March 28, 2013
Think about what you want more of in your life. Is it joy, happiness, laughter, peace, fun? Is it touch, connection, love, purpose? Whatever it is that popped into your mind first, take a moment to imagine what your life would be like if you had more of that permeating through your daily activities. What would life be like? How would you feel? What would you do differently? How might your work and personal relationships change?
Now, before taking too long to think about it, answer this question: Why isn’t there more of that quality in your life?
Did you include another person in your answer? Maybe your mom didn’t do something when you were young, maybe your partner isn’t giving you what you need, maybe you are facing a very tough crisis or situation.
One of the areas I will touch on in my book is how I use to crave more joy and more peace in my life when I was in my 20-year marriage. For a very long time when I thought about it, I would get angry and blame my ex-husband for doing or not doing the things that I thought would bring more peace and joy in my life. “If only he would…” I would say in one form or another.
What I have learned, both through my training and my own personal journey is that if I want more joy in my life or peace or any other quality, it is up to ME to bring it in. Blaming my husband at the time for not having enough joy or peace in my life, may have seemed right. He did often get angry and he always needed to be in control. He was almost always stressed and he often took it out on me and the kids. If only he changed, it would be better. Right? Wrong! And it only took me 20 years to figure that outJ
Two things to remember: First of all, you are responsible for your own life. No matter your history or current situation, you always have a choice on how to handle it, right now. I have had guests on The Dr Laura Ciel Show talking about some very tough situations and each time I hear someone new speak about challenging times in their life that they have overcome, I realize that the key is in how we respond to the stuff that is out of our control. Let go of what you cannot control and focus on what you can.
Secondly, if you are not willing to bring these qualities that you crave into your life, why are you expecting someone else to? This is tough and may sound harsh. Believe me, I have struggled with this myself as have many of my clients. You want more kindness in your life? Check in with yourself and see if you are truly being kind to yourself. Or, are you criticizing, demanding, and judging what you do? Guess what? If you are, you are inviting more of that in your life. There will be less kindness and more criticism, judgment and demands until you choose to be kind to yourself.
After four years of separation and two years of divorce, I can look back on my married life and see how I hurt not only myself but also my ex-husband. I was waiting for him to do what I was not wiling to do for myself. I wanted him to be more joyful and peaceful and made him responsible for the lack of those qualities in my life. Now… I still hope for him that he finds more joy and peace in his life. The difference is that I no longer expect him to do it FOR ME. I decided to do it for myself.
Even now, with my ex wanting to fight over and over again about money or the kids I remind myself that it is not his responsibility to make me feel more peace and joy. It is mine. I can choose to get sucked up into his drama (and believe me, sometimes I do), but I make a conscious effort to let him BE in his drama and I consciously choose to make decisions that lead to more peace and joy in my own life.
So… back to the question I asked at the beginning. What do YOU want more of in your life?
The clearer that picture is and the less you blame other people or situations for the lack of what you desire AND the more you can consciously make choices that reflect what you really want, the more it will flow into your life. It truly will. Feel it within you as clearly and as fully as you can and you will see your world around you shift and change to reflect even more of that quality in your life. It starts with you.