Wednesday, March 11, 2015

I promise, it's not that bad.

Friends, fellow happiness seekers, as your best friend I have a truth bomb to drop on you that I want you to let absorb into every aspect of your life. Ready for it?

It’s not that bad.

Let that sink in a minute OK? Take a deep breath and inhale these words in and let them become your mantra for life…

It’s not that bad.

I know, I know, we love to make big deals out of occurrences in our daily lives. As human beings we almost crave the drama. We thrive on comparing our days and our activities with one another. I recently flew with a flight attendant who had only been on the job two years and took delight in re-enacting her personality conflicts with fellow flight attendants and passengers. She should have been an actress the way she’d swing the coffee pot  around and stomp her feet and furrow her brow telling me how the cops had to be called to resolve this and that incident. None of the stories she told to me, were that bad in retrospect. No one lost their life, no weapons were pulled on anyone else, there was no fist fights in the galley. I could blame her age of 23 but the truth is I know many people like this, myself included who tend to make mountains out of ant hills.

It’s not that bad.

Women, I believe are especially guilty of putting ourselves in a sinking boat. There are some days when my nearly two year old is beyond naughty. She throws her food on the floor, she throws toys off the balcony and across the room, she hits and she lays down on the ground when it’s time to leave the park in a fit of tears. I am exhausted and fed up and I become frazzled. It’s easy to think my life is tough in those moments and it is tough compared to my carefree childless days as a 20-something. Then I remind myself of a family friend who has a special needs child. Her child requires 8 hours of physical therapy a day which costs about $1400 a day and requires 4 hours of driving. That’s just the tip of the iceberg this family has to deal with because their child suffered from terrible jaundice that left her brain impaired.

I remind myself that as hard as my days are I have a husband who helps out. Let me just say that if you have a spouse you are not a single parent so please don’t even begin to compare yourself to single parents. If you have someone who calls you on their way home from work to see if you need anything while you’ve been home all day with a vomiting child; if you have someone who cooks you dinner so you can have a break before going to work all night; if you don’t have to get a babysitter just to attend happy hour or a wedding or a bridal or baby shower then you my friend are not a single parent. I also think it’s insulting to say, “I don’t know how single parents do it because….” It’s like anything you do it because you have too. Why do I fly stand-ups three nights in a row with 4 hours of sleep each night and come home and take care of my child all day, then teach spin then head back out to work? I do it because that’s where I’m at and that’s what I have to do. Some people are single parents by choice and others weren’t given one but those of us who have the support of another spouse should be grateful because trust me…

It’s not that bad. Even on your hardest day, you don’t have it that bad.

Life, my friends, for the most part, for the majority of us is pretty good. If you are able to travel and enjoy happy hours, to ride your bike, to meet friends for lunch, to enjoy a yoga class and occasionally read a book and grocery shop I’d say your life is pretty fantastic. Most of the world is living with struggles, real struggles that don’t include what latte to have at Starbucks or how much should you spend on your child’s birthday. Most of our drama that we encounter on a daily basis is self-created. We can eliminate this drama by simply saying no to what doesn’t serve us. Say no to toxic relationships, to toxic food, to jobs that poison and confrontations no one will win. If you start to open your eyes you’ll continually see forks in the road at every opportunity given to you.

It’s not that bad.

We love to play the victim, to see who will take pity on us and join us in the hole we dig for ourselves. We wait for someone to pull us out. Some of us wait a lot. We wait for the right job, the right love, the right anything to come our way before we think we can begin our lives. Well friend, here’s another truth bomb – life is happening all around you. Happiness is something we create for ourselves in our own reality it doesn’t come from anything external. I’ve met people with so much less than I have who are happier than myself and I’ve met friends who would give anything to have what I have in hopes that it will change their lives. The truth is, we all struggle, we all feel pain, we all have demons and we’re all mostly lonely people with hidden sides and some very dark sides.

But there’s so much more out there waiting for you if you just get out of that hole and start enjoying the sunshine.

Because friends, it’s not that bad. I promise you, life’s not.
I got this tattoo right before Valentine's Day. It reminds me that in life I've faced many difficulties, both people and things and my own self drama that's pulled me backwards. Ultimately all of it has prepared me to launch towards something greater. Of course the pain of it hurt but the pain, like all pain didn't last forever and now I'm stronger for it.

"An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backwards so when life is dragging you back with difficulties it's really just preparing you to launch into something great."

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