Paddling upstream

A visitor asks:

I never seem to be able to make ends meet. No matter what I do, there is something else that gets in my way. It seems like life is a constant struggle. How can I ever get out of this rut and find a better life?

Thank you for asking. It’s a common question, and there is a simple answer: Nothing can make you happy. This might sound harsh, but stick with us for a few minutes, and it will make more sense, we promise! One of the most important principles of Metaphysics is that we make our own happiness or unhappiness based on how we live in harmony or discord with the laws of nature. If we are going through life kicking and screaming, we’ll be unhappy. If we learn to go with the flow of things, we will find contentment.

Think of a river. The water always runs downhill. This is dictated by a law of nature: gravity. Water can’t go uphill unless there is something to force it in a different direction other than downward. If something blocks it, like a dam, it builds up until it can go over the obstacle, and then it seeks its way downward again. If there is an object in the way, it flows around it smoothly and effortlessly, continuing on its path. Water always moves in whatever direction it can, within the confines of the gravity that dictates its movement. If it doesn’t move, it stagnates.

Sometimes our experiences get in our way. How we respond to them determines how we perceive that experience. If you spill a glass of water, it’s pretty easy to wipe it up. If your roof leaks during a bad storm and creates puddles in your living room, you might feel helpless, and it will be more work to fix it. If the river overflows its banks and floods your house with water to the ceiling, it may seem hopeless. Does that mean you won’t recover? Of course not!

That is where the secret lies. It is a simple truth that there is nothing in your life you haven’t survived. As we’ve said before, it is our perceptions and our judgment that determine whether we see something as bad or good. It doesn’t mean it’s either – it just happened, and it happened for a reason.

Two other important laws of nature govern this experience: The Law of Attraction and the Law of Vibration. We operate best in an energy of harmony – where the vibration of our situation is most like our own – our comfort zone, you might call it. We also draw to us the energies that we give out, and we perceive our world accordingly. If we send out energies of anger or frustration, we will experience anger or frustration. Conversely, if we give out energies of peace and love, we will experience peace and love in our situation.

The key here is that these perceptions of anger, worry, doubt, fear, love, compassion, or whatever, are not coming from your situation, but are coming from you! Yes, you are creating the worry and the doubt that is making you feel the way you do! It can be a hard pill to swallow, but we can create an awful lot of drama in our lives.

Have you ever worried about something to the point that you felt ill, only for it all to turn out completely different? That’s a perfect example: You created the worry and fear. They didn’t exist anywhere else but in your head, yet it was real to you!

Think of the specific words you used in your question: “struggle” and “rut.” Life is not a struggle. Life isn’t a rut. Yet you have declared it to be so, so that’s what you are experiencing. You are setting an expectation for yourself to live by, and you are living by it.

So when you are feeling an energy of lack, or frustration, or anything else that doesn’t feel good, stop and ask yourself why you are doing this to yourself. Instead of feeding your emotions, focus on possible solutions. Do you really need to feel worried or afraid? No, it’s certainly not helping your situation, and it sure doesn’t feel good. Just because it’s a natural reaction doesn’t mean it has to be the only option! Instead, just stop, take a breath and say, “Here is where I am. What can I do to change this?” and let the answers be your inspiration. Remind yourself that it may not be ideal, but it’s okay. You can handle this!

Nothing can make you happy. You have the power to create happiness and satisfaction in your life, regardless of what is happening around you.

And honestly, even if you won a multi-million dollar jackpot, you probably wouldn’t be any happier. Yes, it would be exciting, and yes, you could pay your bills and take vacations, but having a large amount of money has its own challenges: worrying about losing it all, or all the people holding their hands out for a share of your bounty, or how you would spend it, or all the taxes you would owe… 

You can’t buy happiness. There are people and entire cultures who live in conditions that we would call poverty, yet they are perfectly happy and content. They have found the secret – happiness comes from within. It isn’t life that makes you happy – it’s what you do with it. Yes, you have challenges – give thanks for showing you how strong you can be. Yes, you have dreams – give thanks for the inspiration they give you to create new and better things in life. Yes, you sometimes feel sad, angry, sick, or any of countless other emotions – give thanks for your ability to express yourself. Yes, your situation won’t always meet your expectations, but it’s just a situation. You’ll find a way to handle it, and you’ll move past it and feel better about it after it passes.

Life sometimes requires difficult choices, but that’s okay. Make decisions based on what is best for you, rather than what you want. Maybe you need a second job, or at least a different one. Maybe there are relationships that need to change. Maybe there is help available that you haven’t found yet. It’s your boat– take the oars and steer it, instead of letting it drag you along.

Life isn’t a tidal wave. It is a small stream of little occurrences that can accumulate if we let them. Take them one at a time. Work with them before they get out of hand. And if they still get out of hand, that’s okay – paddle on methodically until you are where you need to be. Allow yourself to go with the flow of your circumstances, instead of fighting the current. Learn to say “thank you” instead of “oh my gosh!” Even if things don’t change significantly, you will find that the way you look at them will. Be proud of what you have accomplished – and enjoy the ride!

Many blessings…