Seven Things that Make Life Harder than it Has to Be
By Molly Patrick
Oct 1, 2022,
Life can be pretty hard. For all the people.
It’s hard for different reasons but, categorically, to be human is to experience challenges and the emotions that go along with them.
We might very much want to control the stuff that makes life hard, but we can’t.
And yet. There are some things we can control that make life harder than it has to be.
- Being hungover
- Arguing with reality
- Needing to be right (even when we probably are)
- Judging our emotions
- The desire to be perfect
- Putting responsibility for how we feel on other people
- Not being open to feedback
Let’s break them down.
There’s nothing like adding extra weight to an already uphill battle by feeling physically horrendous, especially when it’s by one’s own doing. I’m not saying you should quit drinking, but waking up without a hangover is a beautiful gift I never take for granted.
Arguing with reality
This one is sneaky because thinking that things or people should be different than they are comes naturally and can feel so appropriate.
- Like, yeah, of course climate change shouldn’t be happening.
- Of course animals shouldn’t suffer.
- That person really shouldn’t chew with their mouth wide open.
- Loved ones definitely shouldn’t get sick.
- Of course we shouldn’t die.
- It obviously shouldn’t be so hot/cold/humid/dry/rainy/windy.
- That dude shouldn’t drive like a dick.
- The world should absolutely be more fair and just.
- My body should for sure work perfectly all the time.
OF COURSE ALL THE THINGS THAT SHOULD OR SHOULDN’T BE.
But my dear, whether we like them or not, things are exactly how they should be.
How do I know?
Because this is how they are.
Sure, maybe things will change to exactly how you want them at some point.
Maybe they won’t.
But as long as we’re spinning about how things should be different, we make it harder for ourselves to accept what’s in front of us right now.
And when we don’t accept what’s in front of us, we can never take steps to either change it or make peace with it.
Don’t miss that, it’s important. If we want to make change or make peace, we first have to accept how things are, and then we can move forward with purpose and intention.
Needing to be right (even when we probably are)
I don’t know why this is so important to us, but it is.
When we drop the incessant need to be right, a weight lifts.
So you’re right.
So you’re wrong.
So they think you’re wrong.
So they think you’re right.
In the grand scheme of things, it really doesn’t matter. How much energy would be freed up if you simply dropped the desire to be right?
Judging our emotions
As humans, we experience a wide range of emotions. Some are easier to experience than others. Emotions are energetic vibrations that start in the brain and can be felt in different areas of the body. Feeling different vibrations in the body and processing them out of the body is not as scary as most people think.
- Experiencing the raw emotion of sadness is a beautiful thing.
- Witnessing the vibration of anger in your body is powerful.
- Sitting with loneliness is quite healing.
- Holding space for disappointment is a gift.
- Connecting with anxiety can be therapeutic.
What fucks us up is when we judge our emotions for showing up by telling ourselves we shouldn’t be feeling whatever we’re feeling (see, there’s that word again). You 100% should be feeling whatever you’re feeling.
There’s nothing wrong with feeling mad, sad, bored, angry, jealous, insecure, anxious, disappointed, scared, devastated, or any other feeling.
These are all emotions that humans feel.
There is no certain way you should or shouldn’t be feeling.
Judging yourself for having a human experience won’t make being human any easier, it only makes it harder.
And if you’re about to go down the rabbit hole of judging yourself for judging yourself, stop, back up, and set that down.
Humans judge. That’s just another thing we do. But we can become aware when we’re doing it and remind ourselves that it’s not useful.
The desire to be perfect
It’s just not going to happen. Ever. For anyone.
So ease into your imperfection.
Or jump in head first.
Lap it up.
Reluctantly go there.
Do whatever you must to embrace imperfection because trying to be something that literally doesn’t exist is fucking exhausting.
It’s like waking up one day and deciding you want to be a cat the size of a giraffe.
You can try. You can give it your all. You can do your absolute best. But, my friend, I’m certain this desire will set you up for disappointment. But only every time.
That’s more interesting and beautiful than perfection ever could be.
Putting responsibility for how we feel on other people
As long as you think other people are the reason you feel one way or another, you’ll be giving your power away. When you have the life-changing realization that only you are in charge of how you feel, you can take responsibility for your life and reclaim all your power.
It’s easy to blame others for your feelings, actions, and results, but when you adult up and recognize that you are in charge of your life, it becomes an inside job, and no one else has to change or do anything differently for you to have the life you want.
Not being open to feedback
We tend to get defensive and close up when things are brought to our attention that we could improve upon.
Maybe the person bringing this to our attention is wrong. Maybe they’re right. Maybe they’re a bit of both. But we will never know if we aren’t open to receiving feedback from other humans, especially humans who love us.
We have a limited view of ourselves because we are very much in our own heads.
Sometimes we need other people to point out our blind spots. When we become open with a tell me everything attitude instead of automatically closing, it’s incredible what we can learn.
For the record, I have done all these things.
And indeed, they have caused unnecessary suffering in my life.
- Being hungover: Not since 2015, but before that, only about 12,867 times.
- Arguing with reality: practically second nature.
- Needing to be right: guilty as charged.
- Judging my emotions: so many times, yesterday even.
- The desire to be perfect: oh yes, I’m well familiar.
- Putting responsibility for how I feel on other people: several gold medals.
- Not being open to feedback: run, Forrest, run!!! (It’s me, I’m Forrest, running away from feedback.)
I don’t know if a person can ever fully drop all this stuff.
Apart from no longer having hangovers, I know I haven’t. But working on these things has given me enough awareness that I no longer do them automatically. And when I do, I recognize and course-correct.
None of these things are inherently bad or wrong. And you aren’t bad or wrong if you’re currently dancing with them. They just make things harder for us than necessary.
And in a world where there’s a shit-ton of hard stuff we have zero control over, it’s worth making things easier for ourselves when possible, or at least knowing that we can.
Which of these could you work on to make it easier on yourself? Talk to us in the comments below.
I hope you have a beautiful week. May it be easy.
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I love how you tell your truth!
It can be tender, or funny, or uncomfortable or all together. Your words remind me of our common denominator of humanity and help me to better put up with myself and by extension, others.