By Barton Goldsmith
Tribune News Service
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Sometimes I read articles that are all about “how to improve your life” and “taking stock” but the author never gives you any examples of how to actually do these things. In this article, the author actually provides us with several tough questions that you can ask yourself or someone you love to figure out where you stand. I hope this info helps us all become empowered women in and outside the home.
Tribune News Service
Sometimes you have to take stock of your life, even if you don’t want to.
It wasn’t planned; you just started thinking about where you are and comparing it to where you thought you’d be.
It’s a normal human thing to do, and it can be difficult. Unfortunately, if we don’t give ourselves the chance to process the emotions, it can lead us to feeling sad or wanting to avoid the feelings all together, and in some cases, it can lead to drinking or using drugs. Hey, I’m all for avoiding pain, but in the long run, when you are looking at your life’s journey, it’s easier to go through it than around it.
When you are compelled to ask yourself if you are green and growing or ripe and rotting, it’s a sign that you want to move your life forward. And even if you think you’re totally satisfied with where you are now (or feel that you don’t deserve anything better), taking stock of your life and asking yourself the tough questions will help you get to the next level, even if you want things to stay the same. Trust me, they will change anyway.
This is also an exercise that you may want to do in your primary relationship.
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Evaluating where you were and where you are now will help lead you to where you want to go. Seems simple enough, but most couples only do it in passing instead of sitting down and having a positive conversation about life, love, and their own pursuit of happiness.
We rarely give ourselves the opportunity to take a serious look at our lives, and that process can only make things better, because you will always find things to improve. That’s why it’s important to ask yourself and each other the tough questions.
Learning to ask the tough questions is also something you need to do when you are dating or engaged. The only way to learn about another person is through observation and communication. For example, asking your intended how he or she really feels about your seventeen dogs is important. We put up with a lot when we first fall in love, and then we start to get a little more proactive about our own needs.
In case you don’t have any questions handy, here are a few to get started:
-Are you happy with your life right now?
-If not, what can you do to make it so?
-Do you have any regrets?
-If so, what are they?
-Are you the person you wanted to be?
-If not, what can you do to get there?
Whatever your answers are, remember that you are in charge, and self-knowledge is empowering. If you blame someone else for your troubles, it really doesn’t matter, because you are now the only person who can change things for the better. That may be hard to swallow, but the longer you waste your time thinking that another person is stopping you, the longer it will take to move on. And the very sad thing is that some people never do.
(Dr. Barton Goldsmith, a psychotherapist in Westlake Village, Calif., is the author of “The Happy Couple: How to Make Happiness a Habit One Little Loving Thing at a Time.”)