I was in a session with a life coach in 2012 when she interrupted me mid rant and said, “Take a breath. All is well”. There was a long period of silence on the phone and she said it again, in a whisper this time; “All is well.”
The words fell on me like a hammer and my gut reaction was “No! Things are not well, I am not well. Things aren’t where I want them to be just yet.” But I didn’t say those words. Instead I took a deep breath and asked myself if she could be right.
I had been going to therapy weekly, to work on those things that therapy is good for when you are divorcing an addict, and I felt like it was paying off. My own crazy had been teased apart and was straightening out. I was learning to respond, parent and live in a way that felt much more emotionally intelligent and much more like the me I used to be. But the addict was still a taunter, his effect on his children was still dramatic and sad, and we were in a post divorce legal battle that both scared and angered me.
This is not what I wanted divorce to look like, it’s not what I wanted my new life to feel like, and no, it did not seem that all was well.
For days I rehearsed the phrase “all is well,” just the same.
In my head it sounded more like a question than a statement. I wondered if it would fit. I wondered if it were true. Could it be? What remained of my “type A” personality told me to be skeptical. What if believing “all is well” lead me to settling, giving up and never getting the happiness, peace and love in my life that I wanted? What if I embraced “all is well”—might things never change?
But the other voice in my head, the newer, calmer one, nudged me to consider the possibility of trying out this new thought as a statement for a while. Maybe believing ‘all is well’ could be another step towards emotional freedom; a way for me to continue my progress with choosing, and allowing, for happiness in my life.
I gave it a try. I wrote, “Know that all is well” as my daily intention every morning for a week and journaled anything that came to mind for 10 to 15 minutes. What oozed onto paper and what changed in my mind helped me immensely in my pursuit of peace and happiness. It all lead me to believe that I could be content with things, even when they weren’t perfect.
“All is well” promotes the oozing of gratitude, acceptance and acknowledgement. Gratitude emerged on paper, and in my mind initially, and it exerted a humbling power of promoting happiness and contentment each day. Acceptance appeared shortly thereafter but embracing that was more difficult.
It would swoop in and out, I would doubt my efforts and if I was enough. But giving into it actually calmed my brain and brought me peace. Then acknowledgement crept in. I was able to recognize and own my progress and growth, take notice of what I’ve overcome, identify the things I’ve been able to let go and become aware of the ever changing nature of things.
Given the negativity that comes with living with an addict and going through a divorce, gratitude, acceptance and acknowledgement are powerful elixirs for self development, discovering happiness and allowing for contentment.
Gratitude is an essential tool when seeking happiness. Giving appreciation for what you have allows your heart and mind to stay there, with those things; the things that already make you happy and content. Realizing what you have instead of focusing on what’s missing can be a game changer.
Acceptance is living in the present moment, knowing you cannot change the past and realizing your control over the future or another human being is impossible. Acceptance is freeing. It eliminates the drive to take control or change things, allowing peace to enter the picture.
Acceptance is not settling for less than what you want and need. It’s seeing what is and letting that be. It’s living in the present moment and realising that you cannot change a thing, only how you react and respond to everything.
Acknowledgement is owning your progress and prowess and that of others in your life. Understanding all the while that circumstances are ever changing and that nothing lasts forever. It’s a nod to your efforts and the impermanence of life challenges and events. Acknowledgement is your own private “atta girl/boy.” It’s self validation and it promotes self love.
The elixirs side effects. For me, acknowledgement was the most powerful side effect and result of embracing “all is well.” Gratitude was already a daily practice and acceptance was an ongoing experiment. But acknowledgement had not visited me yet.
In acknowledging me, my present past and future, I was able to see the fluidity of my life. I was able to recognise how possible it is for things to change and improve and I was able to see how my efforts and intentions affected that change and how sometimes change just happens.
Acknowledgement relinquished me of the fear that things might not get better. Things are always changing. My situation has changed. I have changed. And all for the better.
The longer term effect of embracing and believing “all is well” is the peace it brings, the happiness it allows in, and the trust and hope that it fosters.
Peace in knowing there’s nothing you can do to change another person or event, happiness in being grateful for what you have, trust in the Universe and its ever changing nature, and hope that there is better yet to come, as a result of what you are capable of doing. And all of those things provide a comfy feeling of contentment.
All is well.
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Apprentice Editor: Ffion Jones / Editor: Catherine Monkman