We put our daughter Grace on a plane today for the second time in six months. She left today to continue her mission for The Church of Jesus Christ where she will represent Jesus Christ and teach others about His teachings.
For many years she has dreamt about this time in her life. She had planned and prepared for it. She knew it would be hard but couldn't wait for it. The reality of her mission has been nothing like what she had dreamt it would be.
It started with her having visa issues which delayed her ability to get to Peru and then once she finally got to Peru she was immediately put in lockdown quarantine for 3 weeks where she couldn't leave her apartment. Getting her out of the country was also a nerve-wracking story.
She has spent the last eight weeks at home wondering what is next for her. She has enjoyed the time at home but she also struggled with finding purpose and with thoughts that things have gone wrong and why things happened as they did.
Reality is sometimes painful to experience, especially when the experience is far from what we had envisioned.
I remember feeling that way as a new mother. I had dreamt about being a mother for most of my life, but in reality, being a mother was far more challenging than I envisioned. Because it wasn't as I had envisioned it left me feeling like I was doing it wrong, that something was wrong with me.
This is where our mental health can be challenged and we can feel an increase in anxiety and depression. We feel anxious or depressed because what we are feeling isn't aligning with what we thought we should be feeling.
This is why an understanding of how emotions work and how our human brain functions is such an important part of managing depression and anxiety.
Eckhart Tolle says, “Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it.”
The moment you accept reality for what it is and stop comparing it to what you thought the moment should be is the moment when you become more empowered.
No matter what you had envisioned remember that the reality of the moment will probably come with some negative emotion that you were not expecting. You can't avoid negative emotions. When you stop resisting them and be willing to feel negative emotions is when you release yourself from the struggle of being happy all the time.
When our brains are supervised, they will probably produce about 50% positive and 50% negative emotion. That's only if we're aware of and managing our brains. Embrace the fact that as balanced human beings, our emotional experience is probably going to be 50/50.
Embrace the negative emotion in your life and experience reality for what it is 50/50.
When you understand that your negative emotion is completely normal and that it shows your brain is functioning normally is when you feel more love for yourself and your experience of reality improves.
So stop resisting reality and as Eckhart Toll teaches us accept the moment as you had chosen it. From this place you decide what thoughts best serve you and then you take actions from that thought. Accepting reality and deciding how you want to think can actually give you a better experience than you had even envisioned.
Because Grace has done the work with accepting the reality of her mission experience, I have no doubt Grace's next year will be even more amazing than what she had originally envisioned.
This option to experience reality with acceptance vs. resistance is completely available to you!