Life has a funny way of working out, right? We’ve heard this in stories since before we can remember and hear it in our favorite songs (Hi, Alanis). But until you’ve experienced the best and worst parts life has to offer, this phrase doesn’t hold true. Life sometimes works out better than you can imagine, where it all effortlessly aligns with no questions asked. But more often than not, you get the complete opposite. What seem like random encounters in the moment will eventually shape the person you are, the job you have, your hobbies, your friends, and even your significant other. The days you spend here and how you spend them ultimately create the sum of your life.
I struggle with believing in the universe, God, or a higher power, and then not believing in anything at all. The optimistic, best version of myself believes there is a greater meaning to everything and why each of us are here in the time that we are.
But the other side of my brain will come in and explain all the reasons this just cannot be. That it’s all random, and when it’s over, there’s nothing to show for it. I don’t like this side of my brain as much—I mean, who would? So I consciously choose not to hear it.
I choose to believe in the universe and a higher power. I choose to believe in timing. I choose to believe in faith, soulmates, meaning, and all the cliche things my “weaker” brain laughs at. Because without believing in those whimsical ideas, I would be stuck in a head full of overwhelmingly sad thoughts and living a life without any objective on how to spend my time here. The contrary perspective may work for some people, because I don’t think there is one right answer, but I’ve tried it, and it does not serve me.
I’ve seen the outcome of the belief that there’s nothing more to search for, and in this scenario, I saw a hard life with a cloud of darkness steadily hanging around. All days may not be dark, but the search for light and love and joy in the simple things is lost in translation. My personality is naturally drawn to this way of thinking, so I had to find a new perspective. I had to choose one.
You should know yourself enough to recognize the difference between what’s going to be good for you, what will nourish your mind and body, and what you absolutely cannot get yourself into. Unfortunately, this usually comes from trial and error, a lot of mistakes, some tears, and a few regretful moments.
Self-awareness does not come easily, which is why I think a lot of people avoid it all together. They think they will protect themselves if they don’t look deep enough. But I’ve come to learn the opposite is true, and without having the hardest conversations with yourself, you’re going to miss out on a whole other world, one that’s filled with acceptance and peace. Part of self-awareness means accepting all your flaws and the parts you hide from the world.
And once you really get to know yourself, you’ll be armored with everything you need to lead a more realistic life. A life that makes sense for you. You’ll no longer be designing it with concepts from the outside. You’ll build your life around the truth of who you are—your happiness. It’s a gradual process, sometimes feeling like the clock needs to be wound again because everything is standing still. But it also happens through intention and consistency. You have to be thoughtful in this process and choose it every single day. The alternative route looks like going through the motions blindly and ending up somewhere you never meant to be. But once you choose your intentions and see where they’re taking you, you’re going to love it, I promise. You will accept yourself for all you are, embrace yourself like a best friend, and care for yourself like a mother. You’ll find your meaning of a higher power. You’ll find the thing you’ve been searching for your whole life.
But the journey doesn’t end there. And isn’t that the great thing about life? You can continue to move into different spaces and change when you want into what you want. You have the power to do that, and I think we forget this all too often. This is your chance to show up in this life as you want, not as you’ve been trained. There may be two sides of your brain telling you different stories, but you decide what page to open. I hope you fight to bring light into your life. It’s better in the sun.