What does it look like to prepare the soil of your soul in such a way that new, positive growth can take root? How can each of us begin to intentionally reorganize and make room in our souls and lives in order to plant new seeds of positive growth, as well as, to allow the good things already in our lives to keep growing?
To begin to prepare the soil of our soul, we must each remind ourselves and evaluate how we view and tackle our lives each day. Let’s journey into what we know to be right and good and ask ourselves two questions: what in our lives can we not control and what in our lives can we control? Go ahead -make a list!
Now, let’s compare our lists; I have written the lists I came up with below. Please feel free to add what you have come up with below in the comment section (we would love to hear your perspective!).
What in our lives can we not control?
- Other people’s attitudes, actions, thoughts, perspectives, and how they demonstrate their emotions.
- The timing of how and when certain things happened in your life and the unfolding of those to come.
- Your circumstances given to you at birth or during your childhood, for example: where you were born, who your parents are, and how people treated you.
What in our lives can we control?
- Our own attitudes, actions, thoughts, perspectives, and how each one of us demonstrates our emotions.
- Whether we choose to be grateful and love many aspects of our lives the way they currently are, choosing not to constantly believe that life will be better when _____ (fill in with something you believe will make you happier). You will find yourself waiting and wishing for more or less of something that will, in the end, not make you any happier, but instead will have you wishing all over again. When our perspective and attitude is that of gratefulness, one can’t help but live in the here and now intentionally soaking it all in with all that we have.
- We can control what we will each do with what we have been given. This includes how we will use each of our talents, hobbies, experiences, and circumstances whether for good or for bad.
- To practice self-control and self-awareness of knowing what we want versus what we need.
- To intentionally focus our thoughts and emotions in order to evaluate our lives. Frequently ask yourself: what are the good things in my life? Who are the people that truly care for my well-being? What aspects of my life weigh me down, why? Is there anyone that has hurt me in the past that I have not been willing to forgive?
Notice how the list of the aspects of our lives that we can control is much longer than the list of what we can’t control! As Mary Engelbreit reminds us: “If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it!”
We are most ripe for positive change after we are forced to fully realize our lack of control in our lives and our circumstances, which unfortunately, happens most often when the majority of what we hold dear is flipped upside down. This is when we can choose to become fully grateful for all the good that is present in our lives while we rebuild our foundation based on hope and expectancy of making the best of what is presented to us. Or one could choose bitterness, focusing on the negatives in our lives and constantly reminding ourselves of what we lack. And when we hold up our lives up for comparison to others let me just tell you, from the bottom of our souls, we all know that we were not meant to live this way. As Theodore Roosevelt declared: “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
Let’s not allow ourselves to live another day where we are grabbing tight for control over our lives, allowing fear of what could go wrong cause us to focus on the numerous ways we might need to protect ourselves from the possibilities of how we could get hurt. Living this way only suffocates our lives and hearts into a fury of worry and selfishness, as well as allowing ourselves to live under heavy burdens of fear that can paralyze us. Instead, when we truly let go of the fears and worries and in turn grasp onto gratefulness from deep within our souls we find freedom, peace, joy, and room for our heart and creativity to flow and sing. This is the only point where true authenticity of who you are inside can feel safe enough to flow out and be seen without the smothering weight of worry and fear.
Prepare the soil of your soul by raking out your urges to clamor for control and free the garden by unleashing the stifling weight and limitation of worry and comparison. Get ready to plant the good into your soul, the good you intentionally want to be the foundation and seeds that sprout new, glorious growth.
Stephanie Zeller is the Community Director for The Authenticity Project, you can contact Steph at TheAuthenticityProject@gmail.com.