Two Things to Remember When Your Life Isn’t Going to Plan, and Everything Feels Messed Up
Sometimes we get so excited for particular outcomes, that we are devastated when they don’t turn out the way we expected.
Maybe you’re going through a period in your life where it feels like you can’t catch a break, and you know that when it rains it pours, but this feels more like a monsoon.
Perhaps you just feel off your game, and you’ve been struggling to find the light. Maybe you’ve been behaving in a way you’re not proud of, and you’re unsure how to stop.
Sometimes we lose our jobs, our lovers, we’re separated from our family and friends, we get sick, people we love die, we’re flat broke, or just feel lost in the world, unsure where to go next. Sometimes we get in blow out fights, or act like assholes and don’t know how to fix it. Sometimes we overspend and panic. Sometimes we make big plans and people cancel on us last minute. Sometimes we lose touch with people we love. Sometimes we push people away, or we’re pushed away and we don’t know what to do about it.
Whatever it is you’re going through, know that sometimes life is hard. Sometimes it can really suck. Life gets messy on the regular, and doesn’t look like the glossy images from a social media influencer’s Instagram, not even for the glossy influencers.
Our mindset is paramount in shifting our perspective, but at the same time, it’s also important we sit with the darker times, and wait for the sun to inevitably rise again.
If you’re in a period of confusion or pain, there are two things to remember to help you through it:
Everything is Temporary.
No one promised us life would be rainbows and kittens all the time, and yet, when life throws us a handful of rotten lemons and we can’t even make lemonade, we feel short changed, like “heyyy, I want the rainbows and kittens back! Or at least some ripe lemons!”
“The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.” -Gloria Steinem
The truth is those rotten lemons need to be taken care of before they spread to the ripe lemons. Life is full of rotten lemons, sour lemons, rainbows, kittens, freak accidents, magic moments, and sometimes, tragedy.
What I’m saying is, hard times are just a part of the deal in life. Life is an adventure and adventures are not always smooth sailing. It’s often part of the cost.
The hard times help us grow. The hardest times sometimes bring with them our greatest lessons, and turn us into more well-rounded, wiser, and stronger people, if can patiently wait out the storm, show up, and reflect enough to learn from them.
Start looking at the hard times in your life as opportunities for growth, and opportunities to get even stronger.
Whatever you are going through is temporary. The human brain has this funny way of processing time extremely slowly when things are tough, but at the same time, one day we wake up and we’re thirty, or forty, or sixty, and we go “Hot damn that went fast!”
Life moves faster with each passing year. Remember that when you are struggling. It may feel excruciatingly slow in the moment, but one day you’ll look back, and you’ll think, “oh yeah, that doesn’t hurt anymore.” Learn to process and let go of your pain
Whatever it is, it will pass. The rainbows and kittens will come back brighter and fluffier than before. You will laugh until your stomach hurts and there are tears running down your cheeks. You will be held and touched by someone you love and forget your worries. You will receive news so good you’ll scream. You will find yourself in breathtaking nature and marvel at the beauty of this life. You will have an orgasm so good you’ll feel like you’re on the best drug to ever exist. You will catch a financial break and feel grateful when you look at your bank account. You will be a part of unforgettable dinners, parties, vacations, and moments and you’ll cherish the memories for the rest of your life.
The hard times will pass. The best has yet to happen. Trust that you are doing crucial inner work and growing. Trust that life will once again be sweet, sweeter than you could have imagined, and you’ll look back on the hard times and say, “well, I needed that because if it didn’t happen I wouldn’t have met/gone/seen/done x, y, and z.”
2. You Control Your Vibration
Yes, that’s right. That doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to feel sad, lost, confused, or hurt. It does mean you’re in the drivers seat of your life and choose how you move forward. Do you stay on the couch for a month and eat your weight in Cheetoh Puffs or do you move forward anyways, stick to your self care routine, and create your own magic?
Sometimes it’s as simple as noticing when your shoulders are slumped, or when you’re cycling through sad or anxious thoughts and saying, you know what, I’m going to vibrate higher! I could stay down here in Gloomsville or I could focus on something that feels better and enjoy all the things that are working in my life, and appreciate the little things, even if it is a flower blooming, a good song, or a delicious cup of coffee.
There’s a difference between allowing yourself to feel your feelings, even the negative ones, and getting caught up in them.
“Feelings are not facts.” So while it’s ok to feel and process whatever it is you feel, don’t let your feelings become your identity. Take a shower, put on some clean clothes, and do the things you love to do.
Remember just because one or two or ten or twenty shitty things happen, it doesn’t mean the good things in your life no longer exist. It’s your job to tend to the good things, too. Water your plants. Call your friends. Make your killer guacamole. Listen to your favorite comedians new podcast episodes. Make your art. Smooch and snuggle your sweetheart. Put on feel-good music and dance. Go for a walk. Kiss your pet. Make good use of your detachable shower head every day.
What we focus on grows, so while we learn the lessons in the hard times, if that’s all we focus on, that’s what we’re going to get, see, and notice. The same is true for appreciating the things going well in life.
Think about a time when you ruminated on a problem and it solved it. Can’t do it? Me neither. That’s because ruminating on our problems does not solve them. Doing something else does. Our best ideas come to us in the shower, or on long walks, or while watching a sunset. When we are calm, relaxed, and enjoying the simple things, we are better problem solvers.
You control your vibration. You control what you focus on. Just because you’re in a rough patch doesn’t mean you have to laser focus on what’s rough. Allow yourself to be grateful for what’s going right, allow yourself to see the small, beautiful moments life shows us every day. Choose to be the calm in the storm, and find reasons to smile anyways. Smiling and struggling are not mutually exclusive.
Remember that everything is temporary, so even if it feels like you’ve been in the dark for a while, it will pass. It always does. Remember that you’re not alone. Remember how you thought you’d never get over that one thing from your past? Well, you did. And you’ll do it again.
You are in the drivers seat. Put a post-it on your mirror or coffee table that says, “Vibrate Higher!” and remind yourself you control your vibration with your thoughts, and what you focus on. Focus on good things. Think different thoughts. Put your energy towards what you want to make, do, experience, and achieve.
Choose to vibrate higher, and remember everything is temporary.