Since becoming a widow, I see things differently. I see the world with fresh eyes. Eyes that are more focused on living and not wasting life; more than they ever were before loss.
I used to tend towards laziness and comfortable misery. I did just enough to get by. Just enough to not be uncomfortable. I had a fairly comfortable, easy life and I just let the days pass me by. I was not always happy with life or with my circumstances, but I was unwilling to change them. Unwilling to do the hard work to see progress. I had little to no consistency in any kind of change. I still struggle in this area, but my mind is in such a different place when it comes to complacency.
I’m over it. I’m so tired of the excuses. I’m so tired of playing the bad luck card. I’m so tired of being a victim of my own circumstance. Did I say I’m tired of the excuses???!!!
I have been reading a ton of books and articles that explain how our thoughts actually change our bodies at a cellular level. It’s fascinating how your thoughts shape the pathways in your brain, how they change our chemicals, and how they can impact our physical health….for good AND bad.
I actually had an ah-ha moment in a store about a year ago that started to change this for me. I had just started my business and found myself sort of dragging my feet in being consistent in building it. In that store was a duffle bag that I wanted. It was $40. It was also $40 that I didn’t really have to spend. If you don’t know, we spend a lot of time traveling about 4 hours back and forth to our camper starting in the spring until late fall each year. We pack and unpack many many times. I despise packing us into many smaller bags and this bag would’ve helped with that.
As I stood there admiring this bag and wishing I could buy it, it hit me.
You have all the tools at your fingertips to be able to afford this bag. YOU are the reason that you can’t buy it. YOU are the inconsistent one. YOU are the one that doesn’t follow through on anything. YOU are the one that finds excuse after excuse. YOU are the one that plays the poor me, victim card. YOU are the one that whines about everything yet you have opportunity sitting right in front of you that you aren’t capitalizing on. WHY??!! No more excuses. YOU don’t have the money for this because YOU are sabatoging yourself. NO MORE. STOP WHINING IF YOU AREN’T WILLING TO DO THE WORK. STOP LOOKING FOR THE EASY WAY OUT. STOP LOOKING TO BENEFIT OFF OF SOMEONE ELSE’S WORK. EITHER YOU WANT IT BAD ENOUGH TO WORK FOR IT, OR YOU DON’T. IT.IS.THAT.SIMPLE.
Things changed for me that day. Several times since then, I have caught myself with these poor me thoughts, recognized them for what they were, and adjusted my sails. Several times I’ve corrected words spoken out loud that luck is crap and you make your own luck.
Now. I absolutely believe that if you aren’t in alignment with what God has called you to do, that your mission will flop. I fully believe that you need to be within God’s will for your life for it to be blessed. But I don’t believe that you have bad luck just because the “universe” is mad at you, therefore, your life will suck because of your curse of bad luck.
This change in thinking has reached into every area of my life.
When I want to help someone financially and can’t, I don’t whine about “wishing I could”, it motivates me to work harder and be more consistent.
When I can’t zip my pants or a shirt is too tight, I remind myself that getting healthy is a process and as long as I stay the course, I will see progress. It also helps me when I want to be lazy and/or fall totally off the healthy eating wagon because I have no room for whining when I’m filling my face with doughnuts.
Either I want to change my life, or I don’t. You can’t change your life without discomfort or sacrifice. Plain and simple. If I continue on the path I’ve been on my entire life, I will continue to live what I’ve lived my entire life.
I’m not saying my life up until now has been bad, because it hasn’t. But I have wasted too much of it. I shared this post on Facebook yesterday and totally resonated with the whole thing.
Death woke me.
Before he died, I was asleep.
I walked around each day, going through the motions, doing what society told me I was supposed to do and taking care of everything and everyone but myself………………………………..
…………When he died, so did my old life and in so many ways, so did I. His death woke the new me.
The gift he gave me wasn’t in his death, it was in his life and how he lived it. He was AWAKE always, even when I had fallen asleep. He lived in each moment, he laughed at it all, he never stressed because he knew it wasn’t worth it.
He lived, and because he lived so beautifully, I learned to live after his death. I often thought he was not driven enough….turns out he was just evolved. Maybe he knew on some deep unconscious level that his life would be short so he never wasted a second of that life. It doesn’t matter what he knew and what he didn’t, what matters is how it impacted me and that I woke up enough to evolve too.
People die every single day, and while that fact is genuinely tragic, their lives and their lessons can wake us up and remind us why we are still here.
I can’t bring his light back to the world, but I can stay awake long enough to warm the corners of my world with the lessons he taught me.
That was shared by One Fit Widow‘s Michelle Baumgard. Her husband died in a plane crash years ago. I so resonate with what she wrote.
I didn’t realize it at first, but loss taught me to live. It created discontent in me that I didn’t realize until recently. I couldn’t figure out why I was feeling chaotic, but I have since realized that it’s because I’m just letting my life pass me by. I’m a spectator in my own life.
I told my husband the other day that I don’t want to wait until retirement to live. I don’t want to wait to travel, to spend time with my kids when and where I want to, to structure my life the way I want it.
I don’t want to hope that I make it to retirement age. What if I don’t? One thing loss taught me is that life is short. What if I lose my health? What if I’m not able to do all the things that I dream of later in life for whatever reason? I don’t want to gamble on living my life for retirement. I want to do it NOW. I don’t want to waste a day.
Because of this realization, I now control my thoughts. I take negative thoughts and turn them around. I set deadlines and goals and I push to reach them because if I don’t, things will never change.
Wasting life isn’t an option anymore. I want to live. I want to give. I want others to come along with me.
No, life isn’t always going to be happy and free of conflict, but you can make a choice to be happy in any circumstance.
I am a member of several widow’s groups and the trend I see in there is that people are actually planning to be miserable.
“My spouse’s death anniversary is coming up, I just know that I’ll be a mess and unable to function that day. What should I do?”
This may sound harsh….but #sorrynotsorry…..STOP PLANNING TO BE IN MISERY! YOU ARE SPEAKING IT INTO EXISTENCE!
Our words carry incredible power. Our thoughts and our spoken words actually change our physical makeup.
Do you want your life to continue to be “unlucky”? Do you want to be stuck in chronic illness? Do you want to be miserable for your entire life? If so, keep speaking crap over yourself! Keep holding a personal pity party for yourself. Keep telling yourself and anyone who will listen how unfair life is! That is a sure fire way to live a crappy, unfulfilling life.
WHY WOULD YOU WANT THAT FOR YOURSELF???!!!
Listen, I get it. I’m getting fired up just writing this……probably should’ve just done a video (haha). This was me! I’ve been where you are! But you have got to stop this way of thinking! You are the ONLY one that can CHANGE YOUR LIFE!
- Make a decision that enough is enough. Change starts TODAY! Stop putting it off.
- Start out small. Start by capturing every.single.thought. If it’s negative, reframe it. Turn it around.
- Move your body. Start with a walk, get outside, do something. It’s incredible what happens when you move your body.
- Take one step towards your “perfect life”. If it’s a new job, start sending out resumes. If it’s working for yourself, do 1 thing that moves you in that direction. If it’s being able to help others, search out a way to do that. If you want to participate in your kids’ activities, eat an apple instead of a cookie, take the stairs instead of the elevator.
You are not a victim. You can change your life.
I’ve rambled long enough, so I’m going to be done, I just had to get this out of me……I see it too much (maybe I need a social media break….lol).
You are capable, you are able, you are enough. Let’s do this!
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