After everything I’ve been through to get back to feeling sane, I feel like I’ve reached a point where I’ve accepted the circumstances of life. Rather than gripe and complain about how much better life could be (or how much this mama would love a vacation), these days I try and focus on what I actually can control – which, come to find out, is a lot more than you might think.
As we get closer to it being one year since the COVID pandemic upended all our lives, I wanted to share with you today a few truthbombs to help remind you that you still have control over your life – even if it hasn’t felt that way. My hope is that by the end of this post, you’ll want to start to refer back to these truthbombs in your day-to-day life as a way to ground yourself anytime you begin to feel like life is getting out of your control.*
*This blog post is not meant for moms who feel severely depressed nor is it a substitute for help from a professional.
1. Lack is a myth. Your life is full of abundance.
Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”– Eckhart Tolle
Abundance is a state of mind and I believe that our thoughts and beliefs can limit what we have or don’t have. When I discovered this, I had to shift my mindset from one of lack (there isn’t enough) to one of abundance (there is more than enough).
One area that I practice this is in my finances. When I pay my bills (which we all have to do) instead of feeling bitter about not being able to do fun things with it, I repeat this mantra, “I have more than enough money for everything I want.” At first, it felt fake to say it, but over time, it became less awkward.
Since I started doing this a few years ago, I always have more than enough money for not just emergency expenses, but to do things that I want to do. Even after a crazy work year in 2019, then the longest layoff ever in 2020, I still 100% live by this mantra. We have a sticky note on our bathroom mirror to remind us of this every time we wash our hands.
We might not have total control over how our finances look year after year, but we do have 100% percent control over how we feel about our financial situation. You do, too.
2. You can only control what’s right in front of you – not the future, or the past.
Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”– Buddha
Over time, I’ve realized that I react less and less to dramatic change or events. It’s hard for me to say exactly how I’ve evolved to this state (surely yoga and meditation have helped), but I think that controlling my focus on what’s in front of me, or what’s happening today, has been a key part of this.
Sh*t happens sometimes (as 2020 clearly reminded us). By focusing on the present moment, you’re putting energy and focus into something you can control – the here and now. After all, the only moment you have is right now.
Pay attention to how often your mind wanders to the past or future. When you catch it wandering away from right now, bring your attention back. Tell yourself something like, “Right now is perfect. There are no problems to solve right now.”
Our brains like to problem solve when we are stressed out. And it will turn anything into a problem just to try and solve it. Just be sure that you are only allowing your mind to mull over present circumstances. When I do that, I feel more in control.
3. Your reactions are in your control.
No one can make you jealous, angry, vengeful, or greedy – unless you let him.”– Napoleon Hill
You’ve learned how to react to good and bad news by watching others as you grew up. But now that you’re grown, understand that you can choose to react differently. The way that you react to life is in your control. You can choose to shift your energy in a more positive direction. Just because something crappy happened to you doesn’t mean you have to allow yourself to explode into a frenzy (because you’ve seen others react that way).
Remember, your reaction affects you (and your body). Make a conscious effort to watch how you react to others and try not to allow yourself to react negatively. If you do react negatively, try not to dwell on what caused you to react for very long. Otherwise, you are giving over control of your emotions to something or someone outside yourself.
As a highly sensitive person, I know what it’s like to want to please everyone. And when something I do or say seems to have created a negative reaction, it’s difficult for me not to empathize. However, it’s important to not allow the feelings of others to influence my reactions. I constantly check in with myself to make sure that I’m staying true to myself.
4. No one else can control your thoughts, ideas, and dreams.
What you create internally is something that no one can take away from you. It is something of which you have an infinite supply.”– Constance Wu
No matter what craziness is happening in the world (today or in the future), the one thing that the world can’t take away from you are the things you create with your heart and mind.
Creators far and wide are known for digging their heels into their creative work during times of stress and turmoil. For myself, brainstorming ideas and dreams for my future is a way to cope with chaos. I might not be able to control when life returns to normal, but I can control what I do with my creative thoughts, ideas, and dreams right now.
Aside from the creative work I do on this blog, I try and jot down as much of my thoughts and ideas on paper as I can. Otherwise, I’ll forget because of the usual mom-life distractions. This year, I have created permanent homes for my thoughts and ideas to live, like projects I’d like to complete, in my planner*, journals, or notebooks. I encourage you to start doing the same.
(*This Amazon affiliate link takes you to the exact planner I’m using this year to help me stay organized with all the things I have to do for my blog and around my house. This is my first year using a planner to help me stay on top of mom-life, and so far I feel less stressed since my to-dos are on paper rather than dancing around my head. Prior to using a planner, I considered myself someone who hated to-do lists. But now, I’m glad my to-dos are written down somewhere so that I don’t have to remember them. It’s also helped me stay focused. Read my full affiliate disclaimer here.)
Journaling my thoughts and ideas helps me to process things more clearly. It’s something that, over the years, has helped me feel more in control of my mental chatter. If you’ve never tried this before, journaling could be a great way for you to feel more in control of your life, too.
Hopefully one (or all four) of these truthbombs resonated with you today, mama. Next time you start feeling like your life is getting a bit out of control, remember:
- Life is full of abundance and you have more than enough.
- Right now is perfect and there are no problems for you to solve.
- While you can’t control what happens to you, you can control how you react.
- Your thoughts, ideas and dreams are always in your control.
Even with the best systems in place, feeling out of control will happen. This is just a normal part of life. And as with all other feelings, it isn’t permanent.
If after reading through these truthbombs you still feel like things are out of control, be kind to yourself. Talk to someone you trust or seek out help from a licensed therapist, especially if you’ve been feeling hopeless.