Have you ever listened to a friend or family member’s story of their frustration, anger, or sadness and think to yourself,
” You are making this so much harder on yourself then actually needs to be”.
Well I think we can all admit to this, in one way, shape, or form. However, in the midst of a challenging situation, it’s hard to see how much energy and time we are actually devoting to the problem. We become so attached to the problem, it’s as if the problem becomes who we are. Often times, we don’t realize that our reaction to the problem causes us more suffering then the actual ‘problem’ itself.
Now, it is easier to look at another person’s situation from an outsiders perspective, and give our two cents, than to listen to our own advice, when we are amid a frustrating situation.
From my experience, I have realized that there are two avenues to choose from when experiencing a challenging situation, the negative path or the positive path. It seems much easier to take a victim’s stance. Asking questions like, “Why is this happening to me?” “What did I do to deserve this?”, or making statements such as, “I am angry at the world”, “life sucks”, etc, when in fact, taking that route makes you feel WAY worse than you initially did before you reacted to the situation.
Rather then looking at a crummy situation in a negative light, why not look at it in a positive light? What if the frustrating situation is actually happening for a reason beyond your knowledge, and in the end, leads you to a better life and/or situation?
I find that when I focus solely on the positive aspects of a challenging situation, rather than the negative ones (I know it seems easier to bitch about your life, than not to, but it hurts you more in the end), I am happier and I don’t feel so depressed about my life. I am not saying that it is easy to attempt this and succeed at your first, second, or even 100th try, but COMMITTING to this life-style change will help you become happier and life will surprisingly become easier and more meaningful.
Now the amount of effort is exactly the same, whether you choose to focus your attention positively or negatively. However, your reaction to the situation is not the same. And is it worth it to make a challenging situation even more challenging? I know it is easier said then done, but there is no harm in trying to make small shifts in your attitude, thoughts, etc. to help you see that your ‘problem’ isn’t as bad as your mind makes it out to be.
I believe, that if we can find something negative in every situation, then we can also find something positive. It is what we choose to focus our attention on that will decipher the amount of peace we feel in our hearts.
And when you need a little more encouragement, remember this: PROBLEMS ARE MESSAGES. Here is a passage from one of my favorite books, Living in the Light by Shakti Gawain.
When there are problems in your life, the universe may be trying to get your attention. Its saying, “Hey, there’s something you need to be aware of, something that needs to be changed over here!” If you pay attention to the small signals, you will learn from them. However, if you don’t, the problems will intensify until you get the message and start to pay attention. If you accept that every time a problem occurs the universe is showing you something, you will make rapid progress on your journey of self-discovery.
Good luck and don’t be so hard on yourself! Life is happening for you, not to you.