“If people are not traveling the same path as yours, it doesn’t mean that they are lost”- #sundaewrites

 

I grew up getting almost everything I want.  I was fortunate to have a doting father. Though I’m forever grateful for that, such near perfection didn’t help much in my ability to accept failure, defeat, and rejection during my adult life. I was overly sensitive and had a strong desire to be liked, to be accepted, and be noticed.  For me to get that, I worked really hard to please other people, to be the best that I can be, not because I wanted to, but because I needed to.

I knew then that being Miss Ideal would get me raving fans, and that’s exactly what I’ve got– raving fans.Then I realized there were still other people who I can’t seem to reach– the imperfect ones. The problem kids, troubled teenagers, the unpopular, the nobodies. I thought, if I want to be to be liked by them, I had to be like them.  So I switched sides.  That decision completed my experience on both sides of the world.

After all the hassles and risks, do you think I was accepted, liked and loved?  I believe I was, but it was never enough.  And I figured out why. There was one person left in the room who’s not giving me what I want. That person was me.

Do you wonder why you are unhappy, or dissatisfied?  Why you long so much to find happiness in your outside world?  It’s because your inner world is broken.  It’s not as bright as it supposed to be. It’s dark, dull, empty and confused.

Let me put something on your plate.

Lower your expectations of others.

People make mistakes.  There are days when they are not the best versions of themselves. And some days they couldn’t care about you.  They have issues too you know.  And you can’t compel them to place you at the center of their lives.  They are the center of their lives as much as you are the center of your own. A person who can’t take care of himself isn’t capable of taking care of another human being.  Even if he tries, the fire will soon die if he neglects to add fuel to the furnace. Putting that fuel is something you do yourself. It’s not anyone else’s job.  So own it.

Forgive yourself as often as you can, then do better.

Admit it. You are impatient with others because you are impatient with yourself.  You remain miserable because while others have moved on, you chose to carry the weight around you. Trust me, you’ll never get anywhere if you keep reliving your failures. Feel sorry yes, but don’t dwell on it for too long. Confront yourself with “what now”, enough with “Why, me?.”

Stop projecting your desired realities on to others.

That’s just fair, isn’t it? Because you don’t want others as well to tell you what you should do or supposed to have to be completely happy. Happiness, after all, is an inside job.The fulfillment of such rests on you. So allow people to live a life that is true to them. You have your own to worry about.

photo credit: Aaron Burden

Our life has its own unique design. As a saying goes, “If people are not traveling the same path as yours, it doesn’t mean that they are lost”We have our own space and time to fill.  Respect that and you will learn to lower the bars for other people and adjust the bars you set for yourself.

Don’t fret about getting what you want. Don’t be somebody else’s responsibility. Better than that, give life whenever you can and nourish your inner world as much as you should.

Question:

Was there an instance in your life where you believed someone failed you? How was your journey during that phase? How did it change your perspective in life? Comment here. I want to listen to your heart. Let me hear you.

A friend of mine told me once: Pick one thing that you can win today. Once you make it, pick another, then another.”  How I hope I learned this sooner. – #sundaewrites

 

I always make it a point to come prepared. It doesn’t matter which assignments I take, be it at work, ministry, personal goals or any activity set out on my calendar.  You see, I don’t like to be in a place where I’d hear myself mutter “I should have…”  I have high expectations from “me” and fortunately (or unfortunately), I project these expectations towards others.

Half of the time things go the way I envisioned them, and the rest of the time, they don’t. I get so pumped up on those “sunny days”, and well, “rainy days”- they always get me down.  These down moments seem to carry on forever. My heart bleeds, my positivity loses strength, my demeanor and stance obviously mirror defeat.

photo credits: glenn carstens peters

 

Still, I show up.  

As much as I want to analyze my feelings and thoughts piece by piece, I desire so much to just hit the rewind button and start fresh- wish I was better that day, wish I was smarter, wish people were more kind, more responsible, more caring.  When I realized I couldn’t even fulfill the wishes I had for myself, I understood how ridiculous it is to expect my wishes for other people to come true.

As I was driving home one evening I felt the urge to confront myself one question. “Why do you easily get frustrated?” A number of answers came up.

