It’s easy nowadays to get caught up in the envy game. You see on Facebook perfect vacations, beautiful houses, expensive material possessions; you read the romantic status update declarations of couples’ perfect relationships and are bombarded with pictures of blissful home lives. Don’t even get me started on Instagram. One look at a handful of fashion bloggers’ Instagram accounts and I guarantee you’ll be asking yourself, “I wonder if they shit rainbows?” Oh, happy, perfect life in her new Valentino dress and Chanel bag and Jimmy Choo shoes.
I don’t have any ill will towards these types of Facebook or Instragram posts; hey, I, too, post pictures of my own happy, picture-perfect moments and new fashion purchases. BUT, the important thing to remember in this world of online flawlessness is this: Take it all with a grain of salt. Otherwise, you can end up envying other people’s lives to the point where it becomes difficult to appreciate your own. You go down the rabbit hole of wishing you had a different life, wishing you had made difference choices, dated different people, taken different jobs, wishing you had it easier or that you were someone else, and on and on.
What happens when you get stuck in this envy merry-go-round? What happens when you lose appreciation for where you have been and where you are today? You begin to live in a world of victimhood, pity parties, inaction, and apathy.
One of the most profound statements I’ve heard recently was in a mindfulness class I’m taking. Our teacher said: “Trust your life is not meant to be a different version.” Her words really stuck with me, especially as a dating coach who helps women
change their dating lives and create healthy, happy relationships. More often than not that change only happens when my clients are amenable to investigating their past experiences and increasing their knowledge of self.
Many singles (and certainly many of my clients) get stuck in regret, wishing their lives had turned out differently. Moreover, they get mired in the envy merry-go-round, to the point where they feel paralyzed in their own lives – perhaps it’s easier to envy others than it is to accept and embrace a life you feel has let you down.
However, if you can embrace the aforementioned phrase (“Trust your life is not meant to be a different version”) and understand how it relates to your own love life, you will find tremendous power and knowledge. Instead of getting bogged down in the regrets, the mistakes, the wrong turns, instead of envying others’ lives or wishing your love life had turned out differently – that, say, you had found love sooner or had kids by now – you are empowered to start saying to yourself: “OK, this has been my path, and this is what the version of my life so far has been meant to be.”
I emphasize “so far” here, because if you want to go in a different direction in life, well, then it’s time to start trusting that you can create a different version moving forward. You can’t change the past, but you can learn and grow from it, use it to help you make wiser, more conscious, empowered choices so that you can create whatever it is you want to create when it comes to matters of the heart.
Think of your life then as your textbook! Each chapter is there to teach you something, to help you investigate. Your path to love is not about changing who you are or becoming someone different; it’s about uncovering and removing the darkness, the blocks, the toxic belief systems and thoughts, and the entrenched patterns that hold you back, so that your true, radiant self can shine again. That person is there, waiting to be uncovered, to see the light of day!
When you don’t get so bogged down in wishing the past could have been different, you can focus on building and shaping the future that you want for yourself. This shift doesn’t happen overnight; rather, one step at a time. It’s a process that demands your time and attention and effort.
Let go of the fantasy of how you always thought your dating and love life should be and how it should have played out. Forget others. Trust that everything that has happened in your past has happened for you not to you. Trust this is the version of your life that is meant to be.
Do you have the courage to trust in and learn from this version?
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