Really, it is.
If someone had told me this a few years ago, I would have waved my hands in the air and thrown a tantrum.
I guess I have matured. Life is changing me. In some ways, experience has hardened me and in other ways, I have been softened. There is a delicate balance slowly bubbling to the surface. I love what I am becoming – mostly because I’m walking through the process with my eyes wide open. I can see the scales fall off bit by bit and the pebbles of my soul finding that exact spot, custom made for each one of them.
There is nothing easy about coming to terms with oneself but it’s something that each person will have to do at some point in their life. It is as unavoidable as death. And death, people, is really the ultimate in things not working out.
I’m a hard-working, go-getting, all-or-nothing diva of a woman and so I’ve never really taken the time to seriously learn how to be okay with some things not working out because my belief has been; if I work hard, things should work out.
Why shouldn’t they when you’re doing everything you can, right?
Well, we all know life is not that simple nor does it ever travel in a straight line. There are times in life when one plus one will give you two and other times when the equations just don’t add up.
You might dedicate so much time, energy and attention to a project that refuses to get off the ground or you might love someone with all your heart and that might not be enough to make them stay or love you back. These things happen. And they hurt. Sometimes, they even hurt like hell.
So, what do you do when you work so hard and things still don’t work out?
When you get to this point, more often than not, it’s a cue to release whatever is not working out. If you have done all that you can, step back and let things re-align themselves. Sometimes things don’t work out because it’s not the right time or we are simply not ready. And making peace with these facts of life requires an enormous awareness and understanding of the workings of time and where we fit into the larger context.
This stepping back or letting go is one of those things that do not come naturally for me. In the past, I’ve tended to keep clawing at any situation that was not working out. I genuinely and naively believed that I could fix it. For some reason I couldn’t see that most times my persistent clawing actually made things worse.
It hit me recently that there is always a reason why things don’t work out. Sometimes that reason is crystal clear but at other times, multiple reasons collide and get mixed up with each other in a way that makes no sense. This is where it gets really challenging but I figured instead of banging my head against the wall trying to understand something that doesn’t make sense; I should take the pressure off myself and focus on the things that I can control like my attitude and perspective.
A thing not working out is sometimes the only way life can speak to us and make us zero in on the things and areas that need our attention. It truly is the most effective way to learn and grow. This is sad but true.
Meaningful growth comes from a real understanding of who we are and what we are doing with ourselves and it is precisely this that we are forced to confront whenever things don’t work out.
I’ve had to face my own growth in the last few weeks. And yes, the catalyst was things going totally awry to the point where I wasn’t sure whether I was coming or going. It was extremely disconcerting. And yes, it hurt like hell.
It took a long time for me to work on my attitude and see what I needed to see. And when I did I was entirely shifted out of my comfort zone. But by temporarily surrendering that security, I have seen more areas that I need to work on; I have grown an inch and learned more about myself.
I have come closer to a fuller version of myself and even more beautiful than that, I have found my purpose.
So, if you find yourself in the midst of things not working out, remember that this could be an opportunity for you to grow. As long as you’ve done your part, it’s okay to let go. It might be excruciating but it’s okay – you’ll come through that too. Things will re-configure themselves again. It may take days, months or even years but be rest assured they will. Life has this beautiful way of working itself out and on our behalf, if we lovingly cooperate; if we see the bigger picture and engage with ourselves and listen to what life is telling us.
Sometimes, it’s okay if some things don’t work out.
Really, it is.