We recently began a remodeling project on our house, so we're staying with my parents for a few days. After helping my son with his distance learning work this morning, I went upstairs to do yoga and try to find some inner peace. I looked around at all the photos my mom has of me framed on the walls. Leadership awards, newspaper clippings; signs of a promising young woman. I caught a glimpse of my reflection in one of the frames – a tired woman in her mid-30s, swollen and out of breath in her third pregnancy, and to be honest, not having reached any of the goals that the 20-something in the photo thought for sure she would’ve accomplished by now. I welled up with tears as I started to feel sorry for the woman in the refection, and for the young woman in the photo who might be disappointed in her. I texted my husband in my moment of weakness and he reminded me that we have the power to choose the lens through which we view our circumstances. Our situations are not what define us, but rather our responses to them. We don’t always have a say in what happens to us, we 100% have a say in how we respond to it – that is, in how we choose to view it. Our response can keep us prisoner or set us free. It can keep us small or help us grow. It can create self-loathing or self-love. The things we experience do not make those decisions, we do. The lens we choose to view our situation through determines how we experience it. It’s a lot of responsibility, I know. But, if we want to be happy – which, I think we all do – we have the responsibility of seeing our lives through a lens that empowers us, motivates us, and promotes self-love. We are going to experience pain, failure, disappointment, and loss. Last week I wrote about the importance of "unkinging the hose" and feeling our feelings. I fully believe that’s necessary. But when you’ve reached that ‘peeling yourself off the bathroom floor’ moment, it’s time to choose the lens through which you view the situation that brought you to your knees. Are you going to see yourself as a victim or a survivor? Are you going to see a problem or an opportunity for change? Are you going to see all that you're lacking or all that you have? As I sit here writing this, I can see my reflection in the window. I still see a tired woman in her mid-30s. I also see a woman growing her third healthy baby, a miracle that she never knew she needed. I see a woman who loves deeply, and is deeply loved. I see a woman who has taken her life experiences and passion, and built businesses that may be small, but have helped hundreds of people and served the greater good. I see a woman who may need a shower and a nap, but who wants for very little. We may not see the twists and turns life has to offer coming our way, but we do have the opportunity to see them through the lens of the divine design of life. May you have the self-awareness to own the lenses you’ve chosen. And, if necessary, the courage to change them so that you may see your life as the divine and beautiful gift that it is.
Wishing you a beautiful day, and a wonderful week.
With love and gratitude,