giving your all
I find that when any situation, relationship, or circumstance in my life leaves me feeling uneasy then it is ALWAYS true that I have not given everything I can – be it honesty, vulnerability, my time, enough patience, working on my own perceptions, or simple acceptance of things exactly as they are. That little feeling that something in my life is missing, or off, or just not right is my call to get to work – to find the courage to give that situation what it needs from me.
This is not easy to do (understatement of the year), but shifting thinking in this way is way more empowering than just choosing to accept life's difficulties as given and go off sulking in a corner; no matter how justified we think we are. Work given to resolve challenges in life can close the circuitry of unease and bring peace to all situations that feel ‘off.'
This past week my Captain husband left for his summer work trip. This one will be longer than ever; 3.5 – 4 months in total. The kids and I will be able to meet up with him midway for about 5-6 days. This is a situation that happens every summer where my brain always likes to tell me a story that something is missing from my life when he is missing from my life. I mean, it's so logical. My thoughts love to tell me a story about how my life without him is like going from color to black and white and those thoughts make me feel like shit. I'm a married single parent after all! It sucks generally and in a very specific daily way. But if I succumb to this way of thinking then I am a woman who for 25 years has chosen to live a half-lived life. No thank-you. This circumstance in which I feel like something is missing means that I'm not giving everything I can. Here's what I have to rally to do at the beginning of every summer to give my challenging circumstance everything I can give to change those thoughts and feelings:
- make time to follow my personal passions & hobbies
- give everything I can to remain close and communicate with him while he's gone
- believe that my life can be just as fulfilling while he is away as when he is here
- use this time to cultivate a closer relationship with my kids
- sit with the feeling of sadness when I miss him and accept that as okay and part of ‘what is'
- focus on the love
- give me permission to be happy in EVERY circumstance in my life
- watch whatever TV program I want to 🙂
- transform a sad longing into a positive longing
- challenge any ‘poor me' story my brain wants to tell me about life when he's gone
- frame this time on my own as a gift to explore living an independent life – a chance to get back to the me that is unattached to my partner – the me that sometimes gets lost in the hectic and demanding pace of wife, mother, couple, and family.
Think of a situation in your life that feels like something is missing, not right, or that bothers you in some way. Ask yourself if you have run away from it. Are you telling yourself a story about how things are that may not actually be true? Are you making yourself a victim? Have you been clear and direct in communication? Have you hurt someone and not apologized? Are you withholding love, time, or attention? Why? Discard any current practices that contribute to this feeling of unease, and resolve in your heart to give the thing that you've not yet found a way to give to this situation; even if that is to just practice accepting life as it is right now without resistance. Try coaching yourself through it.
Now that you know what you need to start giving you might hesitate to take action. This is when you need to ask yourself if cultivating an intentional life that is peaceful and joyful is worth what you are required to give. Whether you do or don't the first step is recognizing that either way; how you feel about all of your life's situations is up to you and you always have under your control what you need to give to get peace.