“You can’t get so hung up on where you’d rather be, that you forget to make the most of where you are.” Aurora from Passengers
A client recently recommended the movie “Passengers.” Based on the conversation leading to the suggestion I was intrigued. I watched it that night. Maybe this realization had been brewing for me, but the movie brought it home. It changed my life.
In the movie, two passengers are on a routine journey through space to a new home sleeping in suspended animation. They are awakened 90 years too early when their ship malfunctions. They face living the rest of their lives on board. Total devastation? Absolutely. They both sunk into despair at the thought of losing everything they had dreamed of¬– a fresh start, a new life, a beautiful planet, a whole new world. What they had was nothing they planned or imagined– an entire life on a ship with only each other. I think I’d be devastated. But they weren’t.
They created an amazing life. In order to do this they first had to let go of the life they thought they should have. This took time. First, they suffered. Of course, right? It was the ultimate loss. They were angry, blamed each other, and hated it all. This wasn’t the way it was supposed to be? Can you relate? Have you ever been trapped in the thought, it’s not supposed to be like this? Maybe your relationship, your finances, raising kids, your career, your health, or life all together. What has this gotten you? My guess, suffering. Because that’s what it got me… a lot of it.
I’m 41 and dating online. It was SO not supposed to be this way. I want a family and someone to share my life with. I’ve cried so many tears over this. It’s been lonely as hell. And I’ve suffered more than I care to admit.
It seemed like total devastation. This is the most important thing, having a family, right? How could I be failing at the most important thing… again? I already went through the experience of thinking I failed at happiness. Now this? WTF?
I’ve been angry at my reality. I’ve blamed myself, God, the world, and of course my parents. But mostly, I blamed myself. The conclusion I came to is that I must suck. There must be something wrong with me. Otherwise I’d be in a relationship.
And, this isn’t the only thing I’ve been suffering with. I recently transitioned into a full time position at work and the loss of apparent freedom has been challenging. My schedule was no longer my own. I also struggled with supervision, the dress code, the clocking in and out and on and on. Again, total devastation. And again; anger, blame, and suffering. Until someone pointed it out. “Molly, you’re so stubborn when you don’t get your way.” What? Me? Stubborn? No!… maybe?… shit, you’re right. I began to see all the temper tantrums I’d been throwing. It started to make me laugh. I’ve been an upset 2 year old over and over again. Once I saw it I started to make changes. I began to let go of being so serious and began to flow with life a lot more. The more I did this the more I realized just how attached I had been to things going my way, or the way I thought they should go.
I let go of control of my schedule and began to bring more fun into my life and simply do the best I could with what was before me in the moment. Recently I was participating in a morning training. This training was the end of two weeks of a substantial commitment in my schedule I hadn’t been very pleased with. This was the last day and by this point I had surrendered. I wasn’t fighting it anymore; I was showing up, having fun, and simply doing my best. No kidding, by the end I was actually looking forward to it in the morning.
When the training was over my boss told me how amazed she was at my facilitation. She went on and on about how much she learned from me and how much I added to this. I was astounded. Not by what she was saying, but at the opportunity that was now before me. By showing up and being all in with this training I showed her me. She now knew how much I loved to train, to teach, and to facilitate. And, now I had the opportunity to continue this training over a huge part of the state of Colorado. And I was fighting this?!!
In this moment, feeling totally gotten by her, I saw it all. I saw that I was holding on so tightly to being right about the life I thought I should be living that I was completely missing the magic of my life before me. Until this moment I didn’t see all the opportunities that this new position afforded me. I didn’t see that my boss was giving me very thing I was asking for, only better. I almost missed it.
Wow! I almost missed one of the greatest opportunities of my career. I marveled at how blind I had been to all the things right here. And then my view began to expand. OH MY GOD! I was doing this in other areas as well. Being single. I had a death grip on how I thought my love life should go. Literally a death grip, I was sucking the life right out of it. I had ideas on who I should be with, what they should look like, how they should show up for me, how our life should go, and on and on. And guess what, it never went that way. So the relationships ended and over and over I would find myself alone.
When things didn’t go my way in my life I shut down. Sound familiar? Fine, I’m taking my toys and playing by myself. And this happened over and over cause it hardly ever went my way. The cost was staggering– many friendship, lots of relationships, and who knows how many opportunities, and suffering, suffering, suffering.
When I let go of the way I think my life should be and show up with a light heart, with fun, and simply do my best it’s like a new universe opens up. I stop swimming upstream and feel the grace and ease of the flow. I realized that when I wasn’t enough for myself right now– because I lacked things like a relationship, a family, a best selling book– I’d never be enough. The peace and joy didn’t come from finally getting the thing I thought I needed to be happy. It came in knowing it is all perfect just the way it is in this moment– including me.