When I am stuck in the muck and feeling like I am unsure about what to do or even how to feel, I can call on one of these three questions to help get myself back on track and into reality. Yes, reality. There is often a difference in how we think about something and the reality of it … so here are the three questions that I use to shake me out of the muck and into the light.
- When you look into the future, is this what you want your life to look like?
Was this ever an eye-opener… I don’t know about you but when I see, I can not un-see. This is why I capture and journal and catalogue my life. I capture my feelings, my thoughts, my habits, my patterns, and my truth … and when I open those pages and look back, I can see what I’ve handled and what I’m avoiding. It is a reliable guidebook and an invaluable resource. This is the thing … I often envision my life, but it’s not about what it looks like … it is about what I will feel on a consistent basis. My life will flow because I can handle adversity. It will feel connected because I get to create that. It will feel authentic because I will forever be learning. When something in my life has me questioning, doubting or feeling off I ask myself … is this what I want my life to look like? Is this what I want in my future as well? And when I answer this honestly, I can see the next step very clearly.
- Will this matter one year from today?
I heard this question when I was fourteen and it has stuck with me ever since … if we can take the current frustration or hurtful moment and ask this question, it often lands in the “no” category. There may likely be some resistance, but when I push through, I often see that this will be irrelevant one year from today .. therefore, let it go, it’s a waste of energy that I can be applied elsewhere. I can promise that if you give this a try you might find yourself feeling less frustrated, or having more clarity … and clarity allows for creativity and growth.
- What would it feel like if you were to forgive yourself?
Well … this is a question. Interestingly enough it is a question I often navigate with clients. And while this question provoked thought when it was posed, it required an action to really connect this potential revelation. That action was the infamous letter to self. A letter where I forgave myself for the choices that weren’t aligned, and made a promise to myself that moving forward I would choose me and put my heart first. As I write this, I must speak to the truth that surfaces … this quest to put my heart first has been lifelong… and I have recently learned that putting my heart first is actually stepping into acceptance. An acceptance that what I desire is healthy for me, and that what I choose comes from love. An acceptance that believes with every part of me that we are all doing the very best we can. What is done is done … we can not change the past … what we can do is adjust here and now.
Here’s the thing … the more we can understand ourselves the better off we are in life, at work and especially in relationships. If we understand why we feel the way we do … why we desire what we desire … why we get poked when we get poked … what we are okay with and not okay with … we can start to step into acceptance. Acceptance of who we truly are … acceptance that what happened in our lifetime does not define who we are today … acceptance that we are worthy of love and sharing that along the way … acceptance of self in its entirety. Acceptance is clarity.