Do you often find yourself saying things like, "I have no choice," or, "I have always done it this way"? Most of us fall into patterns without realizing it, and we resist change, which is human nature, so we find ourselves stuck and unhappy, and tell ourselves this is how it has to be. Change can be painful and uncomfortable, but is it really any worse than staying stuck in a rut where you are unhappy every day? There is a fine line between accepting what IS, and pushing yourself to make changes. A recent personal situation has left me feeling vulnerable and raw. I find that, in these times, I have two choices. The first choice is to run away from this feeling, which is really just a form of denial and self punishment. The second choice is to "sink in" to the feelings, surrender to the pain, and let yourself find clarity in that reality. Neither choice is really harder than the other, but we have been programmed as a society to avoid emotional pain like it is the plague, thus our friends rally around us, and bring us distractions, thinking they are "helping" but really just enabling us in our denial. In the end, you will just keep repeating the scenario until you learn the lesson. As yourself how many times you want to go through the experience and make your choice from there. Sometimes we need to go through it a few times before we are ready to make changes.
Another key is your EGO. Ask yourself why you need to be the winner, or right, or in any way acknowledged by others. Do you need validation because you do not really believe in yourself? Do you need others to love you in order to love yourself? Eckhart Tolle's "A New Earth" talks about this phenomenon. If you can really let go of your ego, you can get out of your own way and start to see true change in your life. The ego serves no purpose in moving us forward in life. It is the cause of our pain and anxiety. Letting go of the need for others to acknowledge you is very freeing. Ask yourself why you need that, and you will soon see that you do not really need it at all.
The next time you find yourself saying something like "I guess this is just how it is," stop and ask yourself, "Is this what I really want?" and if your answer is no, you have the power to change it. Step out of the fear and see your choices start to shift your reality. Do something risky and different. Above all, make choices based on LOVE, and it will always be the right choice. If your intentions are to love yourself, and others, there is nothing bad that can come of that. It may not always go as you thought it would, but in the end, it will be the truth.