A Recipe for Life

Think of your favorite recipe. Maybe it’s for chocolate chip cookies, zucchini bread, or a delicious pasta or salad. The recipe calls for certain ingredients and not only that, but a specific measurement of ingredients and sometimes in a very specific order. All of the ingredients together turn into whatever you are desiring to eat!

The ingredients can be tweaked and modified, and you can still reach the desired outcome in several ways. There are even many different recipes to make the same type of food. There are numerous ways to get to the end result. What if I told you that life can be the same?

A Little Bit 

Life is composed of many different aspects. We have a desired goal or dream and an idea of how to get there, but oftentimes, we get there in the most unexpected ways. Sometimes we may not reach our desires at all, or they may be partially met.

Many of us have a desired life path. We want certain things out of life and perhaps even in a certain order. Often, the desired outcome doesn’t always turn out the way that we wanted it to. Just as with cooking, we can add a little bit of this and a little bit of that trying to create a masterpiece, but it can turn out to be something that we did not want or even expect.

Many Tries

Just as there are many ways to make chocolate chip cookies, there are many ways to reach our desires in life, or at the very least try. Sometimes we may have to make sacrifices and let go of certain dreams, but there are ones that are within our reach, we just have to have the mind and heart to get us there.

The recipe for life is not concise, nor is it one size fits all. The recipe for life needs to be tried, tested, modified, and redone over and over again. Sometimes life will be sweet and other times salty. There will be periods of time when the ingredients that we mix together won’t work out well and we must try again…maybe even for a third or fourth time.

Reminder

Thankfully, life can oftentimes give us many tries to perfect the recipe. We can keep trying and trying again until we have what we sought to find. There are many ways to try and approach what we want out of life. 

I’d like to think that there is no wrong path. Sure, we may end up where we don’t belong, or where we don’t want to be, but I truly believe that in the end we always end up where we are meant to be.

There isn’t one path, but many. They may all lead us somewhere different, but in the end, we hope that we will be happy once we reach the final destination.

Do you have a recipe that needs tweaking? A little modification can go a long way!

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My College Major Changed Me

I have been out of college for many years now, but I can tell you one thing, the major that I choose has changed my life.

I’d like to say that it has changed me for the better, however, it has also changed me for the worse.

Background

Once I graduated high school, I was not certain which path I wanted to take in terms of a college major. I was always told to just feel each subject out and see which one that I was drawn to, it sounded easy and like great advice and it ended up being just that!

I had many classes that I thoroughly enjoyed. I would say that my top two subjects were Psychology and English. I loved both for different reasons. Given the nature of the job that I wanted to pursue at the time and an extreme interest and passion mine, I chose to major in Psychology. Little did I know, it would change the way that I saw myself and the world around me forever.

My Love

Psychology drew me in because I have always been fascinated with the human mind and finding out why people behave the way that they do. We are all born as blank slates, yet we all develop into very different beings, that is fascinating to me!

As I took many Psychology courses over the years, I learned so much about myself and the world around me. I was able to understand why I had become the person that I was and how the brain works and responds to people and life situations. I was able to understand others better with this newfound knowledge and empathy that came with it.

It was almost as though Psychology was the book of life, it felt as if this subject held all of the answers to the complexity of the human mind and behavior. I was captivated!

The Downside

As with many things in life, there are usually positives and negatives. I adore Psychology and all that it entails, but learning this subject to the extent that I did was detrimental to me in some ways.

Years after I graduated from college, I noticed that my anxiety was much worse than it usually had been. I have dealt with extreme anxiety since I was very little. I began to realize that the way that we are taught this subject and the ways that they have us learning the material truly changed the way that my brain responded to life and even to myself.

In Psychology, we were taught to analyze, analyze, and analyze some more. We were taught to observe very carefully and taught to look at people, situations, and ultimately life in many different ways. Yes, this sounds like a great thing and it is to an extent, but it became a constant in my life.

