Hard pill to swallow:
We don’t have to make everything so difficult.
Maybe a month ago, I was sitting down with my therapist and we talked about this. She told me that people, generally, have a tendency to want to make life more difficult than it needs to be. And as we kept talking about this, I realized that I am a master at making my life as goddamn difficult as possible.
For as long as I can remember, I always felt like no matter how much I did, it could never be “enough.” I assigned my self-worth to being busy. I thrived off being busy. I loved when other people pointed it out, too. “I don’t know anyone who does as much as you” was basically the highest compliment in my mind. But over the years, I had to wake up and realize this wasn’t sustainable. And yes, that’s what happened the summer before college. I was running out of steam and had to find a routine that was…cringe…easier.
And why was easy so difficult? It sounds so simple- just take something off your plate! Chill out! But after conditioning myself to thrive off chaos, slowing down my pace was…exhausting. Makes absolutely no logical sense, right? Stay with me here.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, they say. And you can’t radically change your lifestyle overnight, either. At first, I tried to focus on the macro: I’m not happy with school, I’m not happy with work, I’m not happy with my love life, I’m not happy with myself. But getting down to the root cause of all that- why exactly am I unhappy? What exactly needs to change in my everyday to make my overall contentment more sustainable? That’s how you start to fix things.
Which brings me to my next point: we do not need to “earn” all the good that can come our way in this life. Yes, good things come to those who persist and are hardworking. But chances are if you have to scratch and claw for something you want and nothing is breaking your way, it’s just not meant to be. We tend to believe that the only way to receive good things is to work ourselves as hard as possible so that we “deserve” them. The truth is, you deserve good things to come into your life because you’re a good person. Not because you exhausted yourself trying really hard. It’s like that butterfly metaphor- if you’re the maniac running after the little flutterflies with a net, scaring them away, they’re not going to land on your freaking shoulder. But if you’re a cool little cucumber and let them come to you, they’ll show up and stay awhile.
That’s not to say that you don’t need to lift a finger. It’s up to you to take these opportunities and make the most of them. But sometimes we need to stop chasing the wrong things so the right things can catch up.
You’re going to miss all the joy in life if you’re always looking for a way to make things hard on yourself. We do this without even realizing. We choose to stress over grades, relationships, jobs, even though we know intellectually that it’s not worth the mental toll. And while it’s easy to spot that in others, it’s a major reality check when you take a look at yourself and realize that these little things you’ve chosen to give a damn about aren’t really serving you. The boy who never texts you back, the side hustle you’ve been dying to quit. We pick and choose our battles…choose wisely. Because do you really want your entire life to be a battle?
It’s such a challenge to slow down and be patient…so make it a goal to be mindful of yourself instead. It doesn’t need to be a 180 change- just simply notice and catch yourself. “I’m stressing over something that can be resolved on its own. I acknowledge that my control is limited and I put this in the hands of the Universe.”
And when you trust the Universe, it will not let you down.
You know what you need…give it a chance to find you.
Thanks for reading…