I was reflecting this last weekend on how I’m so grateful to be in a place in my life right now where I feel that I’m really doing what I want to be doing with my life at this point. I’m able to write and to share my writing with you and with others. I have more than enough of everything I need. And there is not a day that goes by when I’m not thankful for those things, believe me!
I noticed something interesting in my mind and heart this past weekend, however. I noticed that there was just a tiny little part of me that was feeling like this way of life was too easy.
Now, I say this with truly no facetiousness in my tone. I understand that for centuries, we as a human race have struggled almost constantly--finding food, claiming territory, fighting wars, etc. So the concept of struggle has been passed through generations and is one we’ve all come to understand quite well. I also know that there are so many people right now in this world and in this country who are struggling, for so many different reasons. So I’m not trying to mock anyone who may only wish that they felt their life were “easy.”
What I do want to emphasize is that even though I know I will have human challenges, my life doesn't have to be filled with struggle. And neither does yours. But this idea that we need to struggle in our lives is possibly buried very deeply in our minds and has probably been reinforced over some of our many life experiences. So what do we do to change that idea if we really want to experience more ease?
My truth is that, like all of us, I’ve had so many times in my life which I would define as the opposite of “easy.” And that means that just like all of us, I have also gotten used to struggle.
I’ve gotten used to struggling for any sense of growth in my life. I’ve gotten used to struggling with different relationships, trying to make them work, only to realize that my trying so hard was actually one reason why they didn’t work.
I’ve gotten used to making what I have sensed were extraordinary changes in my life, only to have struggled to feel validated by almost anyone but me. And I’ve even gotten used to coming to love validating myself for those changes. But I’ve definitely gotten used to the idea that they never, ever come easily.
So perhaps this is why I felt just the tiniest bit of resistance coming up in my heart this last weekend as I reflected on my life right now and started to wonder if this ease was really what I wanted, or what I could handle!
It seems so counterintuitive, right?! Isn’t ease really what we all want and what we all are striving for? So how can we actually accept it it if we’ve really taken a lot of effort to work on ourselves and we come to a point where life does feel easier? Or what if we happen upon some other kind of good fortune in our lives? What if we even have a big hand in co-creating that good fortune? Will we really be both strong and gentle enough to accept that ease into our lives?
History shows that, ironically, as much as we seem to want and to dream of ease, we humans have struggled with it in so many different ways! Just look at so many people who win the lottery, or people who, for whatever reason, come into huge windfalls of money. There are documented stories of some of these people and how their lives change. At first, they often feel invincible and on top of the world, like all of their problems will now be solved. But how often do we read that their amazing financial fortune is gone within a few short years?
How often, also, do we see this with different celebrities that we hear about so often? Were they really emotionally able to handle that high sum of money when they received it? Were they really able to accept that their entire lives could be financially secured, and if so, would they have maybe made some different choices with that money? And what if they found great purpose in making money in order to support themselves? If they no longer needed to rely on earning money to support themselves, could they still retain a heartfelt sense of purpose in their lives?
Understanding how to truly accept money is just one example of accepting ease. As I described, I’m seeing another small example of it right now in my life, simply because I’ve chosen to live so much of the life I really feel I’m wanting to live.
For so long, my goal was to get to this point. For so long, I wanted to do work that really made me feel fulfilled and feel that it mattered deep in my heart. And now I’m here, at least at what I feel is a certain level of “here.” And again, I am so incredibly grateful to be here and am certainly not trying to portray a “poor me, my life is easy” attitude. Yet, all those years of struggling to get myself “here,” or more recently, really enjoying preparing to be “here,” are less in the picture anymore. That part of the journey is finished, in a sense, and I now have the chance to decide how to keep evolving next!
I’m reminded of some of the stories I’ve heard about people who have climbed Mt. Everest. They made it one of their life goals. They spent years training, and due to an amazing number of wonderful circumstances and a lot of “hard work,” they were able one day to make that summit. But some have said that coming down from the mountain was a bit of a letdown! They’d reached a goal they spent so long preparing for—and now what?
We humans are amazing like that, aren’t we? We truly are made for reinventing ourselves, learning, growing, and trying different things over the course of our lifetimes. I’ve seen and read of so many people who resist that capacity for growth within themselves. They also feel let down, because they struggle with releasing their fears which block their true desires to grow. But I’ve also come to understand that ease can truly come after conquering some of these fears. Even so, ease is truly and surprisingly something that can take a bit of adjusting to, especially if we really have lived so much of our lives with a sense of struggle.
