“The greatest griefs are those we cause ourselves.”
I felt like the woman in this image at the beginning of this year. Stuck. Trapped. Unable to see a clear path ahead. December ended…well, shall we say, less than desirable. Car accident, abscess, 4 months of dental work that was not over, 10-hr flight delay, coming home to an empty apartment that I might have to move from and a job
I hate um, don’t enjoy. You get the drift.
Life is full of challenges for all of us. There is no shame in any of it. Often, what prevents us from walking away from these “oppressive” situations are our own limiting beliefs.
Sometimes the limitations we perceive don’t lie in the outer world. They are in our minds.
They are projections of our own inner anxieties.
This mental bondage makes us feel like we are unable to find our way out of a situation.
All exits seemed to be blocked.
Exits are never blocked. Our thoughts box us in and convince us that we have limited or no options. Then we start arguing “for” our limitations.
Like the woman above, I did not recognize my own power and see a way out.
There is a way out.
There is always a way out.
Her feet are not bound. She is free to walk away. The strength in the image above is in trusting the intuition of our instincts instead of the confusion of our minds.
When we can peel away the layers of fear that keep us out of touch with who we areally are, we find our way to the path which awaits us.
I had go deep “within” to find my way in January. I mean DEEP. These are a few practices that helped me out of my self-inflicted “mental-prison” in January:
1) Trust. Not only yourself (although that is a biggie) but in the process of life . Life is here to support you. Believe it. When you are facing calls to act on faith, when the future is uncertain, it is doubly important to trust your inner wisdom, your gut, your intuition and hold positive expectations about the outcome.
2) Release Fear. Fear distorts our perception and confuses us as to what is going on. This confusion causes us to second-guess and self-doubt. Never a good thing. As Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Drop fear like 3rd period french. Seriously. It is not your friend. Ever. Whenever a fear thought comes up – I immediately say out loud “Joy!” to shift my thinking and thoughts to something positive.
3) Focus on the best that could happen. We are all quick to jump to conclusions and draw out the “worst-case-scenarios.” Sometimes those ARE effective. But often it allows fear to stop us from making positive decisions and life changes. Allow your imagination to run free and think about wonderful possibilities. Put your focus on positive outcomes as you consider the options. Also, know that the actual result could even exceed the scenario you are thinking of!
4) Know that you are never alone. Remember that the people who love and care for you are with you always and forever see your goodness, purpose and potential, despite how clouded you “perceive” your situation. Allow yourself to receive the support, love and understanding from those closest to you.
When I am in a fearful place, this lovely story is always a comfort….
“A man who had finished his life went before God. And God reviewed his life and showed him the many lessons he had learned. When He had finished, God said, “My child, is there anything you wish to ask?” And the man said, “While you were showing me my life, I noticed that when the times were pleasant there were two sets of footprints, and I knew You walked beside me. But when the times were difficult there was only one set of footprints. Why, Father, did you desert me during the difficult times?” And God said, “You misinterpret, my son. It is true that when the times were pleasant I walked beside you and pointed out the way. But when the times were difficult … I carried you.”