It’s been a little over a year since my last post. Can you believe it? Where has the time gone?
First of all, I’m well. I’m well in all ways and shapes. My health scare has come and gone – it was nothing serious at all. Just a Thyroid nodule that got a bit big. Nothing to worry about.
This year was a big one for me. Three days ago, I turned 40 with all its Milestones and Questions: Am I where I thought I would be? Where I want to be? Am I Happy with my Life? What am I planning to do with the next 40 years?
With those big questions, came big answers: Yes, actually.. I *am* happy. Sure, there are things that if I had a magic wand I would change, here and there, but generally speaking.. I have all the big pieces down. And.. It’s time to stop feeling guilty or being apologetic for it.
Have you ever felt bad for being happy? Especially when some of the people you love around you aren’t? Felt bad for having a great husband, when you’re friend is single? Or that you have a beautiful home, while someone else can’t afford to own theirs? Should you feel bad for what you have?
I spent years practically talking my life down to those close to me that weren’t as lucky as I was. Complaining, to make others feel better about their situation, how they felt, to show them that everyone’s life is imperfect.
At 40, I’ve come to realize that we are all responsible for our life, for our own happiness. And focusing on the negative never helped anyone.
We all must learn to make the most out of what we’re given. There are many different ways to empathize with someone’s suffering. If what we’re given are flowers for example, we should appreciate their beauty, be grateful for the gift. Rather than go looking for thorns, out of Guilt or Shame, to make those without flowers feel better.
Instead, we could share the flowers, enjoy them together, or better yet, help them plant their own.
Sometimes, the lesson is to stop waiting for someone to ‘give’ you want you want, what others have, and actively do ‘something’ to get where you want to be. It’s a lot more productive and constructive to take Action, rather than Covet.
The other thing I’ve learned this year is the difference between Letting Go and Letting it Be and knowing when to manifest which. It’s a big one.
Letting go of things, for me, implies an Acceptance that accompanies a sense of Finality, the end of something that is Leaving you: negative thoughts, toxic people, etc.
Where Letting it Be implies not only Acceptance of how things are, but it implies a fluidity, a recognition of the constant state of change, an infinity loop.
It’s the difference between saying Goodbye forever and Goodbye for now.
Where Letting go ‘forever’ of bad thoughts, emotional turmoil, is ‘on point’, Letting it be implies a detachment from what is happening, which can prevent the emotional turmoil to begin with. You are an Observer. Things are happening, but not ‘to’ you.
Letting go implies that you acknowledge having been thrown into the deep end, and you’ve now accepted it. You’ve dealt with the Emotions that being pushed into the water created. You’ve forgiven. You’ve moved on.
Letting it be is Observing that someone has attempted to throw you into the deep end. You are not wet. You have Witnessed the Action, but have not been emotionally affected by it. It does not belong to you.
It’s a bit like that old adage “Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but words can’t hurt me”…unless you give them the power to.
Each time, this year, I’ve been confronted with a situation that felt out of my hands, out of my control, I didn’t so much work on “Letting it go” as “Letting it be”. I’ve been working on accepting that people are Imperfect, that they do what they can, that they see and interpret things differently from me, and that their Reality is not mine. I don’t have to pick up and carry around what they throw at me. What they threw does not belong to me, again it belongs to them.
How I Act and React defines me. That part is All me. Am I seeking Revenge? Trying to hurt them back? Or am I trying to see the Lesson behind the actions? Am I accepting that people are just people, doing what they can, in the best way they can, in any given moment.
Who we are is up to us. We have the power to define and redefine ourselves every moment of every day: are we Givers or Takers? Are we Healers or Toxic? Do we bring Joy or Pain to others? This is entirely our choice.
From there, the only thing we can know for sure in Life is that things will change. Things, situations, people will come and go. There will be ups and downs. There will be Joy and there will be Tears.
So when Joy does comes knocking, jump for it, let it in, embrace it, share it. Don’t look over its shoulder wondering where Sadness is.
If Sadness is at the Neighbours, don’t feel guilty or worse yet, kick Joy out. Call your neighbour over and together, leave Sadness at the door.