Breaking news! You are never going to be happy.
But before you go top yourself, let’s have a chat about the expectations we have for our life…
Disney sells us the “happily ever after”, Facebook and Instagram show us everyone’s public persona, and somewhere throughout our early years we learned that if we finished school, went to Uni, got a good job, fell in love, had kids (if we want), we would be happy. True?
So why are 1/5 of Australians dissatisfied with their lives? (World Happiness Report).
I’m a kid of the 70’s, and amongst the Women’s’ Lib symbols and Cleo Centrefolds, I watched my Mum embrace the fight for equality. There were wins – no fault divorce, women and men having access to jobs that they had been shunned from before, the introduction of both maternity and paternity leave. There’s no doubt there have been many changes. We have options. We (by and large) have choices and with those choices comes decisions and responsibility.
No one said they lived “responsibly ever after”!
Life teaches us to step up and to be responsible. That sucks when you are slammed against a wall by situations that happen to you and all you initially want to do is curl up in the foetal position and cry.
When I divorced, I became responsible for the day to day aspects of my life that had been shared – divided and conquered as a team. When I was made redundant, I became responsible for taking positive actions towards the working life I wanted to create. When my Mum was terminally ill, I took responsibility for caring for myself so I could support her as best I knew how.
Did I do any of these things well? Maybe a few, but most…no. However, I take full responsibility for the decisions I made, with the knowledge, information and tools that were available to me at the time.
It is great to have choices, but too many and they become overwhelming, and this feeling of being overpowered will often stagnate us rather than liberate us.
If we are to have a chance of reaching contentment, we need to find ways to lessen the rise and fall of the tide when #lifesabeach; we need to don our own life jacket, one custom made just for us. It means looking to our interior to find answers and eliminate the “shoulda, coulda, woulda” dialogue that comes with not being aligned with our true self.
Does this mean we face life alone? Heck no! We need the support and guidance of people we trust, our valued mentors and coaches, as we reach into the depths of who we are and discover our values, our physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and financial needs, our strengths and drivers.
By using our values as a mental checklist against the choices we have, we quickly eliminate much of the confusion:
Does this situation fit with my values? Tick– Great. Let me explore more.
Cross– there’s no point in me spending time on this. Move on.
We over complicate life. There’s struggle, mayhem and factors out of our control. That’s life!
To move towards the life we want to create takes some responsibility (sorry!) and this may mean we have to remove ourselves from the need for drama and search for techniques we can use to see through the smog; reaching out for support and an understanding of ourselves, so entrenched in our daily life that making choices becomes second nature – tick / cross – and we are happy knowing that, despite everything,
“I did my best”.
Let’s chat further. I’d love to hear what techniques you use to help you through the tough times. Feel free to comment below, or connect with me offline at firstname.lastname@example.org.