Taking Over

I found myself analyzing my life, thoughts, and behavior to an extreme. Psychology teaches you that there is a reason behind everything and that includes people’s actions. Therefore, I was always hunting for reasons and the meaning behind everything.

I started seeing life in many different aspects. I started viewing other people very differently, I was so curious as to why and how people behaved the way they did. It seemed as though I was always searching for information to complete my analysis and observations.

I wasn’t comfortable with this new way of viewing life. I understand that these are all necessary and helpful skills to have, especially if one is to become a therapist or social worker for example, however for me, it was overpowering, and I wasn’t able to separate myself from it.

Question

I know several of you talented individuals are in the field of Psychology. For those of you that are therapists, social workers, or even those that majored in Psychology as well, did you ever notice a drastic change in the way that you viewed life and other people after studying Psychology?

Closing

This subject was and still is my favorite subject of all time. I truly adore it and there is always so much to learn and gain. There are many times that I wish that my mind wasn’t so “stuck” in Psychology mode, but given this, I still would have chosen to major in this field.

It’s pretty amazing to me that what we expose ourselves to in our life truly does have a tremendous impact on us. Just a little food for thought as you go about your day. Surround yourself with good people and try to live life the best that you can, we are like sponges are we are truly changed by what we experience for better or for worse.

My Life Lesson

I truly believe that we are all on this Earth to grow and learn specific lessons as we journey through life.

I am a big believer in the afterlife, and I feel that our journey in a physical body is a temporary one that goes through life experiences to grow the soul and prepare us for our permanent home.

The Saying Goes

It seems as though the saying that life’s situations keep repeating themselves until learned is true. I have noticed myself in similar situations time and time again and each time that I think I will handle it with grace and handle it better, it doesn’t happen.

Needless to say, the situation pops back into my life, willing to give me another try. I believe that once we master what the lesson is trying to teach us, it will go away, and we can then focus on other tasks to learn.

I almost view our life here on Earth like a school, where we are here to learn lessons that will power our souls once we reach Eternity.

Life Lesson

There are two life lessons that I can think of right off the bat that present themselves to me often. These are being truly authentic and having more patience.

Although I feel that being more authentic, vulnerable, and not being afraid to be me is a major lesson for me, I feel that having more patience is an even bigger lesson, so that is the one that I will focus on for this story.

Patience is a Virtue

I have had a lot happen to me in my life, a lot more than I ever expected to go through given that I am in my thirties. When I reflect on past events, it seems that a lot of the time my anxiety, worry, and stress revolved around not being patient with myself or with the world around me.

My anxious mind causes me to want to know things immediately so that they do not cause me more stress. The anxious me wants everything that I need or want to happen right now so that I don’t have to stress over when or if it will happen in the future.

I tend to have great patience with other people, but with anything regarding myself and my life, I need to work on being patient. I need to trust that things will work out for me. I need to trust that in time things that I need, or desire will come to me at the right time.

I also need to trust myself, so that I can learn to be more patient. I can try to work on the anxiety that drives me to have less patience with things outside of my control. Often, I will look at an important date on the calendar and I am eager for it to arrive, and then in a blink of an eye, it is here. Those days spent worrying flew by.

Worth Waiting For

Waiting is unfortunately a part of life, one that we may not be fond of, but one that we cannot control, nonetheless.

With many things, it is a hope that the things that we need and want will be worth the wait. Life is about learning and becoming the strongest person that we can be.

In the perfect world, we would have everything we want and need immediately, and although that brings instant gratification, it may also lessen the beauty of what we have and strive for. Our motivation may be out the window if everything was given immediately.

Here I Sit

It is up to me to be at peace with the unknown as hard as that is. The unknown is scary and causes great anxiety, however, there is a lot of hope and excitement in the unknown.

It takes great strength and trust to sit back and let life unfold the way it is meant to. This goes back to living every day as it comes and living it to the fullest because life can change at any moment.

