Guest Post | Shifting Your Focus

focus

We’ve all struggled in our own ways, had hardships to overcome. You’ve likely heard that everything happens for a reason. Think about how your past has influenced your present. You wouldn’t be who you are today without the struggles of yesterday.  Now take a moment to think about how your present will impact your future. What is your relationship with the hurdles that have been put in your life’s path? Do you look back at them with resentment, contempt, anger? Do you look back on them and feel thankful, stronger or wiser?

 

It’s easy to get caught up in the negative feelings associated with your struggles. I’ve been there. Woe is me. Everything bad happens to me. I can’t catch a break. Everything that can go wrong does. It got to the point that those were no longer thoughts that crossed my mind in passing, they became a constant state of being. I could no longer see the good in things. Everything was dreary. I couldn’t even enjoy the good times because I was letting the bad times drag me down. I’m talking bad things that happened years ago were still being carried by me on my journey. Almost like a possession that I took with me, packed it up so it came with me on every move.

Then, something happened. I started to shift my focus. It didn’t happen overnight and I can’t pinpoint it to a particular moment. It was something that happened slowly and over time. It was a process. What I’ve noticed is that it became a habit. I started looking for the lesson in things. If something bad, unexpected or undesired happened, I looked for what I could learn from it for next time. Instead of being a victim of my circumstances, I started to grow from these challenges. Even my relationship with bad things began to change. They were no longer this storm cloud hanging over my head waiting to strike me with lightning as I was already drowning. It was more of a pothole that I didn’t see in the road because I was too busy looking up and around me enjoying the beautiful view.

I know that you’re going to think that I probably have it made. I don’t. I know you are going to think that it was easy for me. It wasn’t.

Don’t start going to that place. That place that you feel like no one understands you, no one knows how hard you have it, no one knows what it’s like, how you feel, what you’re going through. I’m not trying to devalue your feelings, what I am trying to do is change your focus. Think of yourself as a magnet. You are going to attract what consumes your thoughts. Don’t misconstrue this, I’m not saying you deserve or asked for whatever hardships you’ve endured. What I am saying is that you are attracting further hardships and negativity by not finding the lesson in your struggles.

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I know this is probably going to cut deep for some people, especially those that need to hear it most. I’ve been there. At first you’ll probably be put off by this post. Resentful. You might not even like me even though you don’t know me. Please let this post marinate in your mind and heart. You need to let go. Let go of the pain, the hurt, the suffering. Stop carrying it around with you. Pull over to the side of the road and unload that large piece of luggage you’ve been carrying around with you. The one that’s loaded with all of the bad things that have happened and you are taking with you on the journey of the rest of your life. The luggage is beat up, wet, old and heavy and there you are tugging it along anyway.

Once you are able to abandon it, move forward and experience life without it things will change. You will be able to go through life happier, lighter, freer. Think about it, you aren’t carrying that suitcase full of hurt, doubt, fear, pain, or despair around with you. You might miss it at first. You’ve been carrying that around with you for a long time. You’ll feel a lightness that you haven’t felt in so long that it seems unnatural. Don’t go back and pick up that bag! Here are some things you can do to help you stay focused and keep you from turning around to go back for that back that has been dragging you down:

  • Take up a hobby- keeping yourself busy with something positive and healthy that you enjoy is a great way to keep your mind from going back for that luggage! Try something new or something you haven’t done in a long time.
  • Ask for help- you’ve been carrying that baggage around for awhile. Maybe you need to talk to someone you’re close to, maybe you need to find a counselor to help you find healing, maybe you need a support group in another area where the sense of anonymity can help you be honest with your feelings to help you accept, release and move on without carrying them around all of the time.
  • Meditate- this is a great way to discover more about yourself and find who you are, whether it be in spite of the pain or because of it. If you’ve never meditated before or if you have and just weren’t good at it, check out guided meditations on YouTube there are plenty to choose from. I’ll leave you with a couple just to help get you started.
  • Listen to your gut-if something came to mind that I didn’t mention, that’s probably an avenue you should explore.

It will be difficult at first because change isn’t easy. By focusing your time, energy and attention on finding the lesson in your situations, and looking for the good in all things, you are taking the power away from the negativity of the past. I know it’s hard, but you can do this! The more you do it, the easier it gets, eventually it becomes a habit and you don’t even have to think about it!

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Meditation videos to get you started-

10 minute positive affirmation guided meditation-

Soothing sounds of nature-

 

It doesn’t have to be sounds of nature, or a gentle voice. Let the music take your mind on a journey-

If you need someone to talk to or help you find ways to get around all of the reasons why you can’t, please feel free to contact me at nikissimplelife@gmail.com or on my website and I’ll do my best to help you find resources in your area that can help you.

 

 

About Niki Lopez 2 Articles
I'm a Worthiness Ambassador, empowering women and helping them discover their self-identity to live a life of purpose. By living in service to others, I have been able to live a life more rewarding and fulfilling than I could have ever imagined! After overcoming my 17 year battle with depression, I have been able to live a healthy life for the past 4 years where kindness is abundant, mindfulness is a requirement and gratefulness is a daily practice.

6 Comments

    • Thank you so much for reading Linda. I appreciate your feedback. When I wrote that I was writing a picture that I had in my head and it put things into perspective for me. I’m glad that part spoke to you :) Thank you so much!

  1. What a wonderful post Niki, such truthful words that really resonated with me, particularly now. I was obviously meant to read this today, because it’s helped me with some profound reminders. Thank you.

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