Dear B&C: I’m struggling to find the “joy” again … just haven’t found my purpose or niche in life. I feel stuck in life and I don’t know what to do.
I love my husband, my music, but finances are such a struggle it weighs heavily. Always trying to read and nurture through self-help stuff but never seem to be able to “commit” to fixing or going the full mile. I don’t know why I’m so stuck and afraid to venture forth to complete anything … the confidence in myself is certainly a stumbling block … I’m a ‘fixer’ and when I can’t fix something/someone (I know we can ONLY fix ourselves) the frustration mounts because I KNOW that the ULTIMATE GIFT we are to learn is ‘love.’ I feel SO STUCK, like being in quicksand. Any advice you can offer? ~P.
Dear P: I’m touched by your comments, as I know many people who read them will be because they see themselves in similar situations. Sometimes just knowing others are out there and feeling our pain helps us feel less alone. There are no easy one-size-fits-all answers, but I do have a few suggestions that you might try. Here goes …
What your “logical mind” is begging you for right now are solutions … answers … concrete ways to deal with your financial struggles and lack of clarity about purpose … a step-by-step way to take control and fix it all. That’s what we “fixers” (aka control junkies) like to do. Fix things … control things … in fact … control nearly everything. That’s a heavy load to put on yourself, and when you do this, there’s no way your logical mind can give you the peace and assurance you truly need.
When us “fixers” can’t fix things, we get worried … scared … and sometimes we even turn on ourselves thinking there’s something wrong with us. Confidence plummets. Though I don’t know you, from what you’ve told me here I suggest that the answers you seek won’t be found in your mind. You need to go deeper … deeper into self-love … deeper into connecting with your spiritually intelligent core that resides within you.
When You Think “I Feel Stuck in Life,” Here’s the First Thing You Need to Do …
My advice: give yourself a break and breathe. Sit in a quiet place where you feel safe, comfortable and inspired. Could be a favorite chair in your home… a park bench … or wherever. Your only task for the moment is to breathe, so just focus on your breath and experience it fully.
Don’t confuse “just breathing” with doing nothing; allowing yourself good, quality breathing time can be a life changer. Answers appear when we’re calm enough to receive them, not when we’re fighting a raging battle in our minds.
Next, as you calm your mind and listen to your steady breath, begin to allow yourself to bask in the miracle of now and to dwell in gratitude. Let your entire body be transformed by the deep appreciation for your life’s blessings.
Once you’re “feeling” gratitude throughout your body, here’s the next step: Take in a three or four slow deep breaths. When you feel calm, ask your soul “Soul, what are you trying to tell me that I’ve been too busy to hear? What’s the most important thing that I need to know right now?” Then listen patiently and quietly for the answer. Feel free to keep asking your soul any question that comes to mind … then wait patiently and quietly for the answer.
Am I sounding a little crazy and “whoo whoo?” Well, I know this could sound that way, but I am advising this because your head is spinning right now and because of that you can’t hear the wisdom within. Your fear is trying to tell you something, but it’s all coming at you so fast and furiously that you can’t understand what to make of it, which leaves you frustrated and more fearful. It’s a trap and the only way to get out is to literally “get out of your mind and into your spiritual center” is often considered the most important journey we’ll ever make.
By the way, I can REALLY relate to you when you talk about money fears … that’s a hot button for me, too. Not having enough money to pay bills or constantly living in lack is one of the most miserable states we can live in. The fear that stems from the pressure of financial problems can drown out our internal wisdom if we allow it, that’s why you need plenty of time in calm and quiet.
Getting “unstuck” seldom happens all at once. You have thinking patterns and behaviors that you’ve had a long time … so you must be kind and supportive as you learn to go a new way.
You’ve mentioned you’ve bought a lot of self-help books, but don’t commit. Again, many people can relate to that … so don’t be hard on yourself for it.
Sometimes the books can be so overwhelming with so many ideas. I’ve found the big two are “love yourself” and “listen to the wisdom within.”
I’ve also found that practicing affirmations frequently does wonders for changing my internal dialogue. My favorite affirmation is one from Louise Hay: “ All is well. Everything is working out for my highest good. Out of this situation only good will come. I am safe.”
Whenever I am facing large issues in my life, I repeat this affirmation over and over … sometimes hundreds of times in a day (I have it posted on my fridge and on a mirror in my bedroom). It’s worked miracles in my life — you might give it a try.
One last thought: I think that there are so many gurus out there preaching about life purpose that there’s now an epidemic of people obsessed with finding their “one great purpose” … which is leading to stress, frustration, and even depression.
I will never claim to have all the answers, but this is what “purpose” looks like to me … and it’s multidimensional:
1) Our purpose in life is to love ourselves and to love others, we all share that purpose.
2) We have each been blessed with certain gifts and talents and those make us unique. When we find a way to use our gifts in service to others, then we are “on purpose” in our lives.
3) Our purpose may or may not have anything to do with what we do to make a living — but as we make a living, we can certainly practice #1 and #2.
4) I think there are those people who can say “my purpose is to do X,” but if you can’t say that right now, don’t sweat it so much. If you focus on #1 and #2, perhaps in time a more precise definition of your purpose will be revealed to you … but you won’t have to worry about what to call it, because by the time you can describe it you’ll find you’re living it.
I hope these thoughts offer some hope and ideas that you can apply in your life.
Wishing much peace, love, joy, and abundance on your journey, J. Marie Novak, Founder of BelieveAndCreate.com
The discussion above is taken from a question asked by a reader of the Believe and Create blog. Do you have a question you want to ask Believe and Create? Email it to jmarie@BelieveAndCreate.com and place “READER QUESTION” in the subject line. We can’t get to all questions, but we promise to get to as many as we can!