Let me just for a moment, hypothesize that maybe there’s some area of your life you’re not happy with. Maybe it’s just a couple areas of dissatisfaction. Maybe it’s life in general. Maybe you’ve struggled with it for years, and things aren’t what you want or where you think they should be by now.
Either way, I’d like to suggest something that may seem like a radical departure: Try giving yourself permission to be where you are.
I’m not saying you have to LIKE where you are right now. I’m not saying you should want to stay there, or to build a summer home there.
But here’s the thing–either way, you’re there. You can be there and fight with it, beat yourself up, and feel bad about it. Or, you can be there and just be present. Curious. Less stressed out. When you stop fighting with reality, that frees up a ton of energy that can be channeled towards something more positive.
I know this is 180 degrees away from alot of contemporary thinking, but here are two reasons why I believe it’s true.
First of all, please consider that you don’t have the whole picture yet. As human beings we all have a limited context and understanding of our own lives. This is why we think we are mature at 16, or will never love again after getting our heart broken at 20. Can you really say that in the greater scheme of things, this struggle won’t feed into your future brilliance in some rich and beautiful way? Can you really know that this is not exactly where you are supposed to be?
Second of all, God can use anything. Anything. In the miraculous hands of the higher loving power of the universe (however we understand it), anything can be used as a springboard to bring more peace, more love, more healing to the world. I see this play itself out on the news all the time: the school bus monitor who received more than a half million dollars in donations after a video of her being bullied went viral. The abused dog in Texas that prompted an outpouring of love, support and donations. As my mentor Martha Beck has said, life is a benevolent process where bad things are meant to create good things.
So please, I invite you to try this out, and see how it feels: Wherever I am with my finances is okay for right now. Or my job. Or my body. Or my marriage. Maybe it’s all of the above. If this thinking feels like a relief, please try being kind to yourself and accepting reality.
On the other hand, if beating yourself up, feeling ashamed or guilty has helped you to affect positive and lasting change, then by all means keep doing it.
As the poet Hafiz beautifully said:
This place where you are right now,
God circled on a map for you.