“I know that life is truly amazing…but what’s wrong with mine?”
***Note: this email is for you if you’re struggling through trials. It’s more lengthy than normal…so if you’re riding high right now, feel free to ride on ahead! 😉
A sincerely seeking reader sent me this and I felt moved to discuss further:
“I downloaded your book recently and I have been really enjoying thus far..really inspiring.. you make it seem so easy to forget about the bad things going on in your life… how do you do it?? You are such a positive person…
[discussion of current challenges]
Please help me… I fear becoming depressed… I try my best to stay as positive as I can..but its hard most times…
…I know that life is truly amazing. But what’s wrong with mine???? It’s the furthest from that right now…
Hope to hear from you. – Lexi”
(by the way, I love your replies to my emails. Keep ’em coming…you may be the next to get a more in depth personal response like this)
Allow me to dissect this a bit for everyone’s (including yours Lexi) benefit:
One reason it may seem ‘easy’?
1 – Because I think about things totally different than most
…such as this:
There are no ‘bad’ things that happen to me. So I don’t need to forget about any ‘bad’ things, because I see everything as conspiring for my benefit. In fact, not only do I not want to forget about things that are happening in my life, I want to see them clearly and understand them even better.
I have difficult moments. Often. That will never end as long as I’m alive.
And I don’t live in a denial bubble avoiding them.
Quite the contrary.
I confront challenges HEAD ON!
I EMBRACE THEM.
I am truly grateful for challenges.
Not only do I not close my eyes to challenges, I use challenges to help open my eyes even further.
Become MORE aware.
My book subtitle says ‘how to forget the past’.
Well, when we change how we see the past to being beneficial to us, what need have we to forget?
That’s how to ‘forget it’.
Change it’s meaning.
There is potential benefit in everything.
But I go farther…I don’t wait until something is in the past and already causing me suffering to change its meaning.
I make it a point to express gratitude for things AS THEY ARE HAPPENING.
Because I view all challenges, setbacks, pain, and difficulty whether emotional, physical, relational…ALL OF IT, as beneficial to me. If it shows up in my life I embrace it because I have chosen to believe that everything I experience is here to teach me, help me grow, and lead me to greater joy and opportunities.
Knowing how immensely valuable this trial is (whatever it happens to be) changes everything.
It doesn’t make the pain instantly go away.
But it does provide:
- the ability to laugh at life’s challenges
- energy to keep moving forward
- And I’ve even found JOY in the midst of pain
All possible because I believe everything is conspiring for my benefit.
So I say ‘thank you’ for everything.
Including all pain and trials.
OK, now I can hear you thinking this…
“Great! Good for you Aaron! But that’s hard to do!! I don’t feel grateful for this pain, sickness, sadness, or despair. I hate it. I want it to go away. I want to feel happy somehow.”
Well…let me be more clear.
You aren’t supposed to ‘feel’ happy about the fact that you are suffering.
You don’t ‘feel’ grateful for pain because you JUST LOVE being in pain.
You DECIDE to say thank you…
…even though you HAVE NO IDEA how this is possibly good for you and even though ALL EVIDENCE points to the contrary, and even though you FEEL HORRIBLE.
You have to make that decision and just do it.
No easy way around this.
There’s no magic pill.
It requires faith.
If that’s hard news…well, sorry, that’s the fact, and somebody needs to break it to you. You will not find a fulness of joy without first confronting your fear, and acting in faith on something you believe but which you cannot prove.
And that’s not easy.
You have to say “Even though I have no clue how this is helping me, I’m choosing to say thank you for it. Because I believe I am loved. I believe everything is conspiring for my benefit. I believe that the more challenging my circumstances are only means that much more potential benefit is available to me from them.”
And if you DON’T believe those things???
BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF! Don’t just lie to yourself and say you believe those things when you don’t. You’ll just increase your inner turmoil and suffering.
IT’S OK! Acknowledge and face your TRUE beliefs.
Do you feel loved?
Do you feel worthy?
Do you really feel that everything is against you?
Acknowledge the true answers to those. Feel those feelings.
Now say. (If this is what you’re dealing with)
“I feel horrible. I don’t believe in myself. And I believe everything is just working against me and holding me down. But I don’t want to feel this. I want to feel good. And I want to believe that everything is conspiring for my benefit. So I’m going just going to test out that belief. If it is true, that everything is conspiring for my benefit, then of course I will be grateful at some point for this, because at some point in time I will see how this was beneficial for me. Even though I can’t see it now. And since it is not helping me to sit here and dwell on how bad this is for me, and it only makes me feel worse, I’m just going to do my best to act on faith. I’m going to say thank you for this pain and difficulty and sadness and hold out hope that somehow this is going to benefit me.”
I bet if you do that you’ll feel a little better.
Keep doing that.
Be real. Be honest. Then take ONE STEP forward in faith.
One step at a time.
And take hope in the knowledge that I and many others have been where you are, and we took those steps, and they led to immense joy.
Napoleon Hill said –
“Every adversity carries the seed of an EQUIVALENT advantage”
I have chosen to believe that.
And that belief has served me IMMENSELY well.
I believe it will help you too.
Start practicing gratitude for everything.
If you struggle at first, don’t give up.
Just practice. Forgive yourself. Don’t hold yourself to some crazy standard of perfection.
For more specific help on getting the belief that EICFYB burned into your brain – go through 5 Minute Mental Mastery
And be committed to it.
And remember, even this trial you are going through is here for a wonderful purpose. At some point you are going to look at what you are going through right now with EXTREME gratitude for the gift it is giving you.
I encourage you to start seeking gratitude for it right now instead of waiting.
You can do that…and it can make a world of difference in your life. It can be very challenging to say thank you for pain and heart ache, I totally get that. I have been VERY challenged by that myself…but when you can, it changes everything.
Until then, Make Today Amazing!