Hi, here is my entry for the letter R in the #selfcaresaga! Respecting the process. It’s a lot easier said than done, but the more we cultivate this idea of faith and trust, the easier it becomes. It is, too, a process. The universe always has our best outcome in mind, so we know we will be taken care of in the end.
Growing up, my family never really went to church. We moved after my sister was born and never returned to the church community after that. It had never been a big influence in my life, so I didn’t really think I was missing anything. Sometimes, I went to church with friends, but that was far and few between. The high school I attended was based on Catholicism, so I got to experience what that was like for several years. I took a religion class every year, studied the Bible, and went to Mass every Tuesday. With all that being said, I never really understood what it meant to “have faith”. I just figured we were bouncing around in life, working for ourselves and others. Everyone in class talked about God, but I just kept doing my thing. I didn’t believe in what everyone else did, but I didn’t think anything of it, either.
To be completely honest, Christianity didn’t make much sense to me. Now that I’m older, I think it’s probably more of the organized religion part. Humankind just makes everything messy, especially when they start creating their own rules based on what someone thinks their Creator told them. To be even more honest, I didn’t understand why there was a dichotomy when it came to God, how he could be so loving and forgiving one minute and then judgmental and spiteful the next. The different sects confused the hell out of me. I just found it easier to trust science and follow the idea that there was no man in the sky watching over me. It worked for a bit and made sense to me. I have worked hard my whole life to earn everything I had, so why would I give the credit to someone else?
Fast forward about 10 years. By this time, I had taken yoga in college and fell down the self-help rabbit hole. My shelf is still overcrowded with books about spirituality, Buddhism, and everything in between. This offered a different perspective than Christianity ever did, and it made complete sense to me. Instead of an idea that you owe your life to some guy in the sky who died for your sins, I understood it to mean that I owed it to myself and others to be the best person I can be and live a life motivated by love, kindness, and compassion. Instead of this idea of separation from my Creator, we are all one. We are all made of the same stuff. The same love. What a beautiful idea to get behind. And I don’t doubt that Christianity stems from the same idea. I actually understand our idea of God to be the same Source across the board for all religions. I think as different cultures with different backgrounds and contexts, we try to make sense of what is happening around us. But we all experience that same energy inside us, the one that drives our soul. I learned that we are all an extension of this great Source, a smaller piece of the larger puzzle. And if that Source is perfect and whole, then so are we, just tinier versions.
It’s empowering, at least in my opinion, to know that I am already wonderful in my own right. I feel grateful to know I come from this bigger energy, one that allowed me to experience this life that I’m in. One that gave me the gift of a healthy body, a healthy mind, a healthy heart. I am so lucky to have what I have because something greater than me decided that I deserved a chance on this planet.
With that being said, I look at everything around me now with wonder and curiosity. It is more than apparent now that everything goes through this same cycle, one of birth and death. Things begin and things end. These patterns of resurrection are everywhere. The flowers, the trees, the animals, our own lives. Noticing all this incited a sort of reverence for these processes. They happened regardless of any sort of emotion.. It is just part of life. I began to recognize those themes in my own life. There was a purpose, even though sometimes it sucked accepting fully. There are some things in my life that are going to begin and going to end, and for the most part, there’s not going to be much I can do about it. Other than accept it and move on with my life.
That is intense to come to terms with, though. Letting go is hard. Losing something you have become so attached to feels like you are having a limb ripped off. It feels like it has become a part of us, so how can we just get over it?
How could any of this make sense?
The more I think about it, the more I realize it doesn’t make sense. It won’t make sense. I don’t think we are supposed to make sense of it. There is just something bigger than us. Things are just going to happen because that’s the way it goes. People make their choices and that sets into motion a series of events, to which we make our choices, and then things happen based on all those choices. And in most cases, everyone makes these decisions in order to protect themselves. To ensure their survival. We all just want to live and be happy. It may just not make sense from another perspective. But that doesn’t make any one better or right.
Coming to terms with that helped me understand a little bit.
Something I have come to know and understand is that when I resist what is, then I dig this super deep hole for myself that’s hard to escape from. What happens when you get in between something dying? It’s just going to prolong the suffering, and whatever it is will die anyway. In that instance, you are just making things a little bit more difficult for some time, but you are just avoiding the inevitable.
This attachment to things is what is killing us. We feel entitled to having what we want at all times, to being happy, immunity from suffering. And as much as I feel all of these things, I am learning that I’m just making things harder on myself. I’m intensifying and worsening my own suffering! That I was trying to avoid! I did so by not trusting these cycles of life. By not trusting what is meant for me will be.
Why resist when we know it’s going to happen anyway?
So I began to think about respecting it. Respecting that there is some higher order of the universe that has more consciousness than me. That understands the why in this crazy world. What do I have to lose?
I have to say that my life has become infinitely less stressful because of it. I created so much anguish and suffering for myself by resisting what is. Even in trusting to accept where I’m at in life. Sometimes I would, and I still do, get so frustrated that I wasn’t where I wanted to be. I wasn’t as knowledgeable or successful or wealthy as I wanted to be. The guy I was super attracted to didn’t like me back. But I realize it is because I still had so much room to grow. So much more to learn and experience before I was ready to handle these things. It’s like the universe or God knows what we need and will only allow things to happen in good time. Because things that are meant for us will come, trust me. We just aren’t aware of the timeline or whether that thing we’ve been wanting is actually meant for us. Sometimes it is, but a lot of times, it’s just what we think we want.
Now, it’s easier for me to remember that things always make sense in hindsight. And to trust that I am on my path and exactly where I am supposed to be. Sometimes I am slower to learn and accept things, and I must reach this acceptance before I can move on to bigger and better things. Growing up without faith made it really hard to understand this fact, and the weird thing is, it’s still so counter-intuitive. There is no hard evidence, nothing to back up and say, this is what you need to do. Trust is about relinquishing that idea of control, letting go of our need for something to happen a certain way, and reminding yourself that everything will happen if it is right. It’s strange, I get it.
Some days are a lot harder than others. It’s one thing to read this and think you understand, and it’s a whole other thing to put it in practice. I still get upset when things don’t work out. It’s really hard to get yourself to understand, hey.. Don’t cry about this, it’s meant to happen. Because things being easy is cool and challenges are hard! But it’s in these moments where I have to remember my strength. I have to take ownership of all the decisions I’ve made and remember that I brought myself to this point, bad or good. Just like I will be strong and make my choices for the future with my happiness in mind.
It’s all a process.
It gets easier. Over time, you can actually look back and say, okay, yeah, I needed to trust that things would work out. Because they always do. They don’t always happen the way you want them to, but they end up happening how they need to. When things get hard, remember YOUR strength. It’s in there, I promise. You have all the love and power in your heart to do anything you dream of, so channel this when you are feeling out of control and powerless. You are a capable human and you have the strength to overcome any obstacle when you set your mind to it. Understand that there is some bigger force at play making sure these cycles of life are always turning and burning. Have faith that this bigger force has your best interest at heart and just wants to see you succeed.
You were created to live a big and beautiful life, so don’t be afraid to dare to live a life of greatness.