What if the things you hate most about your current situation are your greatest blessings in disguise? What if everything that’s ever unfolded in your entire life has been the precisely necessary thing to bring you to this mysteriously perfect moment? If that resonates at all with you, see if there’s another emotion you can blend with what you’re feeling. Can you blend in curiosity? Hopefulness? Enthusiasm to make some sort of change?
Think back to the times in the past when something in your life has really sucked. In hindsight, can you identify any ways those experiences have benefited you? Nudged you on to something great you might otherwise have missed? Helped you grow emotionally? Again, be honest. If you can’t see it right now, that’s fine. If you can see it, can you feel grateful now for those experiences?
Consider the possibility that this moment in time is no different from those. Is it possible that there will come a day when you will be grateful for the things you are now experiencing as unwanted circumstances? If that seems plausible, can you make the stretch to feeling grateful for them now? Gratitude is the most powerful emotion to practice blending with others. It takes the sting and suffering out of any emotion, freeing you to fully feel it.
Undoubtedly you’ve had hardships that felt impossible to be grateful for while you were in the thick of them. But in retrospect, isn’t it easier to see that many of those hardships have brought you gifts in the long run?
One gift that is often overlooked is the gift of contrast. Every time you experience something you don’t like, you have the opportunity to form a clearer definition of what you do like and want for yourself. Think of the almost-cliché example of the cancer survivor who says that getting cancer was the greatest thing that ever happened to him because it helped him stop taking his health, his loved ones, and his very life for granted.
I deeply love all of my family members and cherish my relationships with them. I am able to look back and see nothing but the love I’ve exchanged with them because I’ve decided that none of the rest of it matters. But for the majority of my less-enlightened life, the “rest of it” was challenging for me. I’d done a lot of healing work when the most recent challenge surfaced. I could have sworn I was through. But the people who raised us often present the most powerful learning opportunities, and I was apparently still in need of one.
When I shared the news with two of my senior family members that I would be ending my 14-year marriage, I encountered some extreme dissention. Even though I knew it was ridiculous for a grown woman to continue allowing herself to be emotionally manipulated by her family of origin, and even though I’d done mountains of work already on my people-pleasing tendencies, their reaction still hurt. It caused a painful tension in my interactions with them for several months.
My coping mechanism has always been journaling, and one day as I was journaling about this situation, I realized the gift in it. The truth was that even though I had spent well over three years making every conceivable attempt to rebuild and justify my marriage, there was a part of me that remained uncertain I had done all I could. If that hadn’t been the case, my family members’ opinions simply could not have affected me.
The treasure in this painful rift was that it alerted me to those vestiges of lingering doubts, and put me in the position of definitively evaluating my decision. In doing that, I was able to recognize that my self-doubts were rooted in old, unloving patterns of putting myself last. That understanding let me get very clear within myself that I had chosen the right path, since I truly could not have been authentic in any other.
Had those two powerful people in my life only been politely disapproving, I would not have suffered as much, but I also might have subconsciously remained conflicted on some level, and allowed that conflict to paralyze my forward movement. The intensity of their disapproval of me, though hurtful, was actually a blessing.
By staying my course in the face of their disdain, I also got to prove to myself that I had mastered a certain level of self-love and authenticity. An additional gift was the opportunity to integrate even more deeply my understanding that my current definition of love is vastly different from the definition I learned from my family of origin, and in their own way, they were only demonstrating their love for me.
There is a further point to be made here, and it does push the woo-woo envelope, so be forewarned. I believe that if I hadn’t needed this uncomfortable situation to unfold, it would not have. I’ve come to trust, implicitly, in a guiding power. I know that every situation I face — whether a “good” one or a “bad” one — is a carefully selected gift from this guiding power I call the Universe. I deeply trust and believe that the Universe adores me and is constantly orchestrating on my behalf.
Knowing this gives me the room to blend good-feeling emotions into any bad-feeling ones that come up. It also gives me the room to allow myself to fully feel and express every emotion.
If the Universe gives me something to get angry about, and I suppress or resist my anger, I’m basically wasting that precious gift from the Universe. Even when I’m completely clueless about what a positive outcome might be, I’ve learned, through trial and error, that every time I let myself have my feeling and express it completely, I’m led to something wonderful. There are no exceptions.
©2012 by Lisa McCourt. All Rights Reserved,
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Hay House Inc. www.hayhouse.com
Juicy Joy: 7 Simple Steps to Your Glorious, Gutsy Self
by Lisa McCourt.
Lisa McCourt’s best-selling books about unconditional love have sold more five million copies. She has taught her juicy-joyful, sometimes shocking, always delicious methods to thousands in her popular presentations and online trainings. Lisa lives in sunny South Florida with her two self-loving kids. Visit her at: www.LisaMcCourt.com