I’m quite certain that each and every one of us has had at least one day in our lives where we say either to ourselves or out loud, “Life sucks!!” And these days, we may be saying or thinking it more often than ever before. Truth is, life never sucks, but our perceptions about life can make this our truth of the moment, rather than THE truth. I think of THE truth as things we all know without questioning how we know them, like how everyone knows what love is, even though it’s never something that needs to be explained. It’s something we KNOW in our bones. So THE truth is that life’s journey for each of us individually and collectively is meant to take us exactly where we need to be in any given moment. But it’s so damned hard to remember that, when you’ve lost your job, or find out you have cancer, or lose a loved one, or feel depressed a lot. In those life circumstances, we are prone to feel that life sucks. I wrote a post a few weeks back about inviting pain in for a cup of tea when next it knocks on your door. In essence, it’s about embracing life’s challenges, changes, and yes, pain, as an old friend, rather than running away.
So often, when we have that life-sucks mentality, we have lost hope. We feel powerless, victimized by circumstance and people around us. But THE truth is that it is a perception, not reality. It feels unpleasant. And the challenge becomes, can you stay present when things are unpleasant? When we stay present, we tend to move more quickly through the “bad” stuff. It’s that old adage of “the only way out is through.”
If you were going to walk across a bed of hot coals (and use that as an analogy for whatever life-sucks issue is knocking at your door), you know it’s hot, you know it’s going to be difficult, but if you are present and decide, I’m just going to walk as quickly as I can and get to the other side where the ground is cool, most of us can do this. If, however, you decide to panic when you feel the first surge of heat on the soles of your feet, and you stop because it hurts, you will get burned. Probably fall off the path (each hot coal) that you are destined to follow because you don’t believe you can cross it as it is now, it’s just to uncomfortable, too unpleasant. And you’ll stand there frozen with fear, thinking there’s no way you can do it. But again, that’s perception, and projection.
If you can stay present when things are unpleasant, you will find inspiration in the form of your own soul urging you on. Yes, you can. ” It’s difficult, but I can do this. I want to overcome this and there’s no way around it.” You stay the course, you overcome the noise inside your mind that says it’s too hot and you can’t do it. You stay present through the unpleasantness and you grow. You traverse that difficult path which is uncomfortable, painful, fraught with uncertainty and you discover treasures inside yourself that perhaps you didn’t know you possessed. Or you rediscover ones you thought you’d lost. Every time we stay present with our perceived adversity, we expand into more of who we really are. Every time we encounter unpleasantness in our lives and want to escape through food, sex, talking, shopping, video games, choose to stay present instead. Is it confronting? Hell yes! But to confront simply means to face something. To look it squarely in the metaphorical eyes, to assess it and find a way to overcome it. Unpleasantness is just another word for change. It rarely feels good while it’s happening but you know it’s for the best. Stay present and moment by moment, have an internal dialogue that is supportive, encouraging, one that says you can transcend this and then trust, surrender and do it. And surround yourself with people who will do the same for you, as external support.
There are so many moments in life that we find uncomfortable or unpleasant, but our perception of them as such is a huge factor in how we navigate them. Choose to perceive them as challenges, as opportunities for growth and you will be empowered by them rather than becoming a victim of the situations that create them. Flow with, not against what is. The current may be very strong, scary and uncertain, and you may be carried farther than you may have wanted to go, but in your surrender, in being present, there will be no struggle, and maybe, just maybe, where you find yourself, though you did not envision it, will be EXACTLY where you need to be.
Love and Blessings,