“Why is this happening to me?” It is the question of self-doubt and self-pity. The question of a victim. Asking this question is the realization that we don’t have control over our lives and lacking the faith required to be ok with that. This question is the bane of my existence.
It haunts me more often than I like to admit. It digs in deep and makes me question everything to the point of anger and bitterness. It interrupts all progress that I’ve made and spirals me back to a weak, emotional, negative human being. It stripts me, and everyone around me, of the goodness in life.
But it also does something else. It reminds me that I am a constant work in progress. My actions – and reactions – when life is good do not define me. It is my reaction when life throws me a curveball. And lately, I have failed miserably. Even as I write this, it is a fight to not furrow my brow and cry. I have woken up too many days in a mood. I have mumbled, yelled, moped, and cowered behind the walls of my home. Tears have come way too often. Not the welled up kind that linger on the edge of your eyelids, but the gushing kind that won’t quit. The kind that pile up along your neckline and leave your eyes dry for hours. I’ve struggled to find motivation to get anything done and I’ve been angry at the world.
And then I remember what my coach said to me; “Don’t ask, ‘Why is this happening TO me?’ Instead ask, ‘Why is this happening FOR me?’”
Such a simple swap of words changes the entire meaning and perspective of the question. And, for a moment, I can focus. I can see all the reasons why this might be happening TO — I mean FOR — me. I tell myself that I’ve wasted too many days being upset and pushing that negativity onto others. I tell myself that even though it is not the plan, who knows where it will lead. Perhaps this is where I’m supposed to transition. Perhaps the path I’ve so carefully laid out is not the one I’m supposed to follow. Perhaps everything I want is on the other side of the fear of change. Perhaps by staying where I am, I’m holding myself back. Perhaps…
And then I wake up grumpy and bothered by what I know best. I am comfortable and I do not like change. This is change. Change is bad. I did not choose this! And I’m back to square one.
But I have to forgive myself and start again. I am not perfect. There are things that trigger me (actions, words, behaviors). They remind me of being out of control of my own life. They remind me of being weak. They remind me that there are people out there that will never care or give as I do. They remind me that I have a past and that I’ve come so far. They remind me that I can choose to remain a victim or push through it and fight as a survivor.
It is not what is happening TO me that matters. It is what is happening FOR me that I need to focus on. No matter how good or put together we believe we are, there will always be a test to see if we have learned the lessons we are meant to learn. I do believe that one day, I will pass on the first try, without dragging myself and everyone down with me. But until then, I will keep fighting to be a better version of who I am today.