I’m going to confess something that I’m sure 90% of you won’t understand or agree with. Here it is. I hate living in Hawaii. Okay maybe hate is too harsh of a word. “Strongly dislike” or “difficult to adjust” may be closer to what I mean.
Yes, I know griping about a place with year-round summer weather and presidential beaches (Pres. Obama does come here at least once a year) sounds like a whine from a hard-to-please 4-year-old. It sounds ridiculous to my own ears. But having lived here my whole life and having come back, I am completely sure that being here isn’t exactly for me.
I actually miss the brisk autumn weather, the smell of firewood, the golden color of fall leaves. I miss cuddling up on the couch, the change of the seasons, the freedom to drive somewhere fun on a whim.
That being said, I can gripe and pout (which I swear I’ve done enough of already) or I can see this as another opportunity to stretch my comfort zone. I realized last night that this was again another lesson to be learned. I could begrudgingly go on as I have been or try to find a purpose for being here.
Maybe you love where you live, but don’t feel at home in your own skin, at a job, or in a relationship. It’s all the same. When we’re feeling unwelcome in an environment and when we think we “should” feel comfortable, that’s when suffering begins. On a larger scale, it’s being okay with where you are situationally as well as physically and emotionally. It’s all the same whether you’re in a job you hate or you’re stuck in a state you don’t mesh well with like me. How do you find peace and happiness when where you are is not where you want to be?
Practice patience. Patience is something I grapple with often. But I realize that’s probably why I’m being tested with it again and again. On days when I can’t wait any longer for things to settle, I remember that it took me 3 years to love California, so 5 months is hardly enough time to like it here. How do I practice patience? Meditating helps as does being out in nature. Any activity that forces me to focus on the present moment instead of how much I’d rather be somewhere else is essential in moments like these.
Learn acceptance. Acceptance isn’t the same thing as settling. It means accepting the moment that you’re in right now. You might not like it, but so it is. Once we stop resisting and accept the situation we’re in, something wonderful happens. Some of the pain of being where you are dissipates.
Find the silver lining. Maybe your job is tedious or your apartment is noisy. But if you look hard enough, you might find that what you do love about your work is your co-workers or that where you’re living is convenient to stores. Even I have to admit that being within 15 minutes from the beach is a blessing. Every situation has its good and its bad. It just depends how you look at it.
Be grateful. Where you are currently isn’t exactly where you’d like to be. But there is still something to be grateful for in every situation. You have a job and a roof over your head. For me, it’s being near family and to the beach. When we focus on the little things we have to be grateful for, we attract more things to be grateful in our life.
Visualize what you do want. Incessant complaining won’t get you far. If you want to change your situation, do what you can to make tiny changes to get to where you want to be. Spend a few minutes every day dreaming up your best life. What does it feel like to be there? Who’s with you? What are you doing? Even spending a little time in your dream life can raise your mood, empower you and draw hope back into your life. All necessary ingredients for getting you to where you want to be.
What helps you feel better when you’re unhappy with where you are?