I was contemplating a situation that was happening in my personal life one morning on my walk, and I was really focusing in on the unfairness of it all.
Yes, I’m a life coach, and I was feeling sorry for myself and indulging in the “victim role”.
I use the word indulging because I knew what I was doing, and I knew my thoughts were not helpful, but I allowed them in anyway.
This is kind of like eating chocolate or drinking a glass of wine when feeling stressed out. You know it isn’t going to actually help the situation, but in the moment, it’s hard to resist the distraction.
We humans do this sometimes. And, it’s perfectly fine as long as we don’t pile shame onto ourselves later or continue in the indulgence for so long that it then creates its own set of problems.
Certainly, if we stay in the “victim role” too long, we begin to make it a part of our identity. This is where many of us get stuck and begin to feel helpless and hopeless. It’s a very disempowering place to stay for too long.
So, on this particular morning, one of the thoughts that helped me make a mindset shift was one of gratitude. Gratitude is always sure to be a winner.
The thought that came to me was, “Look at all of the provisions the Universe has provided for you. There is no reason why you can’t weather the storm.”
The idea of provisions came from a Joel Osteen sermon I watched several years ago. In that inspirational sermon, Pastor Osteen spoke about how God always gives us provisions to get through the tough parts of life.
The simple definition of provisions is: something provided; a measure or other means for meeting a need.
When I initially heard this sermon, I thought about a time many years ago when I was a young woman and lost my mother. She and I were very close, best friends in fact, and it was a profound loss for me. At the time, I was newly dating my now-husband, Jerry. I’ve often wondered how I would have managed the painful grief I experienced back then had I not had Jerry’s support to help me through it.
This makes me smile because I don’t know how Jerry would feel about being called a provision, but I promise I mean it in a very fond way!
So, this week, as I walked, I thought of all of the provisions I have in my life to help me today. Not only do I have a bounty of supportive friends and family, but other assets and resources as well.
I stood at my favorite lookout place over the lake and reflected on all of this.
As I’ve mentioned before, the erosion along the shores of Lake Erie has been rather severe, and on this day, I noticed that more of the bank had crumbled into the lake. I then spotted a lone tree floating in the water, still standing upright, thanks to its root system. (As shown in the picture above.)
I felt a kindred connection with that tree.
“I’m like that tree,” I thought. “Standing tall and strong, being held up by so very many amazing supports and resources.”
I was overcome with love and gratitude.
I remembered just how very, very blessed I am, and I know for sure, that I can thrive, no matter the challenge.
Now let’s shift our focus to YOU.
If you are reading this and thinking, “Well, fine Tracy. What if I don’t have the kind of provisions in my life that you are talking about here?”
Well, my friend, that’s just your victim brain throwing a temper tantrum. Go ahead and indulge, if you like, but then be willing to let it go because it’s not serving you.
I have never met a human being who does not have some type of support or resources in their life.
(And I should mention here that I worked with clients in the community mental health system and at the homeless shelter for many years.)
So, if you are going through a struggle right now, think about what provisions you have been blessed with.
Are there friends, family members, or professionals who can provide some support for you? What resources can you draw from? What assets are available to you?
And, be open to the thought that there are things to be grateful for without exception.
Gratitude is one of the most valuable tools ever for making a mindset shift, and it is always available to you.
You just have to let it in.