Less Can be So Much More
It was last year around this time I was trying to figure out what my New Year’s Resolution was going to be. I began to write a nice long list of all the things I wanted to change and be different for the upcoming year. When I was done, I was very disheartened. Although I already knew it, there it was written in black and white, how completely unhappy I was with so many aspects of my life.
That year, 2010, was one of the hardest years I had ever had. It seemed one thing after another was going wrong. Within that year I had someone I thought was a friend completely deceive me, my Mom was diagnosed with cancer, my finances were much less than desired, I had gained 20 lbs, and my relationship with my partner was falling apart. My life was in complete chaos, and after writing it all out, I felt even more defeated. Over the next few days, when I finally stopped feeling sorry for myself, my inner rebel came out. I made the decision that I could just refuse to accept this misery any longer. As I repeated that statement the word “accept” became very loud and clear! I thought to myself, wow, all of this feels so out of control and yet the only solution to all of this is acceptance. I could not control what my “friend” did to me, I could not control my Mother was dying, I had to accept my financial situation and my current weight for right now, and as much as it broke my heart, I needed to accept my relationship with my boyfriend was over.
I broke up with him right after New Years. I could no longer see the point of us both staying miserable. I felt like everything had been done in an attempt to salvage the relationship, and there was nothing left that could save it. At the time, my focus was on everything that was wrong in our relationship and what I wasn’t getting from it. I thought it would be less painful to do it then versus later. However, what I was not prepared for was how painful it really would be without him. I tried to stay busy and move forward with my life, but every day I missed him even more. I regretted that decision and I prayed often that God would heal my broken heart and someday lead me to the “right” person.
The pressure was off and I felt like a boulder was lifted from me. I no longer had to fight for all of the things that were out of my control. What I realized that I could do was make the best of what I did have. I could spend as much time as possible with my Mother before she died. I could let go of the anger I had towards my supposed “friend” and not allow her actions to have such an impact my life. I could downsize and let go of the frivolous luxuries I didn’t need, but became spoiled and accustomed to. I could eat healthier and love and respect my body enough to take care of it. I could find gratitude every day and discover all I do have. I could meditate and find inner peace, I could renew my faith and connection with God, and I could choose happiness every day!
As the days went by, I started to shift my focus on gratitude, and away from the belief I was losing everything. Once that happened, my life completely changed and somehow everything came together perfectly. Each morning I focused on what I was grateful for, and each evening found something to be grateful for, even on the bad days. I created a gratitude list that I could look at every day as a reminder of all the “good” I did have in my life. I prayed every day (usually more than once, and I still do!) and felt God beside me cheering me on every step of the way. My anger was replaced by an understanding that people are who they are. Their actions are a reflection of their character and where they are in their own life. I cannot control what others do, only my response to them. I chose to forgive her in my heart and then let the anger go.
My Mom died peacefully in her sleep in early February. As much as I miss her, I have no regrets in the time we spent together and the loving relationship we shared. I can’t say this enough to people, “Children cherish your parents, and parents cherish your children”. Neither is guaranteed to always be here. I have lost both of my parents and two of my own children, and can tell you, family is the most important thing in the entire world! The best investment you could ever make is spending time with your family.
By April I had purged all the junk/stuff out of my house, attic, garage, and shed. I sold a ton of things I no longer wanted or needed. My children and I then moved to a home that was 1000 feet smaller than our last one. Less to clean, less yard to maintain, less of a commute to work, and less time wasted on things that aren’t really that important at the end of the day. Unlike our last community, our new community was filled with wonderful, friendly, family oriented people. We also found we had so much more time to spend together as a family.
As I began to shed the guilt and shame over my losses, I really began to love and accept myself. I began respecting my body and found it easy to nourish and take care of it the way it deserved to be cared for. I began to drink my Shakeology each morning for breakfast, changed to eating organic foods, and was up to drinking 80 oz. of water a day. I exercised 5 days a week as well as mediated daily. All of it felt so effortless to me. I never said to myself that I was “going on a diet”, and I never told myself I had to give up anything. I simply focused on what I was going to give my body to keep it healthy and full of energy. By August, I had lost a total of 30 lbs! (That’s right, even the additional 10 lbs I had left on from my daughter) I have never physically felt better!
After a few months break, God answered my prayer and showed me the right man was in front of me the whole time! We became the best of friends and our relationship is better than it has ever been! I discovered to love is to give. My focus shifted to all the great things that were already within our relationship and what I could give to it to make it even better. I opened myself up completely to him, and began to truly trust him with my heart. It takes two to make a relationship work, and each have to be willing to give 100%. I feel so blessed to have the love of my life back :)
You see, less can be so much more. We only have one life to live. We can choose to be either happy or miserable, the amount of energy expended is the same. If there is anything you want to change this year, let it be your perspective on your “losses”. I believe the best is yet to come, so here’s to an awesome 2012!
I wish you all a Happy, Healthy, Peaceful New Year!
Coach and Creator, Elements of Your Life
Sometimes when things look like they are falling apart, they actually may be falling together. During stormy times we sometimes feel like we are losing everything. But maybe this stormy time is really waking us up to something even better ~ Marilyn Monroe