But really, aren’t we worth that ease? Isn’t it still what we all really want? And even if we’re not used to experiencing it, if we use our innate courage to create our lives more along the lines of what we really dream for them to be, isn’t it okay to accept that not everything has to be a struggle? :)
I think it’s not only okay to accept this—I think it’s totally necessary. Because what if we don’t accept it? What do we usually do then? History has an answer for that too. ;)
Overall, we humans often have such a hard time accepting ease for very long, and so a lot of times we find ways, intentionally or not, to sabotage our ease. We find ways to go right back to struggling. If we do win a lottery, we often spend every last cent of our lottery winnings quickly, so it won’t hold us over for longer. We get that dream job we’ve always wanted, and then sometimes we do something that messes it up or gets us fired. We finally lose the weight we’ve wanted to for all those years, but we’re not used to how it feels to be without it, so maybe we start putting it back on. We find that relationship we’ve always dreamed of, and then perhaps we find ways to wreck it so we’re right back to where we started before we found it!
Granted, we don’t always do these things, and if we do, we certainly don't always do them intentionally. But if we’ve experienced or created a huge change for the better in our lives, we may definitely do them if we don’t know how to accept and handle that change.
If you don’t believe me about this idea, I’d love to share with you a wonderful book by Gay Hendricks called “The Big Leap.” In it, Hendricks discusses what he calls “upper limits,” or levels of ease or great things that happen in our lives. With the upper limits, he also includes times where we make a “big leap,” conquering a fear and taking a risk to live the lives we want. He believes that we all have these upper limits buried deep within our brains and hearts of how much ease and joy we are really willing to accept in our lives. If we start experiencing more than what our upper limit is, we may try to sabotage and go back to where we were, just to feel more comfortable!
The amazing thing is that we don’t have to sabotage our ease, our wonderful growth, or our great accomplishments. We can allow ourselves to accept more and more levels of ease and peace in our lives, no matter how much struggle we’ve been through before. It can take practice, like anything worthwhile, but it can definitely be done.
We cal also let go of any guilt we feel because maybe others around us don't have this kind of ease in their lives. The truth is, we can't fully change their lives. They are responsible for that. But if we feel more ease in our lives, we have the chance to take that ease and put it out into the world in wonderful ways, spreading more love, joy, and happiness to everyone around us. And doesn't this hurting world definitely need more of that?
So that is why, when I felt that tiny bit of resistance coming up this last weekend, telling me that my life “shouldn’t be so easy,” I asked myself, “Why not?!”
Why not, really? Isn’t that what I’ve wanted and what I’ve worked so hard for? Isn’t that why I’ve done so much personal inner work, so that I could actually clear out so much of the drama, the struggle, and the hardship that I was co-creating in my life? Why, especially after all of that, would I not be deserving of this ease?
Furthermore, why would I not be deserving of it just because?
Doesn’t my existence alone make me deserving of making this life what I really want it to be?
And the more I thought about it, the more I was able to answer that question with a huge “yes.” Yes. This is what I’ve wanted. And because I’ve worked so hard on allowing myself to clear out so many of my obstacles so I wouldn’t have to struggle so much, I’m at a place now where I can accept this ease and intentionally choose not to sabotage it.
This doesn’t mean, of course, that I’m done taking inspired action to keep creating my life. I’m not just going to sit back and think, “okay, now I don’t have to do a darn thing!” In fact, I’m inspired to do even more things than I have often been inspired to do before, not in a workaholic sense, but from a place that comes from real inspiration, real enjoyment, and real love.
So I’ve decided that I don’t want to go back to all of that struggle, some of which I now realize I actually helped create. I don’t regret it, looking back on it, because it definitely helped me to get to where I am now. So I truly am grateful for the role it’s played in my life. But life is too short to live in struggle for so long.
There comes a time, I think, where we all can ask ourselves, “is this what I really want from my life?” And if the answer is no, we have so, so much capacity to look inside our hearts and minds and begin or continue to clear out any obstacles so that we can really co-create what it is that we really do want.
We are, after all, definitely worth it, and all the ease that can come with it. It really is okay to feel ease without struggle. :)
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Want to consider how you can find more ease and more peace in your own life? Check out my first book right here. :)
No matter what, always remember this: You are deserving, you are worthy, and you are good enough. Keep being you, keep shining, and keep growing!
With great love,