We’re Exactly Where We’re Supposed To Be

November 10, 2022

We are all truly right where we’re supposed to be, even if we would prefer to be in better shape, further ahead financially, or a better partner. Wishing we’re anywhere but exactly where we are is a recipe for suffering and frustration. The reality is that we don’t know how things “should“ be, nor can we see how our current situation is going to work out over time.

“Accept – then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”Eckhart Tolle

Buddha on a shelf. Right where we're supposed to be.W.W.B.D. (What Would the Buddha Do?)

The Buddha was quite clear that attachment is one of the major causes of suffering. The concept of attachment applies to more than people and things. In the attempt to rid ourselves of suffering, we must go deeper. One of the most difficult attachments to work through is the attachment to a preconceived notion of who we should be or where we’re supposed to be in life.

The Tools I Use

I am going to share a few of the tools that seem to help in my journey to accept myself “as is, where is”. By no means am I anywhere near enlightened, and I still deal with the frustration and suffering of feeling that life isn’t in alignment with what I would like it to be. I will probably go to the grave working to inch closer to a state of full acceptance. Hopefully some of the following suggestions will help others find contentment, wherever they are in life.

Self Compassion

Being strict with ourselves is a badge of honour worn by many entrepreneurs and overachievers. It is important to temper these expectations with compassion. We can’t be right every time, we can’t make every sale, and sometimes we just need a day on the couch binge watching nonsense and eating junk food. The key to those days is to revel in them and to not feel like that was the “wrong” thing to do. Chalk it up to letting our minds run through a maintenance cycle so that we’re ready for the next challenge.

Forget FOMO

The fear of missing out (FOMO) has never been more prevalent than in today’s society. Especially with so many people bragging on social media about what’s going great in their lives and omitting the rest. Once we learn how to throw away the measuring stick and stop comparing ourselves to others, we are able to accept where we are in life. There will always be others we can compare ourselves to no matter what we accomplish or obtain. It has been said many times that comparison is the thief of joy.

Chilling out. Right where we're supposed to be.Try JOMO 

The joy of missing out (JOMO) can be a powerful concept if we’re able to embrace it. Everything we add to our lives is, in one way or another, more work. Things need to be maintained, people often bring drama, new ventures often require a steep investment of time and money. I’m not suggesting that we all just sit and do nothing, though that can be very helpful at times. We should aim to only choose the pursuits and purchases that give back more than they cost us. Anything that takes more than it gives can then be joyfully avoided. Don’t consider it “missing out” but opting out. 

Put Away the Guilt

Accept that our choices, no matter what the intention or result, were what led us to this point in our life. It may have been incredibly difficult or frustrating, but if you’re reading this, it didn’t kill you. Many of us wear guilt like a layer of skin, as if it’s just there and we have to accept it as part of life. We walk around like Jacob Marley in “A Christmas Carol” with a link of chain for every perceived mistake we’ve ever made. 

Girl on fence. Let It Go

In the words of a young Disney princess: “let it go”. If we can make amends for past mistakes, and we actually want to, then we should. If we can’t or won’t, then we should accept that as well. We can still hold on to the lesson from a situation without dragging the guilt and regret around too. Guilt does not fix the mistakes of the past, just as anxiety does not solve the problems of the future. 

Don’t Assign Labels

How much guilt and anxiety could we shed by coming to terms with the events and decisions from our past? Even the ones  in the future will simply be what they will be. Nothing is good or bad, right or wrong. Life is going to throw at us what it will and we will make decisions that make the most sense to us at the time. Some decisions will result in our desired outcomes, some won’t. We learn from our losses and grow from our wins. 

why me? “Why is this happening to me?” 

It’s a question that runs through everyone’s mind from time to time, but isn’t it interesting that it’s seldom asked when things are going well. It’s a good habit to review the events and actions that led us to both pleasant and unpleasant outcomes. What we shouldn’t do though is dwell on the question. Whatever is going on at any given point is just that: what’s going on. We will deal with it to the best of our knowledge and abilities. Even having major setbacks is still part of our path. Difficulties will never disappear completely from our lives, no matter how much we plan or try to mitigate them. We can only aspire to accept the wins and losses from a calm consistent center. 

So What Now?

Setting and achieving goals, striving towards abundance, and realizing our best selves are all important things to focus on in life. None of these pursuits require us to suffer. The tools I’ve laid out are not silver bullets and this is by no means a “hack”. It will take time and mindful effort to accept that despite the gap between where we think we are and where we think we should be, we truly are right where we’re supposed to be. Looking for more? Check this article- I Work So Hard, Why Am I Not Happy?

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