things we don't want to do and b) we cannot control everything that is happening in our life. We can only control how we experience what is happening and knowing how to do that can be simple, but simple doesn't always mean easy. It's a process of growth and very likely we will feel growing pains as we move to the next level.
"What is LIFE but an ever expanding spiral of growth where we learn to live with more grace and less heartache?"
Sometimes, when we are finding ourselves in the deepest darkest moments, it feels we haven't moved an inch and we forget that we are on the ever expanding spiral upwards. We meet ourselves where we were before but at a different level. As someone once said to me, "Same same but different." The more we expand, the more we see it for what it is until finally it becomes easier and we can handle the growing pains with less dis-ease.
What is LIFE but an ever expanding spiral of growth where we learn to live with more grace and less heartache?
Love. Live. Lead.
Ann Skinner is founder of The Contribution Evolution - a catalyst for authentic living and leadership, creator of The Contributionist - the outlet for her HeArtwork, and author of the best-selling book, The Art of Contribution - a Companion to Living a Meaningful Life. More about the book HERE.