There are times when life can be pretty frustrating.
If you are going through a difficult time and not seeing the kind of results that you have hoped for, it can also be downright discouraging.
And when you’re feeling frustrated or discouraged there is nothing quite as grating on the soul as the guy or gal who gets right in your face and tells you to “just have faith”, “power through”, or “stay positive”.
While the words that are being spoken are good ones and the intention of the messenger are probably noble, the nature of the message and delivery of such often seem to be way out of sync with where you happen to be in that moment. Been there?
Usually, the urge to “just have faith” is quickly replaced with the urge to slap that person silly. (I don’t recommend acting on that one, by the way.)
Here’s the thing…we are all at different points of our journey. Some of you are experiencing extremely trying and difficult situations right now. Others seem to have excelled, achieved and are ready to take off in search of the next awesome plateau in their lives. It’s the same life, the same planet, the same universe…we’re just all in a different phase, if you will.
And that’s okay.
I happen to believe that these “messengers” who you come across in these difficult times are there for a reason. A greater purpose. And I mean more than just helping you overcome the temptation of smacking them…
When I have reflected on times in my own life where I have come through adversity, or overcome difficulty, and had to raise my level of consciousness in order to grow or accomplish a particular goal, I am reminded of the strong messages that were there for me in various forms. Even when I didn’t want to hear them.
For example, when you are late on your bills, have a mountain of debt, and are struggling to make ends meet, the last thing in the world you want to hear is some yahoo telling you that you need to focus on prosperity and feel like you are financially free in order to start moving away from that place where you currently exist.
If you are lonely, with few good friends, and have not met that special someone that you dream of sharing your life with, you are probably equally as disgusted with the cheerleader who is overly anxious to tell you that your Mister or Miss Wonderful is out there somewhere, you just have to believe.
And yet, as poorly as those messages come across, there is life changing truth contained in them.
Wayne Dyer wrote an article once called, “Your Soulmate is the Person You Can’t Stand”. And in this piece, he talked about how there are certain people in your life who have the ability to really “push your buttons”. They come in many forms; friends, in-laws, children, or a spouse. They are people that are a very significant part of your life. And they can say things to you in such a way that it will immediately transport you from a place of peace to a place where you are angry or judgmental, fearful or anxious. And although they seem to be very manipulative and crass in their communication, Dyer suggests, and I agree, that they are really more like divine teachers for you. The message that they are delivering is actually a succinct and vital one, and it is this: You have not mastered your life yet. Or another way to put it, you are not in control.
I would take Dyer’s idea even further and suggest that not only do you have real soulmates who are your divine teachers in this capacity, but there are other people in your life who may not be as significant, in fact they may even come and go, who can also present you with these imperative truths, sometimes disguised as thoughtless talking points. Like the rah-rah neighbor who says you just need to smile more or the self-help guru who preaches that focusing on your best life is the first step toward truly achieving it.
All of these people are part of your existence for a greater purpose. Annoying you is only one of the side effects. And truthfully, it is in annoying you that they are able to get your attention. Often we should listen most when it feels worst to do so.
The good news about having a bunch of these people around, or maybe just one who has become the master of pissing you off is this; the message is trying to break through. You are at a crucial point in your life and it is time to grow!
Maybe you have just started to embrace the idea of how having an optimistic mindset can really start to bring the kind of positive and lasting change to your life that you have dreamed about for so long. Or maybe you are gung ho to start your own business because you are sick and tired of “working for the man”. In either of these scenarios you are going to experience some major setbacks. Becoming positive minded, if you’ve never been that way, requires you to change some core elements of your belief system, and this can be challenging. As you dig deeper into books and CDs and seminars and classes, you will likely start to uncover some hidden beliefs that you didn’t even know were there. That’s when this whole optimism thing can start to seem like a pretty daunting task. And of course about the time you start feeling overwhelmed, and are maybe struggling financially and fighting to stay focused, here comes Positive Polly bopping down the street to tell you how incredibly awesome it is just to be alive! She shows you the $1,200 ring that she just bought with cash she found in an old shoe and starts talking about how she’s taking her kids on a 16 day cruise around the world where they will stay at every single place you’ve always wanted to visit. As you feel yourself sinking into depression her smile seems to get bigger and brighter…
Starting a business can be very challenging as well, and you will hit walls. Maybe you will hit many walls. After all, failure is a big part of success. But, as surely as you will experience some of these difficulties you will also get a phone call from a buddy who started his own business just three months before you did. He’ll tell you how he now has three full time assistants who do all the work while he water skis in California or hikes in the Rockies. “Wow, that’s great,” you say as your skin turns that familiar shade of bright red.
My advice? Listen to what they are saying. You don’t have to become consumed with the bragging part, but hear what they have achieved, and know that it is possible. You can do anything you want in this life! You are likely to feel jealous in these type of scenarios and that’s a bad feeling. Start dealing with it. Think about what it is that you are doing now that’s not in sync with who or where you want to be. Work on that…let the others live their own lives. Your project, the one you have control over, is YOU.
If someone says something that makes you feel uncomfortable, treat that as a sign to look inside yourself. Maybe the person telling you to smile more is onto something. Maybe you are exuding a negativity that is preventing you from creating relationships that would ultimately be beneficial for you. Maybe you’re just not as happy as you are pretending to be. Take that message to heart.
Pay very close attention to the conversations that leave you feeling out of whack. Don’t get mad at the messenger (remember, they may be your divinely appointed coach), get focused on yourself. Chances are that if you feel offended or miffed, it is because that person has allowed you to peek at a truth about yourself by opening one of the doors that you left unlocked but weren’t prepared to walk through.
Go through that door. Find that truth. Start making the changes that you need to make in order to become the person that you need to become.
And listen to the yahoos…