A few years ago I was really struggling through a rough period in my life. I kept thinking this is not where I thought I’d be in my life. I had envisioned a much different life for myself. I had high hopes, dreams and aspirations.
Things didn’t happen as I expected.
I had been spinning a lot lately on the topic of my life. Maybe it was the anniversary of my marriage ending and having to sell our home. Maybe it was the upcoming holidays that I knew would not be filled with family and tradition like it had in the past. Maybe it was the emotional toll of a difficult year for my daughter… one that had taken my energy and time away from my own self-care and business. Or the financial strain of the high level of care she needed … or her recent crises. Or maybe it was my upcoming birthday… another year slipping through my fingers.
So, I learned to take a deep breath and let those feelings sit with me for a bit. I recognize that it’s a good time for reflection and get curious about the lessons and blessings in my life. While there was a great deal outside of my control back then or today, I will not feel sorry for myself. I am NOT a victim in my own life.
I am not a victim. I AM THE LIGHTHOUSE.
I learned to make conscious, deliberate decisions about how I’m going to respond when things don’t go as planned. When my heart was breaking, I gave myself permission to slow down and heal. For the first time I put up clear boundaries with those who caused me pain and further drained my energy. As my daughter needed an increasing level of care, I made the decision to dedicate more time and energy to her. Making changes to give her the best opportunity to succeed was a selfless yet painful decision. So although things didn’t work out how I wanted, I show myself grace for how I managed through this difficult time.
So this is how it is now.
In meditation we use the phrase “so this is how it is now.” It’s a way to radically accept what is here in the present moment, without judgment but with love and compassion. Suffering arises from lamenting about the past and worrying about the future… or resisting what you can’t change. You don’t have to like it or agree with it in order to accept it. Radical acceptance of things as they are provides a path to emotional and spiritual freedom. I often recite this phrase to myself when I’m spinning on the past or wishing things were different. So this is how it is now. The question then becomes what am I going to do about it? After all, I am the lighthouse.
Radical acceptance is the path to peace.
Yes, the holidays were going to be different after the divorce AND I’m reclaiming them with a mix of old and new traditions.
Yes, some days I’m too emotionally drained to be productive AND I give myself the space I need to recharge.
Yes, some days are filled with crisis and chaos AND I choose to show myself grace by putting my energy there on those days.
Yes, there will be difficult times AND I have so many blessings in my life to carry me forward.
I didn’t let another year slip away. I lived fully through the ups and downs. With radical acceptance, I consciously accept that this is how it is right now… and I’m at peace with that.