A couple days ago I lost my job. It was a bit of a relief (I wasn’t making enough and was already scoping out other options), and also a disappointment. The day I was called I found myself calm, collected, as if nothing had changed. The second day, not so much.
Remaining positive during times of stress or struggle has never been my strong suit. My ex-husband used to remind me almost daily that I truly had a lot of negative thoughts, always finding a way something could go wrong. Struggling with anxiety only intensified that, and I often found myself lying in bed for hours unable to pick myself up and wallowing in the depression that usually came along with it. It’s something I recognize. It’s something I’ve tried desperately to change, and have had little progress. But life gives us constant opportunities for change. Like the river, it’s always flowing and we are capable of following if we can recognize that it’s setting us on a new and brighter path.
I’ve watched a lot of people in my life who became unrealistically successful. Successful in ways they truly shouldn’t have been, and I’ve always wondered how they seemed to come out on top no matter what was thrown at them. The thing about positivity is that it truly has power over how our situations will play out. Some people will always live in the mindset that things will happen as they will, regardless of how we dictate the situation with our words and our thoughts. I used to be that way. I used to live by the words “it is what it is” in a way that meant there was nothing I could do to change anything in a positive way. But as I’m learning and growing, I’m realizing that breathing life into negative situations truly does make a difference. Instead of thinking, “I’m not gonna find a job in time to pay rent, or my car payment, or my phone bill” I could just as easily be thinking, “I am capable, I am strong, and I am talented. I will prevail, and I will find a job in time.” There’s a million reasons for me to believe I won’t find a win in this situation. There’s plenty of ways that it could go wrong (and trust me, I’ve thought of all of them). But letting my anxiety, or depression, or tendency to be negative is not the way I want to live anymore. This path of finding inner happiness and inner peace means exactly that–it comes from within. If I can power my mind to look at myself, and all of the good that is around me, then things like this can’t steal my joy. That doesn’t mean it’s easy. That doesn’t mean I’m going to be perfect at it. In fact, I’ll probably struggle with this more than anything else. But even if I have to constantly redirect my mind, eventually what is practice will come naturally.
It may not be today. Today I may find myself without energy, and unable to give myself fully to those around me or to myself. That doesn’t make me any less, or not strong enough. It doesn’t make me a bad person or mean that I’m not capable of change. It means I am human. But I know that by shifting my awareness that I am capable of doing anything. And I will push forward with everything I have until I achieve the goals I have set in place. I have set in motion the change I am seeking simply by acknowledging where I want that change to come from. I may not be perfect, but I sure as hell am strong. And I will win this war.
“The mind is everything. What you think you become.” –Buddha