Easy or Rewarding
Sometime over the last year I had a friend of mine made a comment to me about how easy it was for me to find a partner. In her eyes, I think it came more naturally that I was able to be in a relationship. While this may have been intended to be a complement, at the time, it totally triggered me.
I knew how much time, energy and money I had put in, to develop my own physical/mental/ and spiritual health. I knew how much effort I put into studying healthy/ unhealthy relationships, learning about my own emotions and how to heal myself, so that I felt safer to connect and be vulnerable with another human. How dare she say it came easy?! Sometimes, however, when we look at another person, and see what they have in life, without really considering what it was they did to get there, we think it just came easily and naturally to them.
I myself know I have been guilty of this thinking it in the past. I know I’ve been jealous of things that I thought came “easily” to other people, whether it was their good looks, their intelligence, their ability to push themselves or to stay focused. It is much simpler to look at the success of another person and think, “I could never do what they did, it just came so naturally to them,” and then continue to live life as we always have. Eating the same things, sitting in the same emotional states, watching the same thing on T.V. night after night.
It wasn’t until I started my own path of deeper healing that I realized how the beliefs I held around following the path of least resistance (the “easy path”) was actually a lot more harmful to my mental emotional, and physical health than I had realized. So I began to push myself. I pushed through the discomfort, I challenged the beliefs, I put in the effort, and boy was it hard… at first.
It’s simple to look at where a person has come and say that it was easy for them to get there. To overlook the challenges they’ve faced, the effort they’ve put in and to undermine the energy and resources that it took to get them there. But when it comes down to it, saying something comes easy to someone doesn’t help me get what I want, and more often than not, it’s just not true.
What I’ve noticed, is that often times the things that I think came easily to someone else, is actually a quality I really admire and on some level want to cultivate for myself. Rather than brushing their efforts off, or being jealous of them, I’ve found it much more beneficial to myself to actually ask them about what it was that got them to that place. Ask them about what drove them, ask them about the effort that they did put in.
By doing this, I’m stepping out of the role of the victim and away from the “poor me” mentality. Now I can begin to shift my own awareness to a place of empowerment, by realizing that “hey, if they could do it, than maybe I can too.” I now recognize, when it really comes down to it, the only reason I care so much, is because I admire and want that thing too.
Meaningful things seldom happen overnight and that’s honestly a good thing. It is so much more rewarding to look back and see the progress made, and know that it didn’t just come naturally, but that “I did that.”
Personally, it wasn’t that I grew out of asthma, it’s that I pushed myself to change my diet and get off the coach and exercise on a regular basis. I did that for myself. I created that change. It’s not that I graduated magna cum laude by showing up to class and taking notes. It’s that I studied for hours, failed, stayed focused, and pushed myself. I did that for myself, I created that momentum. It’s not that loving relationships come naturally to me, it’s that I’ve faced the beliefs that I am unworthy, I’ve owned up to my mistakes, pushed myself to be open, honest and vulnerable.
I continually work on growing and becoming more aware of who I am, and what I want to create in the world. That is what I am doing for myself. I created that change and that growth, and if I’m being completely honest, it sure as hell isn’t easy, but it’s incredibility rewarding, and my life is a heck of a lot better because of it.
Something might become easier, when it becomes a habit, because it is met with less mental resistance. Once we can push past that, and begin to enjoy the process, it can become a lot more playful and a lot more fun. It becomes less about the end result or how easy the process is, and more about, how much can I enjoy this journey while I’m on it. Sometimes there are days when even working out doesn’t seem easy, but I’ve grown to look forward to that feeling of accomplishment, and the knowing that I pushed myself to do the best I could in that moment.
All it takes is that first step. To really be honest with yourself about what you want, and just take the first baby step towards it and to continue to do this. It might not be easy, but it doesn’t have to be hard either. I’ve been guilty in the past, of not wanting to do something because of the effort I thought it required, but I now know, that the things in life that come easy aren’t nearly as valuable to me in the long run. When it comes to my life, and the things I want to create for myself and in my world around me, I’ll take rewarding over easy, any day.