I’ve been on a self-help craze as of lately.
Mostly because when you have people in your life that you’re struggling to receive love from – you have to love yourself, right?
All of the books say the same thing;
Positive thoughts, positive life.
Think positive things and everything will be okay.
You manifest your reality with your thoughts.
While I do not disagree with any of the above or with the idea of thought-life manifestation, I do think there is a danger in simply ignoring the stuff that sucks.
It’s almost as if society today is somewhat suggesting that we just close our eyes to the negative things in life and only embrace that which is positive.
You need some yin to your yang;
What goes up must come down. There is beauty in balance. Being turned on to the positives in life all. of. the. time. softens your ability to be grateful. Think about it, if everything in your life went fantastic forever… how grateful would you actually be? How aware would you actually be? How happy would you actually be?
I fear that our society is becoming too numb. That everyone is just desperately grasping at whatever they can to numb their pain. Whatever works to ignore it, right? Because we need distractions.. Because life really is painful… How long is that going to work for you?
Listen – it is perfectly and unapologetically acceptable to say
“Perhaps I don’t feel so awesome right now.”
You need some miracle grow;
Sometimes life can get a little complacent; we’re going through our routines, we’re looking forward to this or that, we’re living along just fine… Then something bad shows up. We immediately get all up in arms and forget that actually the last time something bad happened, we grew from it. We were thankful for it, eventually.
Life is not out to get you. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again; everything that happens to you, both good and bad, is actually happening FOR you. Wake up. Pay attention. If you think that life isn’t intricately designed to ensure that you make it out on top, then you’ve been told wrong. Maybe “bad” things happen to propel your complacent bum towards that thing you’ve been wanting. And if you think that’s ridiculously not true… then just pretend that it is. That mindset is already a better one.
You need some salt to your earth;
I love love love salty people. The kind that are so down-to-earth, real, raw, vulnerable. The kind of people that have been through stuff… They have some scabs and scars. They have an old soul and a well-rounded heart. I want to be a person like that.
The secret to being and staying the salt of the earth kind of person is to embrace pain/negativity/sadness/hardship/etc.
You don’t have to hold onto it with a white knuckle grip for the rest of your life, but don’t just sweep it under the rug and act like it doesn’t exist either. Let it form you, mold you, change you. I wrote a beauty on pain (here), where I talked about pain staying with you until it’s finished teaching you whatever it is that has to teach you… With that being said, why not embrace it and learn from it so that you actually can move on from it? When we shove negativity into our junk drawer like an out of mind out of sight type thing, we are not addressing it. So in reality, we are by default choosing to carry it with us for the rest of our lives regardless.
It’s your choice on how you want to carry the stuff that sucks. You can carry it in the form of unforgiveness. You can carry it in the form of insecurity. You can carry it in the form of regret. You can carry it in the form of bitterness. You can manifest it into your physical body by creating disease (dis-ease) or manifest it into your physical life by creating more hardships.
You can do what most do and sweep it under the rug, think positive thoughts and act like nothing ever happened; numbing yourself to the stuff that sucks and in turn, life’s most beautiful adventures.
Or, you can choose balance. You can choose to not simply ignore the stuff that sucks but instead embrace it. It’s coming, whether you like it or not. Learn to be comfortable while uncomfortable. Learn to have joy in your heart while there is a shit storm happening outside of it.
The Best Advice I’ve Got;
for not ignoring the stuff that sucks
Journal; I know, I know. I’m a journaling freak and mention it in every post. But it actually works so… Simply acknowledging a bad experience or an unlucky happenstance or a painful emotion by wiring it down is 50,349 steps higher than just shoving it down into your sub-conscious and acting like it never happened.
The first step is admitting that there’s a “problem”.
Your journal is also yours… You can be the biggest complainer in the world inside of your journal if you’d like to be. Maybe if you vomited your problems all over the pages of your journal, you wouldn’t vomit them all over the people in your life. Use it as an outlet to get out what needs to come out. Judgment free.
Another reason I’m a journaling junkie is because it manifests gratitude unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. As often as I can, I take a stroll back on the pages of my journal… It’s really actually hard. Sometimes it’s painful to re-feel those emotions or remember the details of certain things. To read the things I asked God for… It’s hard to be reminded of where I used to be… But in the same sense it’s crucial to my happiness to be reminded of where I used to be. A sense of gratitude floods over me every single time I read back. I’m thankful for how each journal entry changed me. I can’t imagine not having them… I can’t imagine ever losing my journal. It’s that important to me and to maintaining my joy.
As much as us humans get all squirmy and uncomfortable when we are faced with something that just down right sucks, we secretly love it. And if you don’t love it yet, I suggest you learn how to. The only thing worse than ignoring the negative is assuming that you’re ignoring it, but actually you’re just putting it on the back burner. It’s still there – it’s still simmering.
However awful your situation is today… Whatever it is that’s weighing down your heart… I encourage you to find a way to not ignore it. Feel it. Write about it. Paint about it. Sing about it. Re-direct the energy into fuel for a run (or 20 runs). Use it as an excuse to re-design your life. Use it as grateful energy and manifest gratitude for someone else.
It’s in the very moments that we don’t want to get out of bed that we are given an opportunity to grow. The growing pains hurt… trust me… but you need them for where you’re going in life.