Life isn’t always a smooth ride. It’s easy to stumble and fall and hurt yourself. But these bumps and bruises are a necessary part of your growth – you fall down, you learn something, and then you brush yourself off and move forward.
The problem is, sometimes you fall and get stuck in one place for too long. You find yourself spinning and unable to move like tires clenched in mud. This happens when you feel unsure of yourself, or when your intentions are tarnished. You get spiritually lost, bound by your perceptions and stuck deep in a pothole of miserable thinking.
Here are some ideas to help you get unstuck and navigate the road to healing.
1. Get back on your own path.
If you’re thinking exactly like everyone else, then you aren’t thinking. And the real trouble is if you don’t spend your life your way, other people will spend it their way.
Freedom lies in being bold. Use your head to listen to your soul. Find the path that best suits your calling and don’t settle until you’ve found it. There’s no rush; life is a continuous journey.
As you cut your own path, be honest about who you are and don’t try to fool anyone. If others don’t want to listen to you, let them fool themselves. It means they aren’t really concerned with who you truly are in the first place. They’ll likely continue to characterize you incorrectly no matter what you say. Don’t argue with them; they’re obviously infatuated with some idea of a person that isn’t you. Read 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.
2. Let go of what was never really there.
Not everything is meant to be, and you have to accept this. You have to seriously sit down with yourself and come to grips with the fact that you were wrong about it all along. It was just an illusion that never really was what you thought it was.
It’s one of the most difficult realizations to accept, to realize that you feel a sense of loss, even though you never really had what you thought you had in the first place.
3. Forget the shadows and focus on the silver lining.
Just as songs are as happy or sad as the listener, a moment is as happy or sad as the person living it. What you hear, what you see, and what you think depends a great deal on how you feel when you hear, see or experience something. Your truth is in your mind.
As Oscar Wilde once said, “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” The key is to remain positive even when times are less than ideal. Look for the silver lining, and walk the line, step by step, until you get your mind out of the gutter. As you gradually begin to feel better and better, the things happening around you will seem better and better as well. Read How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.
4. Accept reality and make a plan to change it.
Sometimes life gets really tough. When it does, the more you understand yourself, your situation, and where you want to go, the less upset you will be and the more motivated you will become to take the necessary steps to move forward.
The very first step of overcoming pain and sadness is accepting it; only after this acceptance has been established can you come up with a plan for recovery. After all, the only thing you can do when it’s raining is let it rain, make the best of it, and make plans for a sunnier day.
5. Start embracing your integrity.
When you’re stuck in an emotional rut, you might catch yourself asking questions like: “Am I a good person? Deep down, do I even want to be a good person, or do I only want to seem like a good person so other people will approve of my actions? Is there a difference between the two? How do I actually know whether I’m fooling myself?”
All of these questions deal with integrity, which is all that’s really important.
When you do the right thing solely because it’s the right thing, knowing that there’s a good chance nobody else is ever going to know whether you did it or not, you are walking the righteous path of integrity – a choice that always leads to better places. Read The Four Agreements.
6. Flow, don’t fight, with life’s little surprises.
Life is somewhat unpredictable; stop fighting it. Ninety-nine percent of the time life delivers the experiences that are most helpful for your personal growth. How do you know it’s the experience you need? Because it’s the experience you’re having. The only question is: Will you embrace it and grow, or fight it and falter.
If you can simply let go and trust that things will work out the way they’re supposed to, without trying to micromanage the minutia, you’ll be able to enjoy and benefit from more life experiences. In fact, the joy and freedom this mindset creates becomes more beneficial than most of the experiences themselves.
7. Finally do something with one of your good ideas.
Hopes and dreams can be influential and inspiring, yet if they remain imprisoned in your head you’ll never realize their true beauty. Now is when you can take these hopes and dreams and give them a chance to grow.
Every moment of your life builds upon the next. This moment is the bridge between the reality of where you are and the vision of where you want to be. Reality is approaching you every second. And the great thing is, you’re able to alter it as it arrives. You just have to decide what you want to do with it.
Photo by: Stephen Poff