Original Link : https://medium.com/the-ascent/embrace-the-joy-of-living-to-be-fulfilled-with-the-plans-that-life-has-for-you-9ca19c8c0c29

We are a living miracle, but we take it for granted. Even if we don’t have anything, there is a lot to be grateful. Beauty is around us whether we want to see it or not.

The thing is that we ask too much.

When we were growing up, we got used to receiving. Everything was served to us, and anything was done for us.

We are receivers by default, and that is a problem.

We have a mindset that limits our capability to be fulfilled with our lives. We compare what we get with what we expect, and there’s always something not good enough to highlight.

That’s how scarcity rules our minds.

If we focus on what we don’t have, we don’t see what we have. We ignore the abundance in our life because we spend it seeking perfect results.

We miss the joy of living while we are dreaming about something else.

Perfection could be a curse

Perfection is a dangerous word. Nothing can be absolutely perfect, and everything has its own perfection. But we tend to want absolute perfection instead of recognizing the perfection that lies everywhere.

We want the perfect life, the perfect family, the perfect job, the perfect house, the perfect everything. And we won’t find it even if we live three lives.

If we want perfection, we ignore the perfection that already is.

But we won’t get anything better until we are deeply grateful for what we are getting now. We must stop expecting, to nurture everything we do have in our lives.

We are starting for ourselves.

Self-love

Talking about my broken leg.

I always thought I had a lot of self-esteem, but that’s not quite the same as self-love. You could be proud of the person you think you are, but that doesn’t mean that you are giving YOU, the love you need.

In our quest for the life of our dreams, we may be very hard on ourselves. We don’t get the rest that our brain needs, the exercise that our body needs and the compassion that our soul needs.

Before crashing into the wall that made me change my perspective of life, I wanted to be perfect. There was so much I had to change, that I was desperately running in circles.

I didn’t sleep enough, my eating habits were a disaster, had many friends but felt lonely, wanted to have a partner and seemed that there was no one for me, used to drink a lot of alcohol and, in spite of working 12 hours a day, I wasn’t making enough money.

I was so focused on everything I wanted to accomplish that I forgot that there was someone left behind, myself.

That’s not all. The way I was speaking to me, was terrible. There were no loving words. All there was, was shame and regret. My worst enemy was trapped inside my head.

My insecurities kept growing every day, and I didn’t trust in my capabilities to succeed. I had failed so much, that I thought I was a failure.

Perfect people don’t fail (that’s what I thought). All I wanted, was to be perfect. So failing was the worst thing that could happen to me. Many times I didn’t try, and many others, I didn’t finish.

But what I didn’t see back then, is that failure builds success. Every successful person failed thousands of times before hitting a home run. What I thought was a shame, is actually, the way to accomplish great things.

When I realized that my first obstacle was myself (oh beautiful ego!), I started to be kinder to the person that I am now. I understood that if I don’t love me enough, I will never be enough.

Heal the relationship we have with ourselves

We are our habits. If we improve the things we do every day, we improve our lives. That’s the best place to start building a powerful relationship with the person we are now.

You already know some of my bad habits. I started with my sleeping hours. Before I slept just four hours every night and I was genuinely proud of that. Bad mistake. Now, I sleep at least seven hours (most of the time), and my productivity rose to a whole new level.

I am not exactly a thin woman, and I always thought I was a fat, unattractive person. Every time I looked in the mirror, I complained about my big belly. That was a terrible habit. I stopped doing that; it was just self-sabotage.

I must say, it is not easy. Sometimes, I have to make a performance and say to myself that I look like a Carolina Herrera top model (yes, I am a little shallow, perfection is not my thing now). It works perfectly.

Talking about fat and weight, I STOPPED stepping onto the scale. I used to do it every week, to feel pity about myself. I don’t have more hurras to not gaining or losing weight. I would recommend everybody, to toss it out of the window (well, we can use the trash can).

I changed many more things. Now, I meditate every morning (Six Phase Meditation by Vishen Lakhiani), drink a lot of water, play tennis at least two or three times a week, watch every sunset while driving in my favorite road and write four pages every day (minimum).

Beyond what we do every day, is the way we speak to us, every time.

We may not realize it, but if we were our couple, we would have had a divorce years ago. We can say to ourselves things that we wouldn’t tell anyone. But if I don’t treat me good enough, who will? Certainly, life won’t.

We need to change the words we have for ourselves. Stop expecting so much, to clap all the effort we make. Failing isn’t a failure. As long as we try to do the best we can, we are winners in spite of the result.

Expectations are our biggest problem

Our imagination is our most significant gift. We can’t make what we can’t dream. We wouldn’t have gotten this far is it wasn’t by our capability to visualize new and better things.

But it can also be our biggest cage. We are so into what we think should happen, that we dismiss what we accomplish.

The only thing we can control is what we do, but there are thousands of factors that are not between our reach. So, why would we be less than enough, if we did all we could? Why would life be less than enough, if we get what we need to grow?.

