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Do You Like Your Life?
STOP LIVING THE IMAGE SOMEONE ELSE CREATED FOR YOU
As I’ve made a huge shift in my career to end aloneness and help people live with authenticity, I’ve had to ask myself hard questions. Questions that made me squirm. Uncomfortable questions. But questions critical to my emotional health. And because I'm also concerned for your well-being, I wanted to pose some questions to you, too.
Do you like your life? No, really? I’m asking you to stop and think honestly. So to help you, I’ll rephrase the question. Are you happy? The knee-jerk response for people is to say yes. But usually they reply before they reflect. If you said yes, awesome! I’m thrilled for you because God wants you to be happy. God delights in your delight.
(I realize not all my readers share a common understanding of God. Some call God your Higher Consciousness or the Universe. I don’t care what you call God. The principle remains.)
If you’re not happy, and you don't like the way you’re living, you have to find out why. This is where the question gets uncomfortable—even painful. Because this is where the hard work happens and you search beneath the surface and become honest. But the strain of the work is worth it. Because you only discover diamonds when you dig deeper.
If you said no, I’m sorry. The lack of happiness is a painful way to live. I encounter a lot of unhappy people. My heart hurts for them because I’ve walked in their shoes. I’ve had my share of times when life felt like a burden instead of a blessing. I’ve recently come out of one of those seasons as my health took a toll on my happiness in life.
A few days ago, I had another CAT scan and appointment with my neurosurgeon. This was a scheduled follow-up to monitor my brain aneurysm. When you’re laying in the tube and then waiting in the office for results, your mind runs wild. Dreams fade as you ponder less than positive news. Bottomline: I won’t be seeing him for quite awhile!
Both present challenges as well as past choices can also impact happiness. Sometimes those situations are self-inflicted. Other times (like in a health crisis), you feel like you have no control over the situation. And then, there are times when other people’s behaviors or bad decisions drain your joy like a suck-dried juice box.
So What Can You Do About It?
What I’ve learned in life and especially during the best part of the last two years is that blame doesn’t make anything better. My unhappiness, regardless of the situation (past or present), isn’t anyone else’s fault. Instead of pointing fingers, find a way to use your unhappiness as an opportunity to discover what you believe about yourself.
This is especially true if you don’t like your life. Maybe you’re trying to live up to an image in your mind created by someone else. Of course, you created the image, but whose standards did you implement? Who are you trying to please? Whose ideals are you striving to live up to? You’ll never be happy trying to live someone else’s dream for you.
Last week, I wrote about learning to love yourself unconditionally. I asked you to look in the mirror, make a list of the judgments you make about yourself, and throw the paper away. Today, I’m going further (see below). But this isn’t a one-time exercise. It’s a habit people should practice to help overcome a lifetime of cultural conditioning.
My life’s goal is to end aloneness and to help people love themselves unconditionally in the present. I want them to find freedom to live with authenticity every moment of their lives. I want them to create their own image, not live someone else’s. But you can’t say, “That sounds good.” and not offer the same unconditional love to others.
Many people try to change the world by changing other characters in their story. How? By loving them with conditions. But we can't change others. We only change the world by changing the main character—ourselves. Love yourself unconditionally, and you’ll see everyone around you change as you choose to love them unconditionally.
Take a long look in the mirror at least once a day and tell yourself, “I’m enough. I’m perfect. I’m fine the way I am. I’m not my past. And I’m not anyone else’s opinion of me. There’s nothing wrong with me in this moment.” Write this down and carry it with you. One more thing…get in the habit of looking in the mirror and saying thank you for who you are!
If you need help with the subject matter of this blog for your personal or professional life, please email me to discuss one-on-one options. I will reply to you personally. —T.
Timothy Eldred is a writer, speaker, and friendly disruptor of the status quo with a mission to end aloneness. He gives leadership and provides strategic support to profit and not-for-profit organizations to develop a sustainable culture of authenticity. Tim is also a member of the CompleMentor training team. Follow him @timothyeldred.