“Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.” Kahlil Gibran
Each and every one of us at some point or the other have experienced deep frustration with a relationship, an activity or job and been tempted to throw it over. Many of us do so, in fact. We quit jobs and sever relationships for emotional reasons. In the long run though, quitting never seems to work out. The job we take next or the relationship we settle for on the rebound, are as unrewarding and as far away from the ideals we long for, and we wonder why it is that our path does not seem to open up and why we are as far away from fulfillment as ever we were.
What is the ultimate truth?
The ultimate truth is that life gives us situations that we need to be in and if we terminate them abruptly, we cease to extract what we are meant to out of them, and are therefore condemned to repeat the situation. There are times when we may even discern what we are meant to do or how we are meant to live, but even in that realization there may be a process involved that we must respect.
A personal example- I was working with a lifestyle magazine many years ago when I had my spiritual epiphany. I realized vividly that what I wanted to do more than anything else in the world was to heal people of their misery. Yet, how I was to do this and when, remained a mystery. I realized that I was meant to go through the job I presently held, in order to reach wherever I was meant to. It took me another three years (superbly rewarding and fulfilling years, incidentally) before I arrived at the realization that the magazine and I were no longer in sync and I left. That realization was a simple and peaceful one – it was a deep inner knowing – and acting on it facilitated my transition to ME and all that I am today Positive Provocations and everything else.
An opposite example- A close friend of mine threw over her job as soon as she got her epiphany and looked for something more compatible with her interests. Unable to find one after being jobless for close to nine months, she returned to her old career. Recently, though, she applied within her own company for a shift to the other department that was more to her liking and she was granted it – an easy painless transition because the time had come for it to happen.
I hold this concept of going through things rather than bypassing them or jumping over them, close to my heart. And it has served me well and made me happy. Even when it came to relationships. I have hung on to them with an almost crazy determination, no matter how high the level of frustration, until the time came when I was automatically released from them. Then the parting was always easy and effortless, with little pain on either side.
Emotional Decisions a NO NO!
I have learnt never to make important decisions based on emotional reasons but to bide my time and wait for the decision to be revealed from within. This can seem like a passive strategy but let me tell you that it is the hardest thing to do. I have particularly understood that it is always darkest before dawn. When it seems we can no longer hang in there and we have no option but to quit, we need to hang in there. An insight or an understanding or a fresh layer of growth may arise.
Recently, I went through a hard time on the health front. The tension mounted and I felt dangerously tempted to throw in the towel. When it comes to my health, throwing in the towel means giving up on my body’s natural mechanism completely….But I didnt. I held on and remained positive, never giving up hope. That’s when the veils parted and I realized that all I really needed to do was to focus on the moment and stop fastfowarding into the future, anticipating calamity. The realization has given me a new equanimity and acceptance and made my problem much easier to handle.
Living with the cycles and timetables of life
Learning to abide by the cycles and timetables of life and respecting the processes involved, our lives open up and a path is paved for us to walk on. We have to do nothing at all.
We merely have to walk on each step without fear or doubt, as it appears before us. Then we will progressively grow through every situation, and each will lead us to the next magnanimous step we need to be on.
What about you? Have you had experiences like mine where you literally wanted to give up? How did you handle it? Please share your thoughts and wisdom in the comments below.
With Immense Love & Gratitude,
Counseling Psychologist/Spiritual Counselor