It is so easy to fall into negativity….it is so easy to throw our hands in the air and just give up. Let’s face it, no matter how much we want to be positive there are times that it is a true struggle. Jobs are lost or threatened, bills go unpaid, pay cuts, cost of living keeps going up and we find ourselves shaking our heads wondering how to make ends meet. Marriages fall apart, parents worry about their kids. Problems just seem to come our way faster than we can get out of the way.
We all go through these times; no one is immune to problems, no matter what the social status. However some are able to reinvent themselves when problems arise, some get knocked off their feet yet get back up stronger than before. Why? Well, it’s not about being smarter or tougher, it’s about choice. It’s about choosing to make things better, to overcome their challenges. It’s about being sick and tired of feeling sick and tired.
I have found in my personal life, that when I allowed my problems to consume me, I was left unable to think clearly, to analyze my situation and seek options. I also found that I became weak as I focused solely on my issues making them seem larger than life. When this happened, I felt as if I were trapped, I could not sleep; I had no one to talk to, not because they were not there, but because I felt shame about being in the situation I was. I remember walking outside just to cry in privacy, I would look up to the sky and pray that God would listen and each time I did, I felt lonelier than I did before. I had no hope and soon I began feeling ill. I begged God to take my life, since I had no courage to take it myself I begged him to just take me so my family could claim the life insurance. Scary thought right? Yet so many people find themselves in similar situations and think that death is their only option. I began feeling tightness in my chest; I had trouble breathing, could not sleep and would have these cold sweats take over my body at a moment’s notice. Was I dying? Did God hear my prayer? If I died would my family be ok? Now as I felt ill, I began rethinking my prayer….I was not sure death was the answer which made me feel even worse. I went to the doctor and after testing I was told I was very healthy yet I was suffering from Anxiety attacks. My doctor looked at me and said, “I see many patients come here due to stress because of financial burden, you are healthy but if you keep focusing on this issue you will cause yourself a stroke”. Those words stuck with me. I went home, the words kept replaying in my mind, I went to my room, stared at my back yard at the same spot I would go to cry and as I stared, the words continued to replay in my mind but something magical was happening. In my darkest moment despite not having any answers, all of a sudden those words seemed to flip the switch and suddenly the light was on. At that moment I knew what I needed to do. I did not have the answers, the bills were still there, the uncertainty was still present but my focus was no longer on the problems. All of a sudden my focus was on “what I was willing to do”.
Again I had no answers but I knew that I had potential. I knew that I could not go any lower than where I was therefore I could only improve my situation. I imagined myself in a car and in my mind I envisioned my problems in the back seat. I could see them through my rear view mirror yet they were no longer covering my view. I could now move forward toward my goals…….I just needed to figure out what those were, get clear and set out to make them happen. I envisioned the road with exits and I imagined that each exit was a milestone and as I approached each milestone, one problem would either be resolved or reduced. Again I did not know the “how” but I knew I could figure this out. A sense of peace came over me, I had found the light in my darkness and I knew that as of that moment my focus was to be on my recovery not my problems. I can’t tell you that my problems disappeared however I can tell you that I got stronger and became unshakable. I became so much more than I ever thought I could be. I was open to new challenges, new experiences and I felt good about myself. Slowly I began to chip away at my issues, again by reaching milestones. Not everything I tried was a success, in fact many things I tried brought me to new challenges yet these were part of my growth, part of expanding me and pushing past what I believed to be my limitations.
Problems will always come our way…..that is a guarantee, yet we can overcome these problems by choosing to focus on the options on alternatives. Every problem that comes our way brings a lesson that when learned opens new doors. Open your mind; get clear on what you want in life. Understand that you are stronger than any problem you can be facing, yet you will need to make a choice, you need to choose to move forward no matter what you are facing. You need to push yourself past what you think are your limitations to learn what you are truly capable of achieving.
About the Author:
Eileen Gonzalez – Life According to Me
A little over four years ago I began a journey to self-discovery which brought me face to face with who I truly was. Made me realize of the life I was living to please others and meet others expectations rather than living my life as I saw fit.
This journey was not as easy as I thought and took a while for me to absorb all the lessons this journey was to send my way. Today I stand a different person than I once was. Today I am stronger, wiser and more assertive. Today I love and respect myself for who I am. Today I am ready to take on all my goals as well as anything life has in store for me.
Life According to Me is about me coming to terms with who I truly am and understanding what I want in life. Many times we go throughout life thinking we know who we are and what we want, yet what we believe about ourselves is tied to beliefs that have been engrained in us from our parents, society …and our own experiences. We begin to accept limitations as if we were… destined to have what we have; and nothing more.
I embarked on a journey of self-discovery and with it, I became clear on the mistakes I had made and what I needed to do to get better. I found that getting on the right path required me to change my thinking and how I reacted to life in general.
In this book ,“Life According to Me”, I share this journey of self-discovery with the intent to share the gift of hope and faith with the reader. It’s an honest look at my life (mistakes, lessons and road to recovery).