Posts tagged higher power

10 Important Life Lessons I’ve Learned in the Last 5 Months

life-lessons-last-5-months

Just two weeks after my “wake-up call” I took the above photo,
showcasing the highest score I ever got bowling, beating my husband for the first time!

I recently received an email from an UpGusto subscriber who lost his girlfriend who he intended to marry, and his job, all in one fell swoop. He was in despair about his life and in deep depression. I emailed him back, and I decided to share with you all what I wrote to him (plus a couple extra points) because my response is applicable to everyone’s life at one point or another, maybe even right this moment for some of you. I hope you can gain some insight to apply to your life today and on an ongoing basis to improve your own well being for the long term.

I’m sorry you have been going through such a difficult time. It is hard to understand why things may be happening as they are, but I truly believe everything happens for a reason. You never know what God has planned for you. It is always better than what we imagine for ourselves, and we tend to try to thwart God’s plans with our plans. That is what happened to me back in late June. I was living my life my way, and everything seemed to be going along just fine, when WHAM! Wake-up call. An extremely unfortunate event had taken place and when I came to realize what was going on it was like a huge slap in the face. A huge slap in my life! But 5 months later and I am actually already grateful for what has happened because I think it actually saved my life.

I was going down the wrong path. I kept doing the same things expecting different results, which is basically insanity. My life seemed fine, but since my wake-up call, I have realized so much of what I was doing was for the wrong reasons and a lot of what I was doing was completely unnecessary and it wasn’t resulting in a better life as I had been hoping for all along. I was stressing myself out to the max. I immediately simplified my life so I could survive the turmoil I was going through at the moment. And as soon as I did that, my life immediately became that much more manageable… basically easier to deal with on a daily basis. It’s funny how when you’re overly responsible, you tend to take on more responsibility than is actually necessary.

I tend to take care of others instead of myself, but since my wake-up call, I have been learning to take care of myself, and that has been an amazing thing. I am learning who I am and what I really want out of life, and I’m not displeasing God in the process like I thought I would be if I lived life this way. I thought taking care of myself was selfish, but really it’s self-care. There is a difference between selfishness, selflessness, and self-care, and I have realized that now. At the moment, my goal is self-care, and once I feel like my life is finally on track, I can work on being more selfless, but self-care is never selfish. When you take care of yourself, you are taking the burden off someone else to care for you. When you take care of your self, you are taking responsibility for your life, and you can learn to allow others to take responsibility for themselves too, and that is very freeing.

I don’t know why your relationship ended, what caused it, or what the current end of that relationship will bring you in the future (or in your present). I don’t know why you lost your job, or what God has in store for you instead. I do know that when these sorts of things happen to us that we need to wake up and take a look at ourselves and how we are living our lives. Take a look at our priorities, our actions, and what our past actions and behaviors have gotten us thus far, and what changes we can make in ourselves to get us to where we actually want to go, rather than doing the same things forever, expecting that one day things will finally get better (it won’t if we keep doing the same things).

I realized many things in these last 5 months:

  1. I am responsible for myself and only myself (and if you have children then you are also responsible for taking care of them to the best of your ability).
  2. Others are responsible for themselves, I am not responsible for them. I can’t control others or improve other people’s lives. They have to do that themselves. If I have insight, I can give them insight, but it is up to them to take the appropriate actions to take care of themselves.
  3. I can be myself and I can allow others to be themselves. We are all humans, with flaws and talents, both good and bad qualities. We are all equal, and we are all equally and fully loved by God. All people are capable of doing bad things, and all people can be blessings to others as well.
  4. I don’t have to do everything. I don’t have to do anything extra or unnecessary, and I need to have my priorities straight. I don’t have to live up to other people’s expectations, or even my own expectations I have placed on myself, and the imaginary expectations I think God has of me. I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do because doing things I don’t want to do would be doing things with the wrong heart and motives. That is not to say that I shouldn’t do what I am responsible for, but if it involves something I am not responsible for, then I should not do it unless my heart is in the right place.
  5. Money is not the most important thing in life. God will take care of our needs. God does want to bless us and He wants us to be happy. But money does not make us happy, and working our lives away just to have more material objects, or to look cool or have a higher social standing is not going to make us happy.
  6. When others are disappointed with me, it is not necessarily my fault. We all grow up gaining different world-views and defenses. We don’t need to take everything personally. Everyone has issues. We ourselves have issues, and it is our responsibility to work on our own personal issues to try to resolve our flawed world-views and useless defenses that we’ve put up to protect ourselves as children, but are actually harmful to us now as adults.
  7. I have learned that my relationship with God is the most important thing, and if I am in close connection to God, everything else actually falls right into place.
  8. Whether or not you believe in God, you can’t go through life alone and you can’t do what you need to do solely through your own power and might. Gaining some form of higher power (HP) who is more powerful than you and can help you do what you cannot do for yourself, is what makes your life manageable and what will eventually bring you serenity.
  9. You don’t have to be a religious person to have or find a higher power. Most of life’s problems are actually spiritual at the root. Spirituality and a connection with God (or higher power) does not necessarily have to be religious. In fact, it’s better if it’s not.
  10. Only a higher power has the power to restore you to sanity. What you give to your higher power (or God) is what your HP will take and deal with for you. But your HP will only take what you surrender, so the key to serenity and sanity is to fully surrender your will and your problems to the God of your understanding.

 
There is hope. In this world, there will be suffering, but that does not mean that all is lost, even if it seems like it now. Try your best at this time to see a broader perspective, that something is happening in your life that needs to happen right now, and it is bigger than you or I. And it can be a huge blessing if you take it by the horns and make the changes in yourself for the better, to bring you a better future. Slowly but surely, we can make the improvements in ourselves, internally, to give us the peace and serenity that we really long for.

What are you struggling with right now that makes you see no hope? Has this message helped give you the perspective you need to move on and make the necessary changes in your life to turn things around for the better? Please leave a comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts! Also, let me know if you have any questions or would like any feedback.