‘Commit yourself to lifelong learning. The most valuable asset you’ll ever have is your mind and what you put into it’ – Brian Tracy
Today, I wish to discuss how to learn from our choices and the things that happen to us. I know that at the time, life can seem really unfair and strange. We ask ourselves the question ‘why is this happening to me’ and ‘what did I do to deserve this?’ We spend countless hours analysing the drama, believing that life is happening to us not for us but what we fail to remember is, that all life experiences are an opportunity for growth and development. The Universe, fate, whatever you want to call it, is on our side and we have to work with it, not against it to create a life of fulfillment and happiness. The moment we start fighting it and playing the role of the victim, we lose the control to turn our lives around.
I’d like to give you an example from my own personal life. In 2011, I was deeply depressed. I was without a doubt the unhappiest I’ve ever been in my entire life. Every couple of days I would cry and wish I was dead. I was at my heaviest weight, in a job I loathed, my closest friend and ex-boyfriend at the time were emotionally abusive towards me and I hated studying for my post-graduate diploma. If I had known that a gigantic storm of a nervous breakdown was hurtling towards me, I would’ve begun drastically changing everything but instead, I sailed right into the eye of it. At the time, my self-love was resting comfortably on 0% and I felt trapped. My negative mindset wasn’t even close to thinking ‘everything that’s happening right now is teaching me something.’ All I could think was ‘my life sucks and this is the way it will always be.’ How sad…
I believe that everything happens for a reason so I’m not hard on myself for the choices I made back then but I can see how my attitude kept me stuck in that negative spiral for so long. I played the ‘why me’ victim which meant diverting the blame to some outside force when really, I was allowing the darkness to continue. I didn’t take accountability for my actions until my breakdown (spiritual awakening) forced me to. At no point did I think: ‘Hey Bec, why don’t you look for another job or break up with the guy who claims to love you but puts you down regularly?’ I didn’t value my body so I filled it with junk. I didn’t know true happiness so my ‘friends’ manifested in the forms of soul-sucking vampires. Everybody else was to blame. Nobody understood me. Life was unfair and I was unlucky. It was too hard and painful to look at myself so instead I condemned those around me. When we play the victim, we invite more negativity into our lives. We accept it as the norm so it continues to flow. If you wish for an abundant life filled with love, you need to move away from the ‘woe-is-me’ mentality. Be gracious, accept the situation and then resolve to do something about it with a loving heart.
During this incredibly awful period, I was under the strange impression that I had no control over my own life. In fact, a lot of people live still this way. I repeated words like ‘trapped’ ‘stuck’ and ‘forced’ when really, those barriers only existed because I put them there. As unhappy as I was, I feared moving away from what was familiar. The day I finally broke up with my ex-boyfriend was the day I reclaimed some of my control. As strange as it sounds, I couldn’t believe that I didn’t have to be with him if I didn’t want to. This big act led to other realisations. I didn’t have to stay in a job I hated. I could be healthy. I could cultivate good, positive friendships. The possibilities were endless and right before my eyes…how had I never seen them? Let me tell you this right now: you are never stuck…ANYWHERE. You don’t have to be unhappy. You don’t have to be overweight. You don’t have to be treated badly. You don’t have to work in a place that drains you. You don’t have to live in the same town/state/country forever. You don’t have to be friends with people who don’t care about you. You don’t have to dislike what you see in the mirror. YOU ARE IN CONTROL! If you remain stagnant, watching life pass you by, you’ll never feel truly free and alive. Do I sometimes wish I hadn’t stayed with my ex for two whole years? Absolutely! But I also look at the lessons I learned along the way and how it shaped my character. It might have taken me a while but I got there in the end and that’s what matters. If we know why something has happened to us, we also need to act accordingly otherwise we are knowingly sabotaging our own happiness.
For a lot of us, we can’t see things for what they really are until we’re good and ready. I wasn’t responsive to what my situations & choices were trying to teach me. I wasn’t interested in the hidden blessings despite those lessons being the very keys to my happiness. What we don’t deal with, repeats itself. I didn’t address my insecurities so they kept showing up in the decisions I made. When my nervous breakdown (spiritual awakening) took over, I begun to ask the right questions. I changed my language from ‘why is this happening to me’ to ‘what can I learn from this?’ I realised for the first time that self-love sets the tone for our entire life and so my intensive work began. Hindsight allows us to reflect on our past with a much clearer lens. As I delved deeper into who I truly was, I suddenly realised why I had allowed so much negativity to infest my life. I didn’t value or find myself worthy so why would I have picked a partner or friends that did? It wasn’t their fault. They were just being themselves and the products of their own insecurities. It was me that allowed the poor treatment. Had I loved myself unconditionally, I never would’ve taken up with someone like that. This was where I had to forgive and accept myself fully and whilst it was difficult (with many tears shed) I did it and emerged with fresh love in my heart. Everything made sense and I finally understood the motivation behind my actions. Sometimes things don’t make sense till later, sometimes the lesson is right in front of us and we refuse to listen but typically, the lesson is simply: love yourself!
Until we’ve learned the lessons we’re meant to, we won’t be able to move forward. The more self-awareness we have, the easier it will be to detect the blessing in the lesson and make the necessary changes. Practicing gratitude can also assist in shifting our perspective. I’m so grateful for what happened to me otherwise I wouldn’t have the wonderful life I do now. I welcome further opportunities to grow and take comfort in the fact that whatever else arises, is a chance to become stronger & love myself that much more. If I had remained a victim, I wouldn’t have have worked through my deep insecurities. Take a moment to reflect on any of your current issues. Is there a lesson to be learned from them? Are you approaching them in the same way you always do? Is there a new method you could try? Are you playing the victim or are you open to learning something new about yourself? Digging deep can be scary but it’s so worth it in the long run. Even if it doesn’t seem like it, there is a reason why your life is unfolding in a certain way so take notice. I don’t know about you but I never want to stop learning & growing…
*All images were taken at the Redwood Forest in East Warburton, Victoria*
Peace & Love xoxo