The lens through which we view the world determines our reality. It’s all a matter of perspective.
I’m sure this is not a new concept to you. It sure isn’t to me. And despite that, I easily forget, more often than not. Every now and then I get wrapped up in my idea of what “should be” that I fail to see things the way they are.
Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about here. I tend to be a perfectionist by nature. This has helped me tremendously in my professional life. By reaching for the moon it’s easy to land among the stars. My personal life, however, is a different story.
When you’re a perfectionist like me you tend to set too many expectations. And expectations are the perfect recipe for disappointment. When we feel our world could always be better nothing is ever good enough. We are not good enough. And consequently the choices we make are not good enough either.
See, I’m an expert in embarking on impossible journeys to transform myself and others. And although this has helped me strive to become better, it has also given me unnecessary heartaches. Such as when I try to change things that are unchangeable. And especially when I try to change others. Every time I’ve tried to “help” someone else change, I’ve failed. Every single time.
The problem is, when it comes to others, we have absolutely no power at all. The power is only within us. And even then, it’s limited to our essence and the way we’re wired. We can always improve and grow, but we can never deny what we’re made of.
The perfectionist inside me hates to admit this, but it is true. And this is what I’ve found to be the key to peace and contentment. ACCEPTANCE. When we accept who we are it’s easy to breathe again. When we feel comfortable in our own skin it becomes easier to improve because our self-worth is not dependent on it.
The same goes for our relationships with others. I’m sure you’ve heard many times that we should accept others the way they are rather than trying to make them into who we want them to be. That’s what unconditional love is all about. But it’s not always easy. I’ve personally been a victim to that little voice inside my head trying to fool me into thinking that I can transform others into who I believe they should be. That I actually have an obligation to do so!
The truth is, every time I’ve tried I’ve ended up defeated. And exhausted. I’ve learned that it is an imposible mission to accomplish. When we focus on the things we don’t like about others we lose track of all those other things that make them wonderful. The black dot on the white page suddenly makes the whole page look dark.
There will always be deal breakers. That’s for sure. And I would never suggest that you accept something that goes against your values. But as for everything else, just let it be. I know it sounds over-simplistic, but it really is that simple. We just have to let things be.
So I’ve I decided to give up. Believe me, I hate giving up. But in some cases, giving up is not only smart. But also rather healing. After a long time of trying to get my way, I’ve decided to stop. After all, our energy is limited, and we should only spend it on battles worth fighting for. So that’s what I’m doing.
I’ve decided to start choosing my battles. And to choose them wisely. As for everything else, I’ve decided to take the road of acceptance. To let whatever and whoever is, just be the way they are.
And just like that my world has changed completely. It is not the world that changed really. It is just my perception of it. And therefore my reality.
I haven’t settled. I never will. I have just decided to be real. And especially, I’ve decided to be happy. Life is too short to do otherwise.