“I wish I could… , BUT…”
Oh how often I hear this phrase, with all the gaps and excuses filled in, always uttered with regret-filled longings.
“I wish I could have a garden, but I just don’t have time!”
“I wish I could move, but I’m stuck where I am.”
“I wish I could homeschool my kids, but we just can’t afford it.”
“I wish we could have more time together as a family, but we’re just so busy!”
The combinations of unique situations is infinite. But I bet we can all fill in the blanks of this sentence with something.
Why have we allowed ourselves to be convinced of such helplessness?
I challenge you in the coming year to take control of your life, and stop accepting the notion that you are a victim of circumstance. Somewhere along the line of history we have lost our will to fight, to sacrifice, to take risks in order to live the lives we’ve always wanted. It doesn’t have to be this way, you know.
Think about it. It wasn’t that long ago when our ancestors left the comforts of everything they knew and loved, and jumped on a boat with only the clothes on their backs and a few precious belongings in hand, braving a long and dangerous journey across a seemingly never-ending ocean to a fresh beginning in an unexplored, scary and new world.
Talk about fulfilling your wildest dreams! Think about how crazy that was! They had nothing but hope waiting for them, no idea what to expect, how they would survive, where they would go… and yet they did it. It was far from easy, but they did it.
And here we are afraid to sell our big house, possibly at a loss, in order to be free to explore new possibilities. Or maybe we’re afraid to sacrifice an income and the material perks of having such in order to be able to give freely of our time to our children, or to some calling we feel led to.
What is stopping us from doing what we really want to do in life?
Often times we blame a lack of money for our problems. If only I had x amount of money… We forget that thousands before us have made their dreams a reality through hard work, ingenuity, and resourcefulness, without a dime to their names. They started from the ground up, content with having enough for the moment, yet always striving for something better. Why do we accept that this isn’t possible for us anymore? Why are we content with unfulfilling lives?
We also blame a lack of time for not being able to live the way we want. But where are our priorities? How do we spend our precious time? What do we do that is truly necessary, beneficial, and profitable? Not necessarily monetarily profitable, or socially profitable, but life-quality profitable. We all have the same amount of time each and every day. How we choose to spend every single moment determines our life’s course and the joy or regret that follows.
What can you cast off to make your life more joyful?
Often times, our lives are weighed down and our happiness robbed by burdens we feel obligated to carry. Maybe we feel we owe it to somebody, or people will look at us badly if we didn’t do certain things… or have certain things.
But I ask, what can you get rid of to make your life simpler? What can you stop doing in order to breathe a little easier? What is stressing you out, causing you pain, or filling your life with sadness or dread?
Why do you continue to allow these things to affect the quality of your time here? Who is telling you that you must continue to commit yourself to the things that bring you down, and why do you allow yourself to believe them? What changes can you make today to make your life, and your family life, better tomorrow?
I think, for some of us, it is time to reevaluate what is truly most important.
If you could do anything right now, what would it be? If you knew you only had a short time to live, or a short time with your loved ones, what would you change? And what is holding you back from doing these things right now?
Who says you can’t spend more time with your family? Who says you can’t live without the burdens of today’s society? Who says you can’t just leave it all behind and start fresh? Who says?! And what do they know?!
We have bought into the lie, “It just has to be this way”. I’m telling you right now, IT DOESN’T.
Life only happens ONCE. And it is either what you make it, or what you allow it to be.
What are you willing to sacrifice? What notions are you willing to cast aside? Whose opinion are you willing to challenge? What comforts are you willing to trade for the freedom to make life happen the way you want it to?
When will we start living like we realize that we only get one life, one chance to make it what we want it to be, one moment at a time with our loved ones? We can choose to embrace a life of boredom, regret, time spent away from spouses and children, placing the opinions of others over our own happiness, etc. OR, we can make the decision that we are going to make the most of this one life we have, and live it to the fullest.
It might not happen overnight, or even in a month. It might take some forethought and careful planning. You might have to make some compromises, and do the best you can do at the moment. It might take a lot of courage and faith to make your life more the way you’ve always wanted it to be. But it can be done. With some sacrifices, hard work, ingenuity, and resourcefulness it CAN be done.