Friday, February 1, 2013

Having an Awesome Life: Lesson #2, Courage and the Power of Change

Courage comes in  many forms.  You don't need to be a police officer, firefighter, or a life-saving superhero to be brave.  I'm sure you've already heard the saying about how "courage is not the absence of fear, but bravery in the face of fear," so I won't bother repeating that to you now. ;)

Another thing that takes courage is changing your life.  You're reading this article, so clearly you must be interested in amping up the awesomeness of your existence.  I think this is easier said than done.  Our last lesson (#1, Positivity), helps us acknowledge what is right with our lives, instead of what is wrong with it.  But it often takes real courage to admit the truth.  There are things about everyone's lives that just plain suck.  For a few minutes, I want you to get real about those areas.  We're not going to gloss them over with phrases like "needs improvement" or "not my best quality," it is OK to say "Hey, this sucks!"  Do it right now: take some time, think of maybe four or five things in your life that really just suck.  Make a brief list and come back when you're ready.

Many people's lists revolve around things like money, relationships with other people, health, or their jobs.  Some people spend their entire lives complaining about these four things.  There's always going to be something you can't fix or change, such as a debilitating illness, or the need to pay your bills.  But there are things you can do to change your life.

I don't often talk about myself in my blog articles, but this series is different than anything I've written to date, so here's a bit of background for you:  I have a rare genetic disorder (you could call it a disease, but I hate that word) which actually does make life much tougher for me than other people. It is called X-linked Dominant Erythropoietic Protoporphyria, and I'm the genetic lottery winner; only a handful of people alive today have XDEPP.  I'm sensitive to light, which means I need to bundle up whenever I go outside.  On certain days, I get get by with pretty scarves or hats and sunglasses, and I try to glamorize it all by imagining I'm the reincarnation of Jackie O.  Nevertheless, it does suck.  I can't change it, but I can make my life a bit more comfortable by dressing it up the way I like.

This also makes me much more flexible about other things.  I have to spend a lot of time indoors because sunlight is not my friend.  And yes -- it sucks not being able to go to the beach and swim around, it sucks not to be able to just go shopping or out for coffee with my friends anytime I want.  Lengthy road trips also suck, because I'm basically held hostage by the sun.  There's no use complaining about it; I just deal with it.

But as I deal with it, I also make changes to my life so that I can enjoy what is available to me.  Since I spend lots of time indoors, I make the most of my time.  I throw parties for my friends, read avidly, play video games, cook unusual things, exercise in the house (thanks to my recumbent bike & a series of great yoga & pilates DVDs); I work hard out of my home, providing readings for many of you, tweeting, blogging, and applying my skills to various business tasks.  I enjoy time inside my "bubble."  This is the environment I create for myself.  On good days, I get to go visit other people, have coffee, see live music, go on the occasional vacation, and of course, go see my healthcare providers.  I am always changing and evolving inside my bubble.  And, in recent years, as I've begun to manage my health issues better -- to my delight, the bubble is expanding, too.  Anyone can expand their bubble.  Try to seek areas that are just out of your comfort zone, and soon they will be a part of the bubble too.

Change.  Grow.  Find exciting and pleasurable things to fill the holes.  It's fine to look through the positive lens, but sometimes you also need to actively seek more for yourself.  You deserve it!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Like Me on Facebook! :)