There are times when life feels like it’s working. Our relationships are smooth, our career is enjoyable, our bodies are in good shape, our mental space is clean and clear. It is easy during those times to feel optimistic and excited…like you are living your purpose.
Until you aren’t.
Other times, it feels like a lot of output is occurring without evidence of growth or expansion. Whether you’re in the labor-intensive years of parenting and navigating what seems like endless exhaustion, you’re in grad school with little sleep and mountains of reading, you’re stressing about finances, or you’re in the trenches of your marriage again, revisiting that same damn argument, it’s easy to give in to the recycled thought patterns, annoyances, and struggles.
The same questions loop on repeat:
What’s the point?
Why am I doing all of this?
Will it ever change?
But the questions are part of the analysis into your life and the way you’re living it. These questions can lead to other questions, like:
Is what I’m doing working?
If I had to live this way, as things are in this moment, would I be happy?
Am I having fun?
Am I finding joy?
Am I contributing to something greater than myself?
Don’t let discouragement or fatigue take you down. Instead of batting away negative thoughts, as we are sometimes encouraged to do, allow the questions to come, but then sit back and observe. Don’t let yourself get attached to the feelings, the judgements, and the thought patterns on repeat.
To change your struggle, you have to change the course of your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and actions. You have to be open to the possibility of a different way of being, living, or struggling.
The secret? It takes time, patience, and a whole lot of faith.
When you plant a seed, you can’t check on it everyday, dig it up, and wonder why it isn’t growing. We do our part: We create ripe conditions for growth, and then we step away for that “thing” that transcends sheer effort.
We trust the process.
And in life, just like that seed, we must allow for a little faith.
Our job is to get clear on what we’re here for. What is the unique contribution we are each here to make? And then take inspired action toward fulfilling that. Your life is a long game. It is worthy of patience. It is worthy of generosity. It is worthy of trust.
As the mom of four children in various stages of life, I am reminded of this often. With a daughter in her sophomore year of college and a son in kindergarten, I am stretched, regularly. Our family has a spectrum of needs. I have a whole schtick about being a mom of minors—at a certain point, the novelty of parenting wears off and you have to live a bigger vision.
Who am I without my children? What is my purpose beyond raising them?
When I am making turkey tacos for the millionth time, or my husband is working into the wee hours of the morning again, and I notice my mind going down the rabbit hole of nihilistic thinking, I have to tell myself—if only to myself—“Lola, enough. You are exactly where you need to be, doing exactly what is yours to do. Life is ever changing. Relax.”
When the circumstances or conditions I desire aren’t manifesting as quickly as I’d like them to, when life feels like it’s moving as slow as paint dries, I am left with faith.
Faith is that thing that reminds you there’s something else going on. Faith is that thing that renews you at the end of a long day. Faith is that thing that requires you to trust even when you don’t have evidence.
Warriors exercise faith. And that’s what you are—a spiritual warrior. You are capable of meeting ANYthing and knowing that there is something in you that can transcend and move through today’s struggle.
So, the next time you’re knocked off balance or you feel the struggle, don’t get attached to it. Don’t label it. Be an observer and stay confident in knowing that your life is heading down the exact right path.
Nothing happens without your permission.