It's All a Gift

Life is fluid. Changing. You will never step into the same river twice. And our journey through life demands a constant will to adapt. This requires honesty and unwavering dedication to see reality for what it is, instead of forcing a fantasy that will never be. We all have those fairy tales and dreams we are fighting for, and sometimes, telling ourselves they are real is the best we can do. Once we can peel away a layer of our fantasies and step out of our illusions for just a second, that is where the change has a chance to begin. We must be aware of our reality and what is true before we can take action. Throughout my life, I have had moments where I am barely hanging on and moments where I am unshakable. I have been unspeakably happy and I have been wounded and devastated. Despite all of my efforts to force my own will and dreams upon life, it has always had a plan of its own. My responsibility is to open my arms with gratitude and flow with the direction that is revealed to me, no matter what that direction is. It requires an honest look at reality, acceptable of that reality, and a will to work on myself and take action. I never know what is coming next. Sometimes, I am shocked at how blessed I am. Other times, I must grieve and labor to accept the things I am given. There are so many things that can threaten the life I think I want. There are money problems, work problems, family problems, conflicts, and personal struggles that can all upset my idea of "perfection" and "happiness". I have felt pretty good, at times, pushing through these difficulties and enjoying the journey. Life has given me a great challenges and I have had trouble accepting it. It can be scary. It can be threatening to everything I am used to. It can (and does) change my life - change me - significantly. I watch people around me - people I dearly love - fighting for their lives, struggling with financial difficulties, relationship problems, grief. I am powerless over it all. I do not get to choose whose heart beats, whose marriage lasts, or who will file bankruptcy. I only get to observe life and enjoy the gits that life provides. I have taken it for granted in the past. I choose to relish it fully now.

It is all a gift. The pain. The joy. The sorrow. The love. There is no light - no illumination - without the darkness. Look back over all of the moments that have caused you some level of pain throughout your life. What was the opportunity wrapped up in that experience? What was the gift? Perhaps you were called to bravely find a new career path due to a layoff. Maybe you had to grow a little stronger, a little wiser, and a little more independent after the loss of a relationship. Perhaps the death of a loved one helped you rise to seeing your own limited precious time on this planet. In the moment of pain, it is difficult, if not impossible, to see the gift. Give it a little time and distance however, and you will see the loving gift that was not given to you by accident. Forget the experience; take the lesson. We don't get to edit our time on this earth or rewind time lost on things that didn't matter. Time is constantly moving forward and we can choose to let it pass by, or stay in tune with each moment, cherishing those we love. Find the gifts. Learn. Grow. Live. What are you attached to? What are the fantasies that are holding you back and blocking you from seeing the gifts right in front of you? Do you resent the pain left in the past? And, can you see the gifts all around you? Start the conversation below or send me an email at

Jillian Landis is a Self-Care and Empowerment Coach at Evolve Personal Coaching, blogger, and writer for Nourish + Bloom. Jillian's passion is encouraging individuals to love and care for themselves deeply, so they may serve this world at their greatest potential. Prior to coaching, Jillian served in the mental health profession for 10 years and has a vast knowledge of human behavior, which she utilizes to create effective change in the lives of her clients.

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