I’ve been thinking a lot about how to let go of what I thought my life was supposed to be. The plan I thought I was going to have and the place I thought I was supposed to end up.
We have been growing up in a world that taught us to value success over the small things, to always plan and look forward instead of find what’s good about the life we are currently in. We’ve become almost embarrassed to say “I’m happy right where I am” if where I am doesn’t meet other definitions of happy.
I believe God, the Universe, whichever you prefer: is forcing us to accept ourselves right where we are. What if there is so much good right under our nose and the only thing in the way is the expectations not only we hold for ourselves, but the ones we think others are holding for us?
It’s scary to sit in the unknown. To come to terms with what is and let go of what was. Sometimes I feel like I should be doing more. I should be coming up with the next big thing instead of spending hours on the couch reading. I should be focusing on my diet since now I have more time to do it. What I think I’m doing, is being proactive, but what i’m really doing is forcing myself to mentally be anywhere but my present circumstance.
I’m telling myself that where I currently am isn’t good enough unless I’m striving to make the next big things. But what’s wrong with the place where I am? What’s wrong about sitting at home and listening to 70’s music instead of podcasts about finding my inspriation? What's wrong with enjoying the trees instead of thinking the next thing I want to write? What's wrong with falling in love with the small things instead of the big things?
I’m too focused on what other people are doing. What I think I’m missing out on. I saw this quote by Glennon Doyle the other day ”There are times for creating and times for becoming the person who will create the next thing. For many of us, this is a becoming time. Rest and become.” I found so much comfort in that. To know that this time could be spent maybe unraveling the versions of myself I thought I was and stepping into who I actually am. Taking stock of past moments in my life that shaped me or prohibited me from growing and make peace with those things.
That maybe all I have to do today is show up and live. I don’t have to worry about tomorrow because even though I’ve known it all my life, the words have never rang more true “let tomorrow worry about itself. Because tomorrow is not promised to you.” I can sit and think about what I thought was going to be my tomorrow and let the anxiety and depression take over from the inability to meet those expectations or I can accept that the sun will rise regardless of how I’m feeling. So why not rise with it?
In Dr. Lightman’s article “The Virus is a Reminder of Something Lost Long Ago in The Atlantic, he mentions “the virus is forcing us to slow down, to spend time in personal reflection, away from the noise and the heave of the world. With more quiet time, more privacy, and more stillness, we have an opportunity to think about who we are, as individuals, and as a society. Now we have the chance to notice that we have been living too fast and have sold our inner selves to the devil of speed, efficiency, money, hyper-connectivity, “progress”.”
If you’re like me, you’ve been spending time reflecting in the deepest corners of your mind because, finally, there is no distraction to pull you from it. So let’s walk down this path together. Open hearted, open minded, to find the beauty within ourselves that then, maybe our own definition of beauty can change and bend. We can find a different meaning of success that has more to do with the heart than the brain. And we can find joy in a less hurried world. A world that only focuses on today and all the good moments we can fill the hours with.