Your Best Life Is Waiting for You
By Deborah Blackwell
How are things going with the start of this year? Hitting the delete button on the past; planning and imagining your future self; recreating, placating, and vowing your way to a new state of being, all good?
That’s the plan anyway, all good and getting better. One of my sons collects pins, and he got one for Christmas that said, “It gets worse before it gets worse.” Of course, we all thought that was a perfect pin—turbulence in all forms is around us, all the time. But even when we try to stay in our own little world trying to survive and be happy, happiness can feel elusive.
It’s not that easy to chisel away at fear (with a capital F—ugly, visceral Fear), or guilt, or whatever is holding us back from living our best life. First, we can’t help but see the turbulence we like at ignore. Next, we’re in an election year. And worse, we can’t control so many things — like the weather; and global consciousness; and other people.
But sometimes life lends a hand and does that for you.
Since the pandemic, I’ve had a couple of heartfelt side hustles I thought were sure things and I put my whole heart into them. I devoted myself to making them my mainstays. They spoke to me and made me smile. At first. Then, the people working with me for months, even years, the people I relied on, the people who were excited, committed, and dependable (I thought,) disappeared. So much for my future plans.
Or…maybe not. In a long, long moment of despair, something happened. I had a thought that dropped in out of nowhere. I want to live my best life now.
It was so strong, so powerful, so empowered, that in that moment everything changed, and I made a decision: My daily goal is to do what supports living my best life in thought, feeling, and action as best as I can. And, as far from stress and drama as I can get.
But how? By opening the door of possibility. I might have lost my side hustles, but I haven’t lost myself. Maybe I can’t count on others, but I can count on me. And it’s not even really about them. Deep inside of me, lit by a magical, little spark, is a flame of Infinite Everything. Why don’t I ever count on Her? Listen to Her? Believe in Her?
That door of possibility is the door many of us forget to open. On the other side of it we can see — and embrace — the possibility of things actually working out, whatever those things may be.
But life often teaches us it’s hard to trust. The sting (and sometimes the bite, or even slashing wound,) when other people let us down, or treat us poorly, or break our hearts is real. Reticence? Petulance? No thanks. Self-centered? Narcissistic? No way. Whatever someone else’s less-than-likeable m.o., I’m done taking it personally. This isn’t about them, it’s about me. I want to live my best life.
I used to think I had to solve these problems, other people’s problems, so our interactions felt good. But we can’t control how other people act — even when there’s a lot at stake. I can recall many times I didn’t act or react in an endearing way, nobody is immune to meltdowns, overwhelm, outbursts, or just plain inconsideration. But when that kind of behavior is the norm, no thank you. I’ve got to live my best life.
When my life-changing thought dropped in, it came with some added advice. “Most importantly,” it said, “You don’t have to know why people are the way they are, or ever try to fix it.” That’s where I always went wrong. But not anymore. Time to live my best life.
This notion is freeing. Not only the jolting, life-altering decision, but the door of possibility. Does it have to get worse before it gets worse? For those of you, like me, who have been hurt, abandoned, silenced, minimized, shamed, criticized, judged, or beaten down, this one’s for you:
Life is as good as we allow it to be. Open the door.