This morning as I looked around the house and was feeling a bit overwhelmed between boxes and packing, school holidays and trying to entertain the kids, and balancing it all with work, I had to stop before I allowed myself to spiral down the rabbit hole. But, it’s an easy thing to do if we aren’t careful.
As I was planning for the week and arranging the calendar, my husband came and shared some news with me – one of the locations from his previous employer in the U.S had a fire overnight.
The worry of packing and being in limbo for the next few weeks paled in comparison, offering perspective.
It was a reminder that although we all have things that come up in our lives from day to day, we also have a choice on how we face those things. Do you look beyond the struggle and find gratitude for the things in your life that are going right or do you focus on the struggle, blinding yourself to everything else that could change your outlook?
Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be Kind. Always.
Whether your battle is struggling to find balance, a career change, relationship issues, financial struggles – we all have something.
Every single one of us.
Over the weekend, an old friend reached out to me as she is preparing to donate a kidney to someone in need, a friend of a friend. What an inspiration and such a selfless act – to say I was awe struck as she told me what she was doing would be an understatement. The conversation offered another opportunity for perspective.
Here I was worrying about boxes and changing addresses. I felt like such an asshole.
That certainly kicked the ‘pity party’ straight to the curb.
But what happens when you don’t get that moment – the ‘kick to the curb’ realization that in the grand scheme of things, it actually isn’t that bad.
As there are children without parents sleeping on floors, families living in refugee camps trying to escape death, people unable to afford food, or others simply fighting to stay alive – it seems ridiculously selfish to worry about something as stupid as moving.
The conversation with my friend prompted me to take a hard look at everything I have to be thankful for. And when I allowed myself to shift that thinking, it changed everything.
Looking through the lens of thanks and gratitude as opposed to staring blindly into fear.
When we allow ourselves to approach our life and difficult situations as opportunities as opposed to obstacles, things begin to turn and life takes shape. Instead of allowing our struggles to overwhelm and consume us, they simply become things we are working through.
I remember years ago when I returned to work after the birth of our daughter. I was exhausted and uninspired, yet each morning, I would pull out the proverbial superhero cape and do everything for everyone around me. I was a wife, a mother, a friend, a boss, and an employee. Life on auto-pilot.
Finding balance between all the pieces of the puzzle that made up my life seemed daunting and unattainable. When I finally opened up to a friend about the struggle, I started to see through the chaos of life, beyond the trees. So, when another friend reached out who is going through the exact same thing, I saw it as an opportunity to walk through it with her. Doing for her, what my friend did for me all those years ago.
A new perspective.
Particularly as women trying to balance everything, that struggle can often feel overwhelming – but it doesn’t have to.
We all go through seasons that are more difficult than others and we certainly don’t need to carry that burden alone. Sometimes all it takes is another person to offer perspective – whether it is the friend who has been through the same thing before, another who is doing something inspiring for someone else that is a reminder of the bigger picture, or remembering that as a collective whole, there are other people struggling through situations that we don’t even have the capacity to comprehend.
By changing our perspective and focusing on the things we have to be thankful for, we create space in our lives for gratitude and acceptance as opposed to fear and anxiety.
This week, let’s all challenge ourselves to make a commitment to gratitude and start writing down 3 things we are thankful for every day. One day will turn into a week, which will turn into a month. As the days pass and your list continues to grow, you will see the shift take place in your own life. We all have something to be thankful for – sometimes it just takes looking at the whole forest as opposed to the trees right in front of you.
Cheers to a new week!