Frustration is a Signal, Not a Lifestyle Choice
by Wendy Keller, a stranger who cares about you
Freedom. Humans long for it, fight for it, die for it. If your peace of mind is constantly pecked at by frustration, freedom from frustration is your constant longing. We just have gotten so tired of beating our fists against the wall that we’re not noticing a window is open a crack. Some people resist how life works being bound like a cat on a leash; others resign themselves to sadness, pain and frustration and meekly accept a life of “quiet desperation.”
It doesn’t have to be like that.
There’s a lot we can to do reclaim happiness and peace than we sometimes allow ourselves to attempt. Frustration is a signal.
No one is denying your right to feel frustrated when things aren’t going your way. I’m not saying financial troubles, physical pain and other stressors aren’t real or that you’re not entitled to feel the feelings. I’m suggesting frustration is a signal. It’s there to force us to reevaluate our lives and choices and make new, healthier decisions; to grow emotionally or spiritually; and to build compassion and tolerance for ourselves and others. There’s often more we can to do help ourselves relieve frustration than we allow. It comes down to this:
“What you resist, persists.”
Here is the big flashing arrow pointing toward finding freedom from much of your frustration: What you resist persists. Let that phrase sink into your mind. What if your day has gone to hell because your kid’s teacher called; you’re arguing with your partner; your boss has been a real jerk all week and traffic getting home is going to make you late? Stop resisting.
Instead, force yourself to change your focus to what’s going on in your world that is beautiful, positive, enjoyable. It takes some effort. It’s a little game that has empowering consequences. Marvel at the sky if you’re in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Reflect on how previous generations had to walk and few people went as many miles in a lifetime as you do in a day. Recognize and be grateful for your clothes, the money in your wallet, the fact your car runs, whatever you can.
Stop resisting the annoyances, pain and troubles in your life. They are there. Face them and ask yourself aloud, “What’s really going on here? What can I learn from this?” This will clear your emotional field enough to allow you to let in new ideas for resolving the things you can and accepting the things you truly cannot change. Hint: you can change more than you think you can.
I’d really like to be Divine Empress of the Universe and control the crazy LA traffic; my university-attending daughter’s future career success; and end hunger in the world. You might like to have similar superpowers. When I focus on what isn’t working in the world or in my life, my attention fuels my discontent. By releasing my resistance to What Is, I see that I’m lucky to have a car, to live in LA; to have a living daughter; and to be able to share food and resources with the less fortunate.
Pretty soon, you might tip the scales in your own favor and find more good things in your life than bad. And how will that improve your mood and heal your pain?