It’s inevitable that we find ourselves in less than desirable situations in our lives, we can’t avoid that. We can control the quality of life we have while we improve, however. We can be happy in any and all circumstances because there is something to be happy about in every situation.
1. You don’t need to know where you are going to get somewhere great.
A car’s headlights can illuminate only the area immediately in front of it, yet you can drive across the country seeing only this little bit at a time. No one can see the future, and you don’t need to. React to what is in the now and what you can see coming in the immediate future, doing this is how you get to your long term goals, even if you can’t always see how everything will connect.
The fact that you can’t see everything that will happen is a good thing. You get to focus on the present and–as cheesy as it is–enjoy the journey.
Being able to predict the future is also limiting–we place restrictions on our dreams when we set our sights on them. For instance, when I dreamed of starting a blog I never imagined that it would become a full time job for me. I would hate now, in retrospect, for that to have been the end of the line. We don’t see how big we really should dream until we are en route. Let go of needing to know everything that will happen in the future, and focus on making this little part of it that you can see the best that it can be.
2. Even rock bottom is the beginning of a new adventure.
Even if the absolute worst thing in the world happens, even if the bottom falls out of your life, there will be a blessing in that moment. You will be free from the effort of fearing the worst, of trying to avoid it. It’s happened. Now all your fear energy and your anxiety energy can be used for positivity (rebuilding) instead of negativity (fear, avoidance).
Two quotes that illustrate this point beautifully:
“Now that she had nothing to lose, she was free.” Paulo Coelho
“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” JK Rowling
Nothing in this life is beyond repair. If you cut your hand, your body heals it without you even trying. The energy of the whole universe is this way–it’s called homeostasis. Suffering is part of a natural cycle that is followed immediately by healing.
3. No matter what, you can always be happy.
Happiness is totally within your control, even if all of the external factors of your life aren’t. You could be poor, lonely, rejected–whatever, but you can still be happy. This is the awesome quality of detachment.
Maybe you don’t have as much money as you wish. That doesn’t make you a loser, a terrible person, or stupid. It makes you a person in that particular reality. This isn’t a problem. The problem is that this reality is unacceptable to you. You are focused on changing something you don’t like so you become unhappy because you are telling yourself that your present is not good enough.
The way to do this is to turn each negative thought or worry into a positive thought. When you catch yourself worrying, “I don’t have enough money” tell yourself instead, “I am so thankful for all the money I have.” Make a list of all the things you have that you are grateful for. No matter how many times you complete this exercise you will never fail to be surprised by how lengthy this list is compared to whatever worries you have in comparison.
Your worries may be real, but your gratitude is just as real and you can choose which reality you want to live in.