This is a guest post by Prudence Sinclair.
Hello, lovely you!
I hope you had an amazing weekend and smooth start to your week.
You know that old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?” Well, I believe this saying speaks truthfully to the human condition.
Before my cancer diagnosis over 30 years ago, I was always in pursuit of a better life and a better version of me. I tried to lose weight, have better skin, make better friends, find better lovers and more satisfying work. I NEVER lived in the moment, in my actual reality, because I was always wrestling with my life in my mind, contorting it… getting it to yell “UNCLE!” so it would stop fighting me and just do what I wanted.
And then I was given 6 month to live.
And my life came to a screeching halt.
Suddenly I didn’t care about having a perfect body. I just wanted one that was healthy.
Suddenly I didn’t care about having the perfect life. I just wanted to live.
Sometimes it takes staring death in the face to have the realization that you and your life are precious and perfect just the way they are.
Drop the Shoulds
On my healing journey, one of the first things I did was stop using the word “should.” I stopped feeling like I SHOULD be doing something differently or I SHOULDN’T feel the way I did.
I let go of should and expectations and simply observed my life for what it really was.
This was so incredibly freeing and as soon as I was able and willing to accept myself and my life as is, perceived flaws and all, I was able to connect with my soul and my higher purpose. When we stop chasing SHOULDS and stop trying to fix things that aren’t broken, we can begin to truly LIVE.
Be Here – Right Now
The endless need and pursuit of fixing ourselves and our life is a way we can escape from our own pain and past traumas. It’s essentially busy work. While I believe in self-help and self-growth, there is part of me that wonders and worries if this entire movement hasn’t become a big money-making industry that is perhaps doing more harm than good.
Yes, growth is a good thing, but the feeling that you will never “get there” or never quite “be good enough” is detrimental.
What if we could all simultaneously come to the conclusion that we are enough as is? What if we not only accepted ourselves fully but also began to believe that everything might be absolutely okay just the way it is?
What if we could find the courage to put down the busy workand be right here, right now, in this perfect moment?
It’s Time to Reframe Your Perspective
We all have our ideas of what our life should look and feel like, and if it currently doesn’t look and feel like it does in our minds, then something must be wrong.
What we don’t take into account is that life is going to do what life is going to do. You can eat the perfect diet, exercise, meditate each and every day, and on and on and on, and that DOESN’T mean you will never have a bad day – will never experience physical or emotional pain – will never suffer.
The Buddha is quoted as having said, “Life is suffering.” As typically happens, much of his meaning was lost in translation. Scholars say a more accurate interpretation of what the Buddha was trying to say is, “Life does not always satisfy.”
Life will always include old age, sickness and death.
Life will not always give us what we want, and this is frustrating.
And no matter what religion or spiritual practice we are committed to, not much will alleviate the suffering of being a stranger on a strange planet and without clue of “what’s out there” or what happens after death.
I can tell you firsthand that life becomes far more satisfying, enjoyable and rewarding when we can reframe our point of view and instead of trying to fix ourselves and our life, we instead come to the profound realization that there is nothing to fix, there is nothing to do, there is nothing to become.
Stop Fixing – Start Loving
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to try an experiment. Throughout your days, try to let go of the need to fix yourself and your life. Now let’s be clear, I am not giving you permission to smoke 3 packs of cigarettes a day and eat fast food. Can we be more reasonable than that? Can we please rely on common sense? Yes, we NEED to take care of ourselves so if your diet and lifestyle choices are unhealthy, by all means FIX THAT.
What I am talking about is all of the other “stuff.” All of the judgements and criticisms and comparisons. Drop those. Stop seeing yourself and your life as something that needs fixing and simply start loving yourself and your life more.
That’s the mission. Stop fixing and start loving.