How do you know when your heart or higher self is calling you to make a change? Is it marked by harps and angels, or an exhilarating rush of inner knowing?
Sometimes. But more often the message that it’s time to make a change comes to us in less fantastical – and less pleasurable – ways.
There is tremendous value in so-called “negative” emotions.
Feelings like longing, despair, loneliness, or frustration are actually an invaluable part of creating a life you love. Why? Because the experience of living what you don’t want causes you to focus with much greater clarity. If not for uncomfortable emotions, you’d remain unaware of the life changes you desire to make. This is the value of contrasting emotions.
Contrast = the gap between what you want and what you’ve got.
Contrast is what we experience when something in our outer world is out of alignment with something we deeply desire.
Sometimes it manifests as an immediate unwanted situation: A project you’ve been banking on falls through at the last minute. Or your child gets hurt and has to be rushed to the hospital.
At other times, contrast shows up as a build-up of mildly aggravating factors: You get stuck in traffic on your way to an important meeting. A coworker makes an exceptionally snarky comment. Or you’re just having “one of those days” where you’re constantly dropping or bumping into things.
Whether it shows up as something mildly irritating or majorly unsettling, contrast serves a very specific purpose. It draws our attention to a discord that exists between our inner desires and our outer reality. And this discord creates a point of tension that we register in our bodies and minds as a feeling of discontent. But it’s from this very point of tension that a new intention is born. And this intention, when acknowledged rather than squelched, can lead us to a life that is unimaginable from where we now stand.
Painful emotions signal that it’s time to make a change.
Whenever there is discord between our inner desire and any outer condition, that discord will eventually create a tipping point. We reach a threshold mentally, emotionally, and energetically at which we simply “can’t take it anymore.” And it’s this discomfort that motivates us to bridge the gap between what we want and what we have.
A 3-step process to freedom
Now admittedly, it’s difficult to access the motivation to change when you’re knee-deep in frustration, anger or loneliness. But taking yourself through the following 3 steps will guide you out of the darkness of confusion and into the light of possibility.
Step #1: Accept that you are where you are.
This may sound obvious, but it’s really worth considering. Because so often we try to rush past where we are in an effort to get to someplace better.
We say trite things like “this too shall pass,” without truly acknowledging all that the present moment has to offer.
The fact is, the wisdom you need to make a change in your life is entwined within the very circumstances you now find yourself in. By fully embracing the contrast of what isn’t working, you open yourself up to clarity and new direction.
For example: if you’re feeling lonely and misunderstood in your current relationship, those emotions contain vital information about what you would prefer. Maybe you’re longing for a more authentic connection, or for someone who shares more of your core values. Maybe you’re feeling as though you’ve done all the growing you can do with this person and it’s time to move on. You might be feeling that it’s time to take a break from relationships altogether and dive deep into your own inner world.
There’s no end to the wisdom that can be extracted from every circumstance you find yourself. But you have to be willing to look, and open to really receiving the messages you find.
Reflect on a key area of your life where your soul is urging you to make a change, and list all the things about which you are discontent. Then look deeper than the circumstances to discover what it is you’re truly longing to experience. The moment you accept things as you are, you open the door for them to change.
Step #2: Acknowledge that no matter where you are, you always have the power to direct your thoughts.
There are no inherently “good” and “bad” situations. Because in every moment of time, we have the power to choose how and where we direct our focus.
Your experience in every moment is the direct result of the perspective you hold. If you’re fixated on what’s missing, who’s done you wrong, or your own shortcomings, you block the very solutions you seek. You can feel in your gut that it’s time for a change, but you have no idea how to bring it about.
The important thing to remember is that whenever something unwanted shows up in your experience, you have a choice in how you view it. You can choose to see it as temporary, and as a springboard into something better, rather than something you’re stuck with. You can choose to see it as an opportunity to grow and evolve, rather than as an excuse to beat yourself up. And finally, you can choose to see any contrasting experience as providing the very fuel you need to make the changes you desire.
Step #3: Decide who you want to be in this situation.
Whenever life shows us that we’re ready to make a change, we are faced with one fundamental choice. We can cast ourselves in the role of the victim, and regard ourselves as weak or as having made a mistake. Or we can use this unwanted experience to clarify the person we now desire to be.
“Who do I want to be in this situation?” is perhaps the most powerful question you can ask yourself anytime you’re faced with an unwanted condition.
Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and pose this question to yourself right now. Then give yourself permission to receive whatever answer comes forth from your higher self. You may hear something along the lines of, “I want to be a person of gratitude. I want to be a person who trusts life. I want to be an empowered person who looks for solutions rather than dwells on problems.”
This single question cuts through contrasting experiences with laser precision, leaving us in the clarity of what we do what, instead of what we don’t. This is freedom in its purest form, and it’s also the path to actualizing the changes you most want to make.
These 3 steps will support you in turning contrast into clarity. The unwanted situations of our lives are always the birthing place of the changes we deeply desire to make.
Christy Whitman is an energy healer, Master Certified Law of Attraction Coach, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Art of Having It All: A Woman’s Guide to Unlimited Abundance. Her forthcoming book The Desire Factor: How to Embrace Your Materialistic Nature to Reclaim Your Full Spiritual Power is available for pre-order now at www.thedesirefactor.com. She communicates with, and for, The Quantum Council, a collection of non-physical ascended masters who desire to help humanity understand that we are divinely designed for well-being, abundance, success, and loving relationships. You can take the first step in alignment and creating your desires by a free 30-day program called Watch Your Words by going here: www.watchyourwords.com.