Have you ever had a circumstance that you didn’t like and tried really hard to come up with a different solution to change the circumstance? It can be so very frustrating when you can’t find a way out…and it seems like the more that you try, the more stuck you become!
Last year I moved to a new town, convinced by a friend to stay at her place until she was able to sell it. Things ended up going sour really fast, and before I knew it, I was scrambling to collect my belongings and find a place to stay…my safety actually relied on fast action.
So there I was, in a pretty unfamiliar town almost five hours from the place that I used to call home, with no where to call home in the middle of winter. I had made some friends, luckily for me they were the kind of people to offer themselves up to others in need, and I took on the horrifying role of “couch surfing”.
Sure, I could’ve gone home, but the truth of the matter was that I didn’t really have the means to financially pull myself through on my own, so I thought that I would try to stick things out to the best of my ability, for as long as I could.
I was trying to establish clients in this area, trying to resolve my living situation by bringing in more money and staying out as late as I could in the evening so that I wasn’t a burden to whoever was putting me up at night. It was cold. I was scared.
My new friends of course, did their best to make me feel welcome, but the truth of the matter was that I felt like a failure somehow. Looking back, there really wasn’t a likelihood of foreseeing the fallout that happened with the person who convinced me to relocate in the first place, and to this day I don’t know exactly what happened. We were getting along just fine until I started dating someone…but that is another story altogether.
It was very cold, I wasn’t sleeping much at night and began to feel very run down and discouraged. I practically lived in my car, but then it stopped producing heat. Being in Northern Michigan in February without heat was NOT my idea of a good time. I was determined to find a solution and find it fast! But the harder I tried to find supplemental income, the more doors I saw shut just a few steps in front of me. The more I tried to find a room to rent, the less money I seemed to have at my disposal. What next?
I remember reading that if you wanted something to change, stop resisting it. Did that mean to stop resisting wanting things to change or did that mean to stop resisting what I didn’t like? I absolutely did not know how to stop resisting what I hated, forget “not liking” it! Are you kidding me? Then I remembered reading that wanting creates more wanting! How could I ever possibly win here? Nothing that I tried worked, not even a little bit. I tried to cheer myself up with the thought that “At least the weather would be getting warmer soon.” And then I remembered that I was far north, and the weather was not likely to change for months!
I started to succumb to the idea of running home, of giving up. I wasn’t able to be optimistic and I felt like I was on the verge of a breakdown. “Maybe a breakdown is just what I need” I thought to myself. “Let whatever it is about me that is allowing this to break down!”
Finally it occurred to me! How is this circumstance serving me? I started making a list of the possible “benefits” for those who were helping me out because I’ve always had a need to help…if I could find some benefits for them, then I could maybe see what I was getting out of it. I made lists and even asked some questions and I started to see a common thread! I wasn’t typically open to asking for or receiving help and this circumstance was practically forcing me to do that! I also noticed that I wanted so badly to be independent because I was afraid not to be…now I was getting somewhere. Before I knew it, my work was starting to pick up. I was able to sleep in an actual bed in a bedroom instead of on a couch out in the open. And the guy I was dating purposed, so we started planning the wedding as well as looking for a place to live. I couldn’t afford a place on my own, but I was able to pay half!
What did I learn here? The more you resist a circumstance, the harder it is to change it. You don’t necessarily have to like it, but accept it. And accepting it can come just from looking at the possible ways that the circumstance is serving you. This is still a work in progress, but the more I practice it, the more I have the ability to change my life! What you resist tends to persist. And I believe that when I was at the point of giving up, what I was actually doing is giving up the resistance!