Good Intentions That Lead To Not So Good Ideas
I find truth everywhere. I find it in different philosophers and teachers and different religions. There is so much good to be found in so many places.
I was raised in a religious family. For a good part of my life the things I was taught served me well. After I faced some very difficult life challenges, however, some of those things I'd been taught became huge stumbling blocks that kept me from feeling happiness and hope. One of the phrases often used in many religions is, "If it be thy will." I have mentioned that my life until I was about 29 years old was magical. I felt like God was always in my corner.
In my 29th year and quite suddenly (with 3 little boys and 10 years of marriage behind me), my life took some very sharp and negative turns. I was facing massive financial ruin, I had no career, I watched my marriage decline and end due to my husband's gambling addiction and lies to cover it. I dealt with his emotional abuse, the loss of my home, and the fear of how all of this was affecting my boys. My husband was diagnosed with stage 4 testicular cancer in the midst of all of this. He was left incapacitated by the craziest chemo schedule anyone had ever seen while I was left to take care of selling the house, packing it, acting as a single mom, dealing with the fear my kids were fealing, and trying to quell my own fears. I began to question my beliefs and if God was seeing any of this.
No matter how good and kind and faithful I tried to be...it suddenly seemed as if God was no longer in my corner. I rolled up my sleeves and went to work rebuilding, but these struggles continued for years. There seemed to be no reprieve. Suddenly the phrase, "If it be thy will" left me feeling hopeless. Those words made me feel like nothing I did mattered. It didn't matter how hard I worked or how good a mother I was, or how much kindness and love I bestowed on others because, in the end, it was up to someone else...someone who had other plans and wanted to teach me lessons. Now, my job was to continue to find joy as every stone I tried to put in place toppled. If I couldn't find joy...I was a negative person. If I couldn't find joy...I was ungrateful. I had never been a negative person, so I went to work. I spent meaningful time with my kids, I read amazing books, I attended church, I prayed, I journaled, I ran, I got outside, I did everything I could do to feel joy. It didn't work. I did NOT feel joyful. It wasn't for lack of trying! I wasn't being lazy or neglecting my own growth. On the contrary! I worked harder at it than anyone I'd ever known!
No matter how hard I tried, every church service was a reminder that I was failing because I was not finding joy in this journey.
You know those inspirational stories people always tell that sound like this..."She had such a hard life, but she never gave up her faith. She just endured to the end." Those stories terrified me. I would hear these tales and think, "Dear God! Please don't let that be my story!" I decided that God could not possibly want me to just "endure to the end". Everything in me screamed otherwise. You know what I learned? I did not lack faith. But I did have an unhealthy belief that God or the Universe was withholding the things I wanted most. I knew, if something was going to change for me, I had to step back and learn a new way of thinking.
Let me just say this...Trauma can make it really difficult to change mental programming because of how the brain works to keep us safe. That being said, changing my thoughts proved more difficult than I anticipated. But I did it...and not on my own. I did reach out to other mentors, teachers and experts in the Law of Attraction and mindset. I learned everything I could and then I applied it. It took patience, vigilence and and constant cultivation of faith and belief, but I slowly noticed changes. I think we get caught up in wanting to see results now (which creates more panicky feelings and negative results). Try to let go. I know it's hard, but do your best. Keep practicing staying calm. Flip the negative thoughts to good ones. Pretty soon, your best will be better than you've ever imagined.