It was near the end of the semester, and she had faced what felt like curveball after curveball since the beginning. She was looking at me for some sort of reassurance, a confirmation that bad things only come in threes and then life reorients itself and gives you rainbows and sunbeams.
I like to be positive. I like to be reassuring. But I don’t like lying.
And so I told her what has been the truth in my experience.
For a long time, I waited for life to be perfect, to be the stuff of my dreams, for stuff to quit happening. I thought that if I just earned enough money or just settled down with the right person or just set boundaries that life would get easy.
And those things do make life easier. But people still get sick. The refrigerator still breaks. A rock still flies out from under the wheel of the truck in front of you and still smashes your windshield. A perfectly ordinary day turns bloody at the end after a bad fall. There are layoffs and food poisoning and kids whose phases are really something more.
So if you are waiting for life to get easier, you are going to be waiting an incredibly long time. Because there will almost always be something to contend with, almost always some problem that needs solving. Life keeps delivering challenges to us (because we have the great privilege of caring about lots of people whose problems become our concerns and because we use so many tools to help us navigate life which means that we feel off when they are off in some way) in its grand pursuit to keep us constantly learning and growing.
It’s not life so much that has to change then if we want our lives to feel different, to be different. Life is not what is going to give us a break.
The truth is that we make our own breaks.
With our attitudes. Our choices. Our decision to set boundaries or walk away from things that are no longer serving us or our conscious development of the tools that will guide us through the journey.
We choose how much power to give to the bad things. We choose what attitude we will have about it. We choose how to respond. Our response is one of our greatest sources of power. Our response can change everything.
What are you hoping will get easier in your life these days?
What choice can you make right now to make it easier?
What tool do you need to find to shift the situation?
Are you ready?
If in considering the situation, there feels like no choice or tool is available, please reach out to me through the comments or via email. I am happy to help brainstorm around it and if there just is no choice or tool available right now, to commiserate with you through the rough stuff.