Things I Love Thursday: 5 Life Lessons
It’s been a lovely week but that’s not what I want to write about today. There are some lessons I’ve been learning over the past few days; or at least, things I’m in the process of digesting. So maybe this isn’t strictly “Things I Love Thursday” — perhaps it’s Things I LEARNED Thursday?!
Here they are, in no particular order…
We are all responsible for our own moods. Someone else may be rude, cruel, petty or downright disgusting — but how it effects us is up to us. We can choose to let it “ruin” our day, or we can choose to rise above. It is your choice.
Is this easier said than done? DEFINITELY! I am totally guilty of letting someone else’s nonsense creep up on my good mood & strangle it! But when this happens, take a moment to simply remember that the only thing you can control is your own behaviour. Sometimes just that shift in thinking is all you need to reclaim your mood.
P.S. When you let someone else “ruin” your day, you are effectively giving them the power to run your life. Do you want that? Take a page from Jay-Z’s book & “go & brush your shoulders off.”
If you want something to change, it is up to you. If you look around at your life & feel dissatisfied with your relationship, your job, what you’re eating or how messy your home is, it is totally & 100% on YOU to change that. While you may like to shift the blame, tell other people that it’s “their job”, or ignore it & hope it goes away, the only answer is to CHANGE IT YOURSELF.
I know that can be hard to swallow. We can spend our entire lives wishin’ & hopin’ that things were different, & it won’t do us an ounce of good. As my friend John said in a recent video, “Wishing things were different is the definition of suffering.”
It’s so easy to get into a flap about this or that, to go from frustration to anger to apathy, & still not take any real, definitive action. If your best friend is enraging you, TALK to her! If you keep bickering with your spouse, figure out new ways of communicating that are based on love & respect. If your job makes you want to rip out every hair on your head, start looking around for something else — or start doing something in your spare time which makes you really happy. We have to take ownership of our lives. No one else will do it for you.
If you’re not sure where to start, read a book, take a class, see a therapist or a healer. Start looking for signs. Be still & listen to yourself.
You have the power to create your life. Our generation spends too much time consuming & not enough time creating. We sit on Pinterest for an hour & feel like we’re being productive or artistic, but we’re not. We’re just shuffling other people’s creations!
Pinterest & Tumblr & their ilk can be useful tools in so far as realising what we want our lives to look like… But then it’s up to us to take those ideas or that inspiration & apply it to our reality. If you want to go on a road-trip, stop pinning pictures of vintage cars, pretty girls in backseats & faded suitcases. Go out & make it happen!
Another good lesson: don’t be envious or jealous of people who have what you want. Instead, look at their lives & learn from them!
Nothing is perfect — & nothing is ever really finished. It’s easy to look at someone else’s life & think that everything is wonderful all the time, but I promise you, it’s not. Additionally, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of thinking, ‘Once I get to that next stage, I can rest.’ It’s not like that!
You might think that once you build a successful business, you can take a break. (You can’t.) You might think that once you get married you can stop thinking about romance, spontaneity & improving your communication skills. (You’d be so wrong.) You might think that when you find that best friend who is perfect for you, you can slack off on phonecalls, lunches or keeping in touch. (If you do, they won’t stick around.)
I know this can seem overwhelming & exhausting, but it brings me to my next point, which is…
Everything is an opportunity for growth. Another way of phrasing this is “everything is a test”, but that sounds a little foreboding, so I prefer “everything is an opportunity for growth”!
Everything — yes, EVERYTHING — from the guy who stands too close to the unbelievably slow-moving line at the post office to nagging phonecalls from your mother — is a chance to evolve, get better, rise above. You can choose the low road — anger, frustration, muttering below your breath, clenching your jaw, yelling, huffing, storming around in a rage — or you can decide to take the high road. Take a deep breath. Smile. Forgive. Practice empathy & compassion. Recognise that getting pissed off doesn’t change your situation (& in fact, often simply entrenches you deeper in a foul mindset)!
“Life is not the way it’s supposed to be. It’s the way it is. The way you deal with it is what makes the difference.” (Virginia Satir)
These are all things that someone could tell me & I would roll my eyes & say, “OF COURSE.” There’s a difference, though, between knowing something intellectually & knowing it emotionally; knowing it in a way that echoes on a deep, core level. Sometimes these obvious truths are some of the most difficult to assimilate… & until we learn them, they will keep popping up in our lives.
Sometimes I think the meaning of life is simply to learn how to relax into it. We only generate friction when we resist it. Hmmm. Deep ;D
Have a beautiful Thursday!