Each path is unique. What works for me won’t necessarily work for you. Guidance is all any of us can seek on our paths; there is no absolute, no answer to each question to make it easier. This is life; there isn’t a manual.
Seeing the Forest Through the Trees
Look at the forest in which you path lies. Take note of each tree as well as other flora and fauna. Take a deep breath to pull in what you are experiencing, to make it real. Accept that it is what it is: a path through a forest made of trees.
Too often we approach our forests with expectations for each step. It is difficult to see the sunshine through the rain. It is hard to think positive thoughts when your life has built you up to expecting this to be difficult and wretched. You put that label on it, though. And you’re touchy about anyone suggesting you try to see the bright side.
Don’t look for the bright side. Don’t look for the dark, negative side, either. Don’t look at all towards the ends of the spectrum. Just look at what is.
It Is What It Is
When you approach a situation with expectations and emotions, you are already skewing the outcome. You expected that task to be difficult, even though you are hoping for great rewards once it is completed. You are going to make it harder on yourself by doing this. The positive outcome is going to seem that much further away, and each step of the path towards it is going to drive you nearer to your breaking point.
Approach each situation, each forest, each step of your path with a definition of what it is… not what it could be. Say it with me now, “This is the step I am taking now.” Don’t give it an adjective (or adverb). Do not say it is a tough step or an easy one or one that must be endured or suffered. Do not look at a rocky path surrounded by dark, leafless trees and assume the worst. Do not look at a smooth path, sun-dappled as it stretches in front of you through beautiful, flowering trees and assume it is going to be easy. Stop assuming. Stop labeling. Just look at what is.
It is a path. It is through a forest. This forest does have trees. Recognize the trees, take in the whole forest, and start on your path. Don’t look for good or bad, easy or hard. The sunshine is; the rain is. The trees are; the clouds are. It just is.
Keep your goals in mind. Do not lose sight of the end result you hope to achieve. Take note of each step on the path that will get you to that goal. That is your positive outlook. You are looking out at your goal at the end of your path through the tree-filled forest and you are going to get there.
Then your path through the forest is really up to you. Just look at what is and proceed apace. You’ll reach your goals more easily and possibly even more quickly.
Say it again:
This is the step I am taking now.