Most recently, my ongoing battle with frustration erupted among the cheer of the holiday season.
It was about to happen again. For the millionth year in a row now, I was going to be single at the family Christmas party. How could this be happening again? I asked myself. I have done so much to work through my issues and prepare myself to meet the man of my dreams.
Why am I still dealing with this? I am 33. I have spent the past 10 years finding my way in the world, the past five finding my true self and the past three years doing much deeper work, tending to my inner child, healing my core wounds, restructuring my beliefs and asking for help.
Why am I still single?
The more I thought about it, and the more I tried not to think about it, the more frustration I felt.
I felt like I had given everything and yet, here it was again, still an issue for me. It wasn’t the actual situation of attending the party as single that was tying my stomach in knots, rather it was the simple fact that I was still not where I wanted to be. I feel like this happens to a lot of us around major holidays, and especially around our birthdays.
So here it was, loud and clear—nope, I haven’t figured it out. There is still more inner work to do.
I fell apart. How could there possibly be more work to do? Why? Why is it so easy for others, and why am I still stuck here dealing with the same thing? Why do I feel like a hamster stuck on a lousy wheel going nowhere? This makes no sense.
More frustration overwhelmed me. More feelings of being stuck. More powerlessness and hopelessness. How useless, I thought, starting to get mad about how I felt trapped and caught in negativity, unable to escape. Frustration is a useless emotion.
Or is it?
I thought back to all I had learned in the past few years. There is no useless emotion. All emotions have purpose.
So what gift could frustration give me?
And how could I get there as soon as possible?
Luckily, I was able to pull myself out of this funk pretty quickly. Here are the five steps that helped me work through my challenge of frustration, giving me the gift of peace and realignment with my flow and purpose.
1. Understand that life gives us challenges.
Life is a collection of experiences, or depending on our perspective, a collection of challenges, big and small. These are things to work through, lessons to learn and ways for us to evolve and grow. And regardless of getting into the whole debate about whether or not on some level we chose our challenges, the reality is, that they are here now.
Frustration arises when we can’t get through these challenges quickly enough. We feel like we are always dealing with them and we’re never really figuring it out. We feel like we’re blocked and that things will never get better. The feelings of frustration may remain internal or could someday erupt into an angry rage, only to leave us feeling drained and thrown into the pit of our despair.
2. So accept the challenge now!
Now that we understand that life has challenges, realize that we do have a choice to face them or not. Honestly, how often does ignoring a problem, simply make it go away? It usually returns, at some point, bigger and worse than ever, right?
The same is true with life challenges, so let’s do ourselves a favor and proactively decide to face it now. Accept the challenge! No one said we had to like it, or agree with it. But why not start getting through it now?
We will never receive a challenge that we are not capable of handling. Trust that life works in this way. Let’s accept the challenge and see ourselves shine as we work through and overcome this obstacle.
3. Let go of control, let go of how the challenge will work out.
As we come up against a challenge, we may think we know the perfect way in how the challenge can be and should be resolved. But do we really?
Too often we decide what exactly needs to happen in order to resolve our problems. But this kind of thinking creates a strict expectation only molded by our fears. We then become stubborn and single-mindedly think it is the only way to get through the struggle.
If instead we take a step back, we will start to see that our suggested way of resolving the situation was only defined within the bounds of our comfort zone.
And does growth occur in our comfort zone? No.
Growth doesn’t happen by challenging what we already know how to do. If it did, it wouldn’t appear as a challenge and there would be no growth.
But this is okay, because we can handle it. We can work through this, but to do so we must let go of what we think we need to do.
4. Clear your mind, take inspired action, and see how it unfolds.
To move forward, you first need to get out of your thinking mind, and then connect to a space of inspiration.
Do this by quieting the mind. When we quiet the mind, we are able to reach a deep place within, a direct connection to our soul. When we are able to reach this inner space, the inspiration that we receive is in alignment with our purpose in life, and we will feel it to be so.
Meditation is a practice of quieting the mind and connecting to our inner divine self. For our modern day selves, the importance of movement prior to meditation is critical to getting to experience that connection. We live in a time of commuting and computing and it’s not easy for us to let our minds settle. What can help is physical activity.
So for example, try going for a walk. During the walk, be present. Notice your mind and let go of any thoughts about your challenges. Be present. Be simple. Inhale. Step. Exhale. Step. Step. Inhale. Be alert. Exhale. Watch within.
Then after the walk, with a clear mind, connect to a quiet inner space, the source of true wisdom and inspiration.
Simply sit down, close your eyes, relax your mind and take slow, deep breaths.
Then ask yourself: “With regards to the challenge I am facing, what can I do right now?”
Listen for your answer, which will come from within. Let it come through you. It may come as a simple idea. It may come as a commitment for you to make. It could be a little abstract, a little subtle or a concrete step that doesn’t seem so significant.
But just listen to the answer that you receive. You will know if you received it, because you will feel it. Your answer, no matter how big or small, will come with a clear feeling of relief from your frustration.
Once you hear your inspiration, the only thing you need to do is to take that small step. Simply follow through with the guidance you have received and you will feel even more relief from your frustration.
5. Continue this process.
In taking your action, you will feel an energetic release from the pressure of your challenge.
Know that the step you just took is helping you move through your challenge. And know and trust that if you keep yourself aligned and connected to your inner space of inspiration, the next steps to take will also come to you.
Inspiration flows through us when we get out of the way and align with our soul desires. By taking little steps of inspired action, we can then work through our challenges without the pain of frustration, in a state of ease and grace. To see and feel progress, continue to repeat these simple steps.
The more you practice connecting to your soul and system of inner guidance, the easier this will become and the clearer your answers will come.
We get into trouble when we become stubborn in our expectations of how a situation can work out. Our judgements, our limiting beliefs and our fears only keep us confined within the walls of frustration.
Acknowledge yourself for facing your challenge and for facing your fears. Continue to trust that you will get through this. So many of us are now awaking to consciously be aware of this process.
It may not be easy, but choose the path of least resistance. Open your mind and let yourself float down the river into happiness and lasting change. Let yourself effortlessly flow, fed by the waters of your soul, and be delivered into the calm, deep blue ocean of peace.
Author: Neomi Mustain
Image: [email protected]
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock