I don’t know how life works.
I have at various times in my life had theories of how life works. I’ve thought of it like a machine: put in x, wait 5 minutes, out comes my new best friend. I’ve spent a lot of time looking for formulas and equations to follow. For much of my life, I have had a person (or two. or three.) that I try to emulate and model my life after. And I don’t mean in the way that others can inspire you to live your best life. I mean in a must-do-what-they-do-to-have-meaning-and-worth kind of way.
If you are reading this and also do not know how life works, please take my word for it that all of the ideas I’ve shared so far are not how life works.
Currently, I am working to un-learn another tried-and-failed idea about how life works: That what has happened, will surely happen again. That the areas of my life that have been painful and difficult will just keep being painful and difficult.
I’ve got a lot of life experience that supports this theory. I’m sure you do, too.
But consider with me, just for a second…can you think of even one exception to this idea? One area of life that has improved, rather than worsened? One difficult pattern that’s been broken?
If we have examples like these….why the heck don’t we focus on them all the time?! Why don’t we dare to have hope that things can be different? Sure, planning trips with my partner tends to be pretty difficult and vacation fights are all too common. But what I’m realizing is that focusing on this reality just makes me more sad and afraid to plan a trip with my partner. Sounds like my way of thinking isn’t serving me very well.
I don’t know about you, but I’m getting pretty sick of feeling stuck in different areas of my life. I’m tired of replaying the same fear-based scenarios in my head of what will likely happen, rendering me unable and unwilling to try again.
What would happen if, instead of “What has happened, will surely happen again”, I dared to assume: Things can be different. If I do the things that are within my control, there’s a good chance that I can have a better outcome next time.
We’ve got options for the way that we believe life works. If your ideas haven’t been working for you… join me in daring to believe something different.
P.S. Because I am always aware of the 1,237 caveats I could provide, let me just say that sometimes a part of our lives (and the world) is just shitty and will very likely keep being shitty regardless of how you chose to look at it or what options you consider. This little post isn’t about those things. It’s about the other things in life that we can influence by the ways that we choose to think and act.
P.P.S. This post was inspired by the Daily Prompt tend. This actual word did not show up in the writing and I’m just not going to sweat it. The prompt has clearly done it’s job.
Daily Prompt Tend