How to Stop Resisting Life and Learn to Live Life on Life’s Terms

Issue 17. March 31, 2023 ✨ Higher Power Coaching & Consulting

Photo credit: Nadine Shaabana

When I first heard the phrase “live life on life’s terms” I really didn’t know what that meant. This was yet another saying from recovery where I understood the surface meaning, but not what it really meant. That’s because I wasn’t living life on life’s terms. I was trying to live life in my terms.

I was resisting what life was offering in many areas of my life. I was resisting that there was traffic on the highway which was built for traffic. I was resisting the fact that miscommunication sometimes happens between people, even those with the best of intentions. I was resisting the fact that gravity works and sometimes things get dropped or spilled.

When I wasn’t living life on life’s terms I decided that these kinds of things meant something bigger than they actually did. These thoughts weren’t conscious. They were so deep that they were beliefs. I acted and believed as if this is how things ARE and I didn’t understand that I was interpreting these things as negative. I didn’t understand just how resistant I was to what was happening.

Coming to see my resistance to there being the traffic on the highway revealed to me that my belief was that traffic should operate on my terms, not on life’s terms (i.e., there should be no traffic while I’m driving).
When I accepted that miscommunication happens all the time between people, I saw that I had some deeply held beliefs about us humans. I somehow didn’t allow myself the see that we are flawed humans who each have our own perspectives, and that language is imprecise.

When I no longer got pissed off if I broke a glass, spilled milk or gravy or honey I could see that I hadn’t been accepting that gravity works. And things break. It’s not personal. Life on life’s terms means universal laws like gravity apply to everyone equally. They’re not some plot against me to ruin my day.
These are the kinds of things people in recovery are referring to when they say we accept life on life’s terms.

It means sometimes you have miscommunication, sometimes you hit traffic or lock your keys in the car. Sometimes you spill milk or break the cord on your computer or your Zoom connection is spotty. And sometimes a whole bunch of these things happens in a row.

That’s just life. It’s not personal, it’s just what happens when you live in a world with other humans. These kinds of thing happen to everybody. We can all come to live life on life’s terms, not just certain lucky people.
If you’re going to allow that shit to take your serenity, understand that that’s what you’re doing. If you’re constantly pissed off about what’s going on around you, if you lose it when you drop and break something or your drop your keys in a puddle, you’re going to have a shitty life.

But you don’t have to. You can learn to live life on life’s terms and realized “These things are happening, they’re not happening TO me. They’re just happening.”

There’s nothing so special about me (or YOU) that nothing negative will ever happen. It’s how you handle it that matters. Are you going to accept life on life’s terms? Or will you insist that life operate on YOUR terms? You choose. I choose serenity and life on life’s terms.

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