Whenever you find yourself thinking, “if only…”, I want you to truly recognize that what you are doing is not serving you.
“If only I had graduated at the top of my class, perhaps I would have a better job.”
“If only my parents had loved me more, I wouldn’t be so messed up now.”
“If only I hadn’t done that, said that, thought that.”
That is NOT the place you need to be.
I owned a piece of this mindset in my last post, Enjoy The Ride, reflecting on something that happened that I didn’t appreciate in the moment. We all do it. It’s part of the human experience. We think about things that could have gone differently and ask “what if”.
I’m not saying it’s necessarily a bad thing to do, as that would imply self judgement. But I do think it’s an important part of the growth process to recognize and acknowledge when we do it, why we are doing it, and think about framing your story differently.
The true value of some circumstances of your life are easier to see than others. For instance, in my twenties, I used to dream of packing up my belongings and heading west to Arizona. I had a romance with the landscape and all kinds of idealistic dreams about what life would be like there (certainly better, right?). There was really nothing stopping me from it beyond my own fear of the unknown; my uncertainty that I would be able to find a job right away that would pay my bills.
Something kept me put. Perhaps it was that inner voice. What we often refer to as intuition. It’s good to listen to that voice. You know when it’s right. As much as I wanted to go, something wasn’t pulling me hard enough. And while I took a long, winding path to get there, I’m certain I would only have met my husband by staying where I was.
It was always supposed to be this way.
No other way.
Your parents, your life, your experiences (even the shitty ones) were meant for you. There’s a phrase I like to use often: Life is not happening to you, it’s happening for you.
Yet it’s hard to see in the moment, isn’t it?
It’s hard to see how any negative experience can be an opportunity, right?
It gets easier in those times of reflection after it’s all said and done.
I was meant to be laid off from two jobs back-to-back when that had never, ever in my life happened before. Not once, but twice within thirteen months. I didn’t spend much time reflecting on the messages I was receiving after the second termination. I knew intuitively that I had clearly been walking the wrong path.
What I’m doing now feels right and true to my heart and soul. Becoming a life coach is one of the absolute best things that has happened for me. I had to really search hard within myself to find that direction, but it was a journey worth taking. A journey that I absolutely needed to be a part of, and still do.
I can’t begin to convey the level of despair and self-loathing that came with my struggles with infertility for over a decade. The seething rage that I sent to my body for being incapable of such a basic function. How I mourned the second ectopic pregnancy that nearly took my life…and how some days that followed, I wished that it had. Because how was I supposed to live like this? Broken. Empty. Lost.
Now I know that I only felt that way because of my thoughts about myself. The things I would say to myself were so insidious and difficult to break free of.
Well, those experiences were meant to happen too. If I hadn’t failed the round of in vitro that followed my near death experience, I may not have stopped trying to become a parent the “traditional” way and explored adoption. It almost seems that the minute I opened myself to it, everything fell into place exactly as it was supposed to.
This fantastic kid was always meant to be our son.
I used to wonder what life would have been like even further back when I made the decision as a teenager to stay with my dad instead of going with my mom and sisters after the divorce. Had I not stayed, I wouldn’t have the great memories of stories of him over the next fifteen years before he died suddenly.
I wouldn’t have been in the state I was in, where I met my husband, and later our son. Our family wouldn’t have moved to Dallas, where I lost those jobs and found myself.
It was always supposed to be this way.
Remember this on your journey of yours. When you are searching to answer the why of all of the seemingly terrible things that are happening in your life, remind yourself that they are happening for you. The path may be rocky and times; it may not be easy to see in the moment, but know that every experience is in opportunity to learn something about who you truly are and perhaps even your soul’s purpose.
“The physical world is nothing more than your classroom.” – Carolyn Myss
This is the only way it was ever supposed to be.
Would you like to be coached on this or another area of your life? Book a free consultation with me here.