Dreams are the pathway to a new life, but we are not the slaves of our dreams.

We are not less if we don’t make great things. We are less if we think we are not enough.

All of us want to make a difference, but our first responsibility is to be fulfilled with just being alive.

A thing that we don’t always do.

Happiness is in what we have

We always say, when X happens, I would be happy. But when that X happens, we are not so happy because now, we have a Y that we want to happen.

That’s how time passes while we live conditioning our happiness.

If we are not satisfied with what we have, we won’t be satisfied with what we don’t have.

I used to say (a lot), that I was going to be happy when… I am thin, successful, attractive, rich, famous, athletic and so on. But it just was the need for outside validation.

My real problem was that I wasn’t satisfied with who I was neither with what I had. When I started to embrace the light I already had, things started to look a little different.

I’ve always been an edgy person, one that can shave 2/3 of their hair.

But now I know that that was my way of getting attention. It also was a shortcut. I thought so low of myself that I believed I needed something to make me different.

My light was off my sight. When I started to seek for the person below the surface, I understood that we are much more than we think we could be. The light of everybody became evident to me — not just mine.

We are more powerful than we think we are. And richer too. Just for being alive, we hold a treasure in our hands. If you are reading this, you have much more than blood flowing through your veins.

Our world is not as bad as we watch on the news. Taking earth destruction aside, we have a lot more than the previous generations.

But we are too demanding. We want many things and are not always willing to give everything.

Giving is the key to a fulfilled life

Most of the time, we think that we may lose when we give. But we are very wrong. Well, our ego is very wrong.

What will we take to the grave when we die? Nothing. Then, what is losing?

We are always worried about the things that we may need in a short term period. But what we use is what we need, no more, maybe less.

What we don’t need now, could be very useful for somebody else. The life of another person could be better with one thing that is accumulating dust in our basement. We could give some relief to the problems of another being, just by letting go of something we are not sure we will use.

There’s no such thing as losing. We never lose.

When we give, we open a space in our lives that will be filled so that we can give again.

We need to face that fear of losing because it makes us accumulators.

And things in life need to flow. You can have a big tank of things, but it will never make you happy. Happiness comes when you use what to have in your tank, to help somebody else.

It could be anything. If you have nothing, you still have a smile.

We all have a lot to give (time, love, care, food, information, work, a ride, some water, money or candy) and if we do it with effort, we will all receive.

We receive when we don’t need

We all think we need a tremendous amount of things. Why would you need something if you are already living without it?.

Those are not needs; those are wants. There’s a big difference.

Everybody can live with what they have. The problem goes back to the comparing stuff. You think you need more because you compare yourself with the person who owns more, but if you compare yourself with a monkey, you will see that you have much more than him.

I don’t mean to say that we should go back to our monkey era. My point is that we are deeply confused about what we are expecting to receive.

The problem is, that if we compare, we lose.

I remember my mom telling me to compare with the best, not the worst. But she was wrong. It doesn’t matter who you compare to; the thing is not comparing at all. Because if you do, you will always find something you don’t have. For instance, a monkey has the peace of mind that you can’t dream.

When we understand that life is simpler than we think it is, we need less. It doesn’t mean that we won’t want more, but we are more than good with what we have.

After clearing our minds from all the comparing clutter, we can be amazed by the new. Then, life starts to give us more.

Who would give us more if we are not thankful for what we already got? Life surely won’t.

Being amazed all day, every day

Gratefulness means to feel honored by the opportunity of being.

We may not be completely aware of the miracle that life itself is. Let me say it in another way. In the Universe, a massive island with its functioning ecosystem is something you don’t see in a million years.

That’s why we could think we are the only ones (I don’t consider myself so unique). So, to be fair with the extraordinary thing of life, we should allow ourselves to feel the greatness of the ground that we are lying on.

If we look at the sky and fell in love with the sunset, we realize that the world is bigger than our thoughts. At the bottom line, we are like one little thinking creature in a vast space.

Since we are lucky enough to be alive, let’s use our senses to connect to the beauty of living.

We spend so much time in our minds that we lose what happens outside. It doesn’t matter how much of the outside world we consume, if we are not ready to be amazed by what we see, hear, taste, smell, and feel, nothing will be good enough.

This is said by a former EM party girl.

When I wasn’t living in the present moment, it didn’t matter if I was in the rave of my life. I still didn’t connect. Imagine three days in a row, pure electronic music, 3.500 people dancing on a beach in the Caribbean, drugs everywhere, and I was always thinking some negative stuff. I wasn’t living it. And I regret it. It was the best party I have ever been to, after all.

I know that you are thinking about the great example I just gave you. But yes, I couldn’t have had any more outside stimuli, and I didn’t enjoy it. I remember it with melancholy. I didn’t have a great time because I was trapped in a scant mind.

But that’s how our minds work. If we are not amazed by life itself, nothing will be remarkable.

We all are a living miracle. Let’s embrace the joy of being here, to be fulfilled with the plans that life has for us.

We cannot ask for more.