Your standards are too high

You’re trapped in the illusion of a perfect world

You’re over confident

You fooled yourself into believing that people are perfect

You like to operate in your own little world and expect people to fit in there

A lot of thoughts came running like athletes on a marathon pushing towards the finish line. Suddenly it felt too much. These voices. They hit you like a big wave, smashing and forcing you under water till you struggle to breathe and lose the will to swim.

Then it stopped. Calmness stepped in like a sudden quietness, a glimmer of pure silence.

I wrestled with that peace.  Reluctantly I said, “Okay’ I’m going to keep my commitment to those I made it to”.  And that still, small voice answered, “No, keep the commitment you made to Me”.  It’s like He knows, He’d hear me say “I quit” time and time again.

Point blank. I didn’t have the courage to say yes to that. So I argued some more

“It’s difficult”.

“It’s unfair”.

“How can you expect that from me?”

Did I get more answers? No.  I was left with those questions.

photo credits: jean gerber

 

I guess, there’s no easy way to go about it, no easy way to go about uncertainties and the feeling of being let down.

A friend of mine told me once: Pick one thing that you can win today. Once you make it, pick another, then another.”  

Some days we lose, some days we win. I think the outcome is important, but more than that, the process is.  Whether we get a trophy or a zero star rating on any given day, it should not stop us from taking the next step.  We don’t get it all figured out at the start, even as we go on. But do we always have to have the answers? Maybe, but even if we don’t we go out there and keep asking anyway. We go out there and pick ourselves up.  We go out there and show up. Life “wills” you to take risks. When you do, it will define you and redefine you. At the end of it, you can never lose.

 

Questions:

Have you also experienced being let down? Did you wrestle with frustration? How did you come off it and what lessons did you learn? I’d love to hear from you.

“Your mind and your heart is a battlefield.  You decide what wins, and who wins.”#sundaewrites

 

Disappointment.  It depletes your energy. It saps your motivation. It makes you think and do a lot of crazy things you wouldn’t have thought or done if you were in your happy state.

Remember the times you took out on people who have nothing to do with what you’re going through or the times when you’ve thrown in the towel and sadly exclaimed, “It’s over”? Crazy. Why? Coz often times we make decisions in the heat of the moment, in the height of our feelings.

Everyone has had experienced the weight of being let down. I have my fair share of it in different aspects of life- relationships, faith, service, work, even in the things that I do out of passion- music, and writing.  There would be people who would admire what you have or have accomplished but they never got to see the hard work you’ve put into it.  There would be times when your efforts are valued less, or go by unnoticed.  There would be moments when it would feel like, you’re hardly getting there not getting closer to your dreams or inching forward to what you want to accomplish.

Mind you, it’s tough. But that’s just how it is.  Yesterday you were happy, today you are sad, and tomorrow, you might find hope. The day after that you may feel invincible, the next day, you look at yourself in the mirror and say “What a total loser”.  Sometimes you may experience all these in one single day.  Take for example the old man who worries about money one morning, and wins the lotto in the evening. Just like that.  Or the day when you had a happy get together with friends, just to come home to news of a loved one’s death. Yes, just like that.

One struggling woman shared this beautiful “pick-me-up” kind of reminder that was passed on to her by her grandmother. It says, “Do your best with what’s in front of you and leave the rest to the powers above you”. Beautiful, sensible, comforting.  Indeed, we can only focus on one moment at a time. While the larger world moves around us at the very same instant, we can do something with what’s right before us.  After all, you’re only certain about this time Now, and not the time after that.

credits: nik macmillan

 

Our mind is a battlefield.  Oftentimes we already know what to do but it seems difficult to point ourselves in that direction.  That’s because we insist for things to happen the way it “supposed to”.  We find it hard to let go or we spend too much time asking “Why” and turn our back on the more important and liberating question of, “What now?”.   We’re stubborn like that, and we’re scared to move on.

Our heart is a battlefield too.  We should always guard and defend it from enemy invasion.  One thing I’m learning now is to cry my heart out to God about battles that I couldn’t defeat,  struggles that many people don’t know.  I always used to fix things my way. But not this time, not anymore.  When I surrender everything else to the powers above me, the weight on my shoulders is gone,  my heart is healed, my mind is clear. Then I can focus on what I can do best to what’s in front of me.  When frustration comes again, any time of day or any moment now, I just repeat this thought in my head, “Just do what you can now, tomorrow is another day”.

Hope this helps you get through your seemingly darkest days.  Always remember that you are not alone. There is still so much love in the world and so much love you can give to yourself.