Does Your Life Suck?
Perspective is a funny thing. It amazes me how differently your life can look, not because your circumstances have changed, but because of how your perspective has changed. Sometimes it takes a life altering event, like a near death experience, to change how you see things. Thankfully, though, it doesn’t have to. Though we may not always have control over our circumstances, we most certainly have control over how we react to them and view them.
I used to struggle with depression. Big time. I was home alone with four young kids all the time. We were broke as broke could be. I never went anywhere. I had no friends. And that’s all I could focus on. All of the negative parts of my life. How hopeless things looked. How little I had. And the more I focused on what we lacked, the more I found us lacking. It was a crappy, awful cycle. I truly believed that that was as good as my life would ever be. That there was nothing out there better for me. There were days where I seriously considered abandoning ship and running to Mexico alone. The feeling of helplessness and lack of control over my situation nearly killed me.
It took a lot of years and a ton of work to get out of that cycle of depression and self pity. I had to take ownership and responsibility for my role in my situation. The biggest change I had to make, though, was to stop looking at all the stuff I didn’t have and start looking at what I did have. I don’t care how difficult your situation is, there is always, always something positive to focus on. Even if it’s just the fact that it’s not raining on your cardboard box house today. It is certainly not easy. But it’s possible. And it’s necessary if you want to see things change.
Everyone gets dealt a garbage hand sometimes. Everyone. But sitting there dwelling on it will not accomplish anything but to attract more garbage into your life. In the last couple of years I’ve faced a ton of challenging, heartbreaking, spirit crushing situations. I could have easily allowed myself to drown in the overwhelming waves of obstacles I was facing. But I didn’t. I chose to look at all the amazing beauty and abundance that I had. Four wonderful, healthy kids. An incredible family who loved me. A roof over my head. Food in the fridge. Sunshine. A supportive ex-husband who is a great dad to my kids. A working vehicle. I could go on and on.
It’s almost like the universe was eagerly waiting this whole time, waiting for me to start being grateful for what I already had so that it could pour out all of its abundance on me. Not that I’m rolling in riches yet (the universe knows the dangers of too much too soon!), but the world has started to open up for me. I’ve found the most incredible man to spend my life with, I have the loveliest friends I could ever hope for, my business is starting to take off, and wealth is slowly starting to find me.
No, I’m not just sitting here being grateful and hoping for the best. I’m busting my ass every day to develop relationships and go after my dreams. But because I no longer have this mindset of lacking, because I choose to focus on abundance, I am able to see so many more opportunities than before. Because I’m open to them. Because I’m not wallowing in a poor me pity party.
I would encourage you, the next time you find yourself spiraling into the depths of why-me’s and poor-me’s, to get out a notebook and make a list of everything you can think of that’s good in your life. Even the seemingly small things like running water or green grass or free wifi at McDonalds. Anything and everything you can think of. You will be surprised how quickly it will affect your state of mind and your outlook.
Whether you look for the good in life or the bad, you will find it. You can’t control everything that happens to you, but you can control your perspective and your attitude. No one can take that away from you.