I am slowly learning, but patience truly is a virtue.

Read This Before Your Next Birthday

There have been quite a few birthdays lately, which prompted me to write this story. It is interesting how views change over time as we grow.

I had a very different view of my birthday until a few years ago.¬†Growing up, as much as I love being surrounded by people, I didn’t like the idea that everyone was gathering around to celebrate my birthday.

It wasn’t about attention; it was about not wanting people to make a fuss over me.

What I Used to Think

When I was younger, I used to think that it was silly to celebrate my birthday. I really enjoyed celebrating other people’s birthdays, but it felt weird when it came to my own. I didn’t want a gathering just for me. A few people that I know share this feeling.

It wasn’t until a few years ago that my mindset changed about what having a birthday is all about.

Celebrate!

I realize that having a birthday is truly one of life’s greatest gifts. Think about it, a birthday means that you have lived another year and the gift of life is absolutely worth celebrating!

You have experienced one year of trials, growth, lessons, changes, and opportunities. You are still here to tell your story! That is amazing and something worth celebrating.

For those of you that share the same belief that I once did about celebrating your birthday, take note of these things and realize that life is the most precious gift and deserves every bit of acknowledgment. 

Take the day to celebrate the amazing person that you are and don’t forget to make a wish!

You Can Run, but You Can’t Hide

I am sure that most of us have been in a situation where we were unhappy with life. Maybe we didn’t like our jobs, were stuck in a relationship that we didn’t see going anywhere, or possibly we didn’t like our social circle because we felt as if we didn’t belong.

For those of you that were in situations like these, how did it make you feel? What was your first instinct telling you how to handle the situation?

Natural Response

One of the reactions when faced when a tough situation in life is to flee. It goes back to the fight-or-flight response in Psychology. As we experience hardship, we either tend to stay and fight, or our adrenaline starts to rush, and we flee to escape the perceived threat.

We want to flee to avoid having to feel negative emotions, we flee as a way of avoiding experiences, even avoiding ourselves.

Question for You

Think of a time when you felt so upset and discouraged that you wanted to get up right then and there and leave. You wanted to pack up your office because you couldn’t stand your job anymore, you wanted to run away and hide from your significant other because you felt that you two grew apart instead of together. Think of a time when you felt like an outsider, that even with friends around, you still felt alone in this world. Did you flee?

Many of you did and that is a normal response. Even though it’s normal, it may not be the best way to approach these situations because instead of facing the issue and growing from it, we chose to run away. It felt right at the time, maybe even taking off some of the anxiety, but what ended up happening?

Noticeable Patterns

After we ran from the situation, we felt much better, but as time goes on, the past usually comes back to haunt us.

The key is to look at the issue at hand and see where you can learn from it. If there is some sort of inner conflict, then these types of situations that make us want to flee can give us great insight into what we can improve on.

Communication

Much of life and life’s problems revolve around communication or lack thereof. Sometimes we may feel as though we do not have the strength, or even the skills to solve what is happening to us, so we just decide to flee to make our problems instantly disappear.

I have learned this the hard way, the problems seem to have magically disappeared until, weeks, months, or years later they resurface again because they were not addressed the first time.

Try This

Those situations that make you feel like you would just rather run away than deal with it can be our greatest teachers. Try to live more authentically and see how you can fix your life circumstances. Work within yourself to discover that you have the strength and power to face any issue head-on.

I want to make an important note that in certain situations, we absolutely must flee. Those situations include those that affect our safety etc.

The Takeaway

Life tends to find us, we can move to a different state, change jobs, or even hunt for that “perfect” someone, but what we have not corrected from our past will eventually show up in our future. We may flee, but life follows. We are still the same person inside.

I believe that life is one big test and that we are here to learn many lessons. The lessons will keep repeating themselves over and over until we have learned how to master them. Pay attention to the things that make you want to run and hide, address them so that you have power over them!