What Picture-Contracts Are You Living?
Lately, there’s been a lot of talk in my circle of friends about life not necessarily turning out the way we pictured it would. It seems that even in our fifties and sixties, we are still discussing our lives as complete, or incomplete, by some picture we have in our head of the “way it is supposed to be”. Although, I mentioned our age group, I do believe this subject matter speaks to people of all ages.
Why are we trying to fit in this picture of what we thought our lives would be? You know, the ones we formed as children, teens, and young adults? It seems that most of us have grown quite a bit since childhood, yet we seem to think that this picture we dreamed up as children is one we need to keep visualizing and trying to manipulate our lives to look like. I say NO!
So, how do we let go of those old fantasies and embrace where we are today? First of all, just asking this question of ourselves is an important moment. We are now able to think about something that we have seen one way for our entire lives, and now it is time to look at our lives from a new perspective. A perspective from where we are now, whatever our age. Taking off the "Rose Colored Glasses" so to speak.
Most of us have had upsets, losses, gains, marriages, divorces, happiness, sadness, and a host of other life experiences, and we’ve all gained wisdom from these experiences, no matter our age. Many of us have many new likes and dislikes. So, why wouldn’t we want to adjust those picture-contracts we made at a time in our lives when we just didn’t have the wisdom or wherewithal that we now possess?
If you change the narrative from, “how you’re not achieving this “picture” you had,” to looking at how far you have actually come, things begin to shift. Look at what you do have. Would you have ever believed that you would be and have the life you have right now? Of course not! I don’t know a lot of people that their life turned out the way of their childhood dreams, although there are SOME. But, most people are surprised at the life they have right now, and often it is better than what we dreamed. However, whether that life is positive or negative, it is the life you currently have. If you want a different life, you have to gain a different perspective.
We must ask ourselves some important questions about where we are and where we want to be. We should be setting goals; Daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly, goals! Rather than flying by the seat of our pants. It’s important to know how you want to ultimately end up, isn’t it? It is what keeps some of us motivated and moving forward. Whereas with others, it allows them the satisfaction of ticking off those things they’ve accomplished. And perhaps others could use a point of reference. You know, rather than that "seat of the pants" thing.
Perhaps you could use positive affirmations. I am all about positive affirmations! One of my favorites that really covers almost every situation, “if not this, then something better.” There are millions of affirmations out there but I find the ones most powerful for me, are ones I've written myself, for a specific situation/goal.
When it comes to setting goals it doesn’t mean you cannot change course at some point either. You might change course a few times before you find the one course that is working for you. The point is that we must give ourselves permission to let go of old outdated ideas that no longer serve our highest good, and change course, without shame or feeling like we owe someone an explanation. It’s your life after all. Do what is right for you, regardless of what others say.
If you are having a hard time shifting out of those old-outdated ideas and letting go of those old picutre-contracts, try some of these things:
Every day when you wake up—smile!
Be grateful for a chance to live another day.
Be willing to learn and grow in each new day.
Have the curiosity of a child.
Be ecstatic that you get to try something new, meet new people, go new places.
Be silly and less uptight if you have a job you might view as mundane.
Do something that scares you every day…no, not like something life threatening or dangerous, but like, tell someone you love how much you love them. For some, that is scary! Talk to or compliment a perfect stranger. You get the idea? Get out of that box. It’s about growing and learning who we REALLY are and living our life from that place. It’s about shaking things up and not just living to survive but most importantly living to thrive in your life!
Life is what we make it. If you want to live in a story-book-fantasy version (that you may never be able to live up to) of your life, more power to you—but if you want to live a life where you dig a little deeper and really get to know yourself, get to know others, get to know the true meaning of “living”, then work at shaking things up and force yourself to move beyond the complacency and beyond the picture-contracts of the past and step into YOUR most fulfilling life NOW!
In love and light,
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