I recently was having an intense life chat with my mom. The past few months I’ve been grappling with parts of my identity, striving to basically understand why I have been given the life I’m living, including why I’m afforded specific privileges and opportunities. This existential crisis of sorts that I was experiencing felt really hard to rationalize, especially in current times.
It can be really easy to compare our lives to others in this way. For example, this person has it easier than I do, or that person has had such a hard life. There are so many comparisons and judgments that we make about other people’s life paths, and even our own.
So when I was talking to my mom about my judgments of my own privilege, talents, perceived lack of particular talents, struggles, strengths, disappointments, and successes, she simply encouraged me to be curious. She suggested that I ask myself what would happen if I just completely owned and accepted exactly who I am, what I’ve been given, and what I am doing, right here in this moment.
Easy as that, right!
Though on the surface what she was saying to me made complete sense, inside me, this advice felt completely impossible.
How can I accept where I am in my career, when there are so many people around me doing so much more?
How can I accept my privilege, when there are so many people who are suffering?
How can I accept my body, when truthfully it can be frustrating to live in it at times?
The inner dialogue goes on and on…
The long list of questions has one solution, and it’s trite, and often quoted but true. We were given our lives, paths, purposes, strengths, weaknesses, privileges, struggles, and our place on this earth for a reason.
If you stop and think about it, no two life paths are the same. We are all born into completely unique circumstances, and come across and experience life through completely unique lenses. When looking at it this way, it feels a bit easier to drop into our own uniqueness, and own it because it’s what we were made for.
If you were made for a certain struggle, you would be experiencing it, so that you could learn from it, and transform from it, and use it to empower you on your particular path. If you were made for a certain life calling, you would notice the bread crumbs. For example, you would be attracted to certain skills and ideas, be magnetized to certain people, and find flow and impact from what is found naturally within you. You were given your particular body, with its complications and beauty, to be your vehicle in this life, and to teach you along the way.
We become disempowered when we start to disown and doubt who we really are and why we are here. These feelings of inadequacies, weakness, and comparison chip away at our own magnificence and can make us feel like a dull bulb when we are all bright shining stars.
When you’re feeling uneasy about where you are in your life, or uncomfortable with your life circumstances, here are some simple reminders to bring you back to peace:
…Remember that no two life paths are the same, and there is comfort in knowing that yours was made for you.
…Remember that feelings fade, life is always changing.
…Remember to ditch the timeline you think your life should be following, and trust that everything is unfolding exactly as it should.
…Remember to give yourself credit for all that you’ve been through.
…Remember to have compassion for yourself when you’re feeling frustrated.
…Remember to have compassion for others who are also on their unique paths, working day in and day out to try and figure this thing called life out.
I hope you find these reminders as relief, if you have been feeling at all like I have lately. The mind can feel like a blessing and a curse. I know how easy it can be to go down a slippery slope of over-analysis and comparison.
When you find yourself in this spot, remember that we don’t have to have everything figured out in this moment. Owning where we are now will empower us to a brighter tomorrow. Have confidence in your self and your value in this world.
I would love to hear your thoughts about this. Let’s keep the conversation going in the comments!
Michelle is Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life's Creative Director and resident writer. She has a degree in Journalism from Indiana University and is also a certified holistic health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and registered yoga teacher with trainings with Anuttara Yoga Shala and Strala Yoga. Michelle has a deep desire to help people find happiness in all areas of their lives, and truly believes the Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life movement will bring lasting change to the world. Michelle splits her time between Florida and New York City and loves connecting with people from all over the world. If you'd like to contact her, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org