My Biggest Learning Turning 50!

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Last month I turned 50 years old. Half a century! It’s just amazing and I’ve had the excitement of a 5 year old about it!

I can’t believe how quickly I got here and yet at the same time I value every year that I’ve lived so far. The ups and downs have been numerous, and the learning has been unquantifiable so much has been gained on this journey called life.

Since I’m 50 I was thinking about writing an article on 50 things that I’ve learned over the years and then gave up on that idea! LOL

So, what is the one thing that I would share that encapsulates all of my learning over the years.

Honestly, it’s this

It Ain’t That Deep

They’ll be someone coming to tell me that it is and that I’m irresponsible and should no better and to them I’ll just point them to the phrase above.

It’s a message I have to keep reminding myself when I try to overcomplicate things. When I consider relationships, things I’ve gone through, the ups and downs of life.

It ain’t that deep!

The question you have to ask yourself in every situation is “Will this Matter in 6 months’ time?” another is “What has this got to do with me?” Sometimes we are inserting ourselves into things that have nothing to do with us and hence I’ve survived on the phrase “not my circus not my monkey” for the last 18 months successfully removing myself from situations that I incorrectly thought were my role to fix or comment on. The truth is it had nothing to do with me.

It just wasn’t that deep.

We have been through some financial trials over the years. Having a business fail, having to maintain private school fees whilst trying to build a business, having £0.72 in your purse when the bills are due.

We’ve been through it all.

The struggle is real, and, in the moment, it is all consuming, but the truth is… it is not permanent. It won’t last forever and it ain’t that deep.

I’ve learned that we get what we focus on and sometimes our human nature is to focus on the most negative aspects of our lives. We get down deep and dirty in the negativity and fuel it by consistently thinking about it and talking about it. It becomes our story our mantra.

My life always changes for the better when I choose to let go of that negativity, see it for what it is and then turn on my solution-focused laser beam. In that moment, I feel better, the circumstances no longer feel insurmountable and I am able to find ways to change the current status quo for the better.

It ain’t that deep also works for relationships, because more often than not people’s behaviour is not about you… until it is.

Everyone is struggling with their own issues, their own circumstances and challenges and their own problems. We all think that everyone is thinking about us, when everyone is actually thinking about what everyone else is thinking about them. It’s really very silly but we do it all the same.

We think that what our friends, family or colleagues and acquaintances do or say is about us. It’s not! It’s about them, where they are in their lives, their maturity or immaturity their ability to accept or not.

As humans, sometimes, we are not the best communicators and throw into the mix fear and imposter syndrome and suddenly your ability to have honest, warm and open relationships go out of the window.

I’ve done it.

I’ve vilified someone based on what I thought was happening, by not asking questions and by making assumptions. I created a whole narrative around them and the situation based on my inability to deal with conflict and “to seek first to understand then then to be understood.”

I’ve had to learn to look at people and situations differently. I’m a work in progress and so are they.

Sometimes, people aren’t nice so instead delving deep into their issues and allowing them to affect us, we need to walk away, because in a world where 8 billion people live, the issues of one are just not that deep.

I’ve also found that it’s important to look at a situation through the other persons eyes. I learned this some years back in my marriage when I realised that my husband wasn’t seeing situations the same way I was. This was a massive shift for me, I recognised that all of my emotional upset was wasted energy because his perception wasn’t the same as mine. His response wasn’t about me at all or because of me, he wasn’t punishing me or ignoring me he just was looking through his eyes and not mine.

It just wasn’t that deep.

I was adding layers to situations that just weren’t there.

The years have taught me so much and as I get older I’m understanding just how important it is to let go. So often we are holding on to things, ideas and people that no longer serve us or that are no relevant or appropriate in our lives. We hold on because we create narratives around what this think may happen if we let go.

We hold on to jobs, careers, businesses, and situations that are crippling us, that we don’t enjoy, that we hate even because of some invalid and outdated obligations and fear of the unknown. We were born with the power of choice; we are not forced to do anything… we can change our minds and create a better experience for ourselves.

If we recognise that it ain’t that deep.

We are the ones who keep ourselves bound to our circumstances and since that is the case, we can make a choice to change our circumstances.

It’s ok to let go, nature hates a vacuum and so will fill the gap with what is appropriate for us, if we are open.

Sometimes the gap is needed for us to have room to grow.

Letting go frees us from unnecessary worry and obligations.

Letting go provides relief.

Letting go teaches us that “it ain’t that deep.”

So as I embark on the next half a century, I encourage you as I encourage myself to remember that this life is your life, it’s my life and since we have the gift of choice, of changing our minds, of letting go, of removing ourselves from harmful and toxic situations, since we can focus on a better future and move in it’s direction, since we can change our perception of a person or situation and since we can be the change that we want to see in our world let us remember that regardless of the circumstance we find ourselves in…

It ain’t that deep!

Madeline McQueen