Years ago my brother gave me a ring. Inscribed, it says, love the life you live. So simple. I’ve worn this ring since the day he gave it to me yet I only really look at it on occasion. When I do, I pause and truly think about these simple words.
If I told you that your life was PERFECT in this very moment, would you believe it? Or are you already laughing? If it is, well, you can stop reading here, lol. But if it’s not perfect, amazing, superb, better than you ever thought or dreamed, then read on.
It starts with asking yourself this very simple question. Are you happy? The answer might be a clear yes or no, or a yes/no with the need to then elaborate and explain. Trust me, I get it. This was me for decades. I always felt I had something good in my life (even if it was something small). But I often also focused on what was wrong with me or my life and at times it felt like a lot. Getting to a point of saying yes, with a smile and a genuine knowing in your heart is a wonderful place to be. Yes, you can get there.
One day as I stood along the shore of the Outer Banks after a storm, I was excited to see all of the conch shells that had washed up. I found dozens that were broken. I only found one that was intact. That was the one I wanted to take home.
Then, I chuckled to myself. I looked at all of them. Each one seemed unique as I admired them. Each one I’m certain would tell a different story of where they came from, how long their journey was and how they arrived onshore… broken but not at their core. As I looked at them, I feel in love with their simplicity and uniqueness. It was like pausing to admire a rose.
Who was I to say one was more perfect than another – they were all beautiful in their own way. I was in a moment, really doing nothing but appreciating everything. In these moments, I forget about my personal problems and make some realizations about the important things in life. These shells and their journey really are not much different than us humans. You never know what they encountered out there in the ocean of life. Try not to judge another’s life… or shell. Instead, appreciate.
So what would it take to get you happy? A million dollars, a new car, a new job, a new life? It might be simpler than you think. Maybe you just need a few quiet moments to realize how good your life is. I encourage you to take some pressure off of yourself. You are right where you are supposed to be. You also have… enough. Probably more than enough. And you are surrounded by those you need to be surrounded by. Each person and situation is your teacher. So what are you learning?
I think this is the first step, pausing and acknowledging. Getting off of the escalator track, at least for a few minutes each day. Then try asking yourself some questions that are not routine. Don’t get frustrated that you don’t know the answers. The answers will come in time. Keep asking.
The next step is to then embrace your situation. You are in it for a reason. But at times, it’s hard to acknowledge your situation (taking personal responsibility). Yes, this step takes some energy and some honesty… with yourself. It’s easier to turn a blind eye, feel like a victim or… run! (lol) Accept who you are, where you are. Then, when you are ready, think higher than that – a goal. Life is often about evolving, lining up to what is best for you. You might want to ask yourself, are you living your life or reacting to it?
As the answers come and as you try to do some non-routine things, you will discover, who you really are. You will feel what is best for you. If you don’t like it (your life), you can change it. Small changes. So small that you might not even realize how they will add up to a big change… in time.
Ask yourself, are you doing what makes you happy? Are you doing what is best for you? Does it bring you joy? Then ask, what is best for all parties involved. You might get very different answers. Only you can decide what is best. Guess what, there is no wrong answer. Just different opportunities. Trust your gut and move forward.
I also encourage you to stay focused on your journey. It’s almost easier to instead spend your time and energy trying to solve another’s problems. I’d recommend solving your own. It has to start with YOU. This is one of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn. To live a life that is authentic and genuine to … you and then everyone else will benefit from this. Yes, there will be times and ways you can assist and support others. Truly support them because you are at your best.
Your life, whether it looks like the top picture (all lined up) or the second one (a random pile) is beautiful in this moment. A gift. Feel that. Feel the safety and comfort in that. If you can’t, know that you do have the power to change your life. You are being called to grow and transform. Change is a wonderful thing.
Embrace your superbly imperfect life. I’d bet you have it more right than you realize. And if not, I’d bet there will be a pride in figuring it out. Love yourself happy!