Make Do or Break Free

The Logical Heart Knows Best

We’ve all heard, to take one day at a time, and make the best of it. If you get lemons, make lemonade, etc. When we are stuck between a rock and a hard place, we make do. But sometimes this perspective actually keeps our best lives at arm’s length indefinitely. This line of reasoning, though helpful during transitioning, is not the answer to longstanding problems. I could deceive myself into limiting my world. It actually was unloving of me. It was like patching up a pothole when a fault line lies beneath, never getting to the root of the problem, keeping a positive attitude, and coping with the status quo was a temporary fix in an endless cycle. Stuck because I was not aware of what was lurking beneath, believing things would get better if only I would improve myself.

Well, sometimes it really isn’t what you are doing, it really is what other people are doing. It really is the situation you are in that is wrong for you. We keep growing and changing and aspects of our life do not fit anymore, yet we try to make them, because we are loyal, because we promised, because it’s expected,of us, because it is the right thing, it’s how it should be, we don’t want to hurt anyone, meanwhile we are hurting ourselves. We are afraid because it may be a drastic move that will meet significant resistance, so we think this is the easier way, the more loving way, the only choice is to compromise, make do, and deceive ourselves into believing this is all there is.

I initially chose this and I have to see it through, or maybe things will finally change. Well, unless you are in a Nazi concentration camp, with no choice, like in, “Life is Beautiful” where spinning reality cleverly protected his son from the horrible truth… making the best of it can lead you into years of stagnation and struggle. There are always choices available to you. They may not be easy and you may think it is not possible to live in the way you desire. But is making do, sacrificing your truth, your dreams, really what you aspire to? Until you decide to fully love yourself, there you will be, frustrated and revisiting the same issues.

Years ago, when I was expecting my first child, we bought a beautiful historic house, and the plan was that in less than a year we would restore it into a livable, comfortable condition, needing minimal work. “Piece of cake” was the way they presented it and I thought we would just repaint it and scrub up the floors, making it cosmetically appealing, just as we had always done in places we lived previously. Well, the kitchen had evidence of termites. They gutted it. No recent termites there, but now, no cabinets or sink. My daughter was about 2 then.

A makeshift plastic tub sink and plastic utility shelves completed the kitchen now. Cavelike walls of discolored planks of wood with scraps of ancient straggling wallpaper loomed. The floor with plywood patches and peeling dingy Formica tiles. The rest of the house aged with a layer of soot, old yellowed paint, stained, worn, faded puke green shag carpet from the seventies. No closets for storage space. Dimly lit. Could hear everything from outside, through the poorly insulated walls and floor. Plastic sheeting covered the front windows so you couldn’t see out. Plus, it was haunted to boot 🙂

I kept trying to think of all the positives. The house is beautiful. I have a roof over my head, and the yard is big. It will get restored soon. It’s good that I don’t have to worry about the kids spilling things. They can get everything dirty here, no big deal. The neighbors are sweet. At least the ghosts are nice and playful. It’s cool having the cemetery across the street, it makes it quieter here, heh. I am bigger than this. I need to ignore the clutter and decay and just focus on being thankful.

There were minimal improvements, and I did not have the time or knowledge and was not in control of that aspect, the restoration of the house. In fact, it became a burden, and the house owned our lives. I tried to detach and let it go. I even tried to cheer the house up by hanging the kid’s drawings and decorating it inexpensively with temporary removable happy things that the kids and I enjoyed, like silly, cute cat paintings & prints from thrift stores, batik sarongs as wall hangings, and the plastic makeshift kitchen I decked out like a Tiki party with palm trees, grass skirt fringes with leis, hula dancers. We did kiddie stained glass type decorations for the windows. It inspired me by how they transformed their dwelling in the movie “In America.” Though I could not use permanent materials, nor did I have the expertise to perform restorative work on a historic house to perfection, as was the standard, I made the best of it.

At that point 12 years down the line, making do was not working, and I knew my ability to roll with the punches was leaving me battered, bruised and miserable. And the problems with the house were just an outward manifestation of deeper issues.

It took a hurricane with a tree falling on the house before they gained momentum in restoring it. And likewise, it has been a hurricane of transformation in my life over these past few years. I finally loved myself enough to choose to stop making do, to stop keeping the peace, and to realize that I could not change what needed to be changed because it was not within my power, but I had choices and did something about it.

I was the solution and always will be with living my best life. I get to choose.

Feeling like I have to just make the best of it is now a signal for me to get to the truth, to address what lies beneath before it’s years down the line and I am still right where I started, but worse for wear. I’d rather take on the storm and create my best life where I can be free, living truthfully. When things don’t align with me, I tune into my logical heart, gain clarity, and take action.

No need to make do. I determine what’s possible in my reality and I get to choose what stays and goes. Nothing ever stays the same because life is advancing toward constant expansion and creation. I am feeling most alive when I am enjoying, deeply connecting, sharing, serving, creating, and exploring.

There is so much abundance, all I need to do is keep up with myself by heeding my logical heart, and that’s the end of making do. Sounds easy, but it is tricky for me yet. Being positive, forgiving, considerate, and loving towards others needs to be balanced with actions based on being loving of myself. To choose what brings me the most freedom, joy, peace, and love.

Peace is settling within me again. I feel as if my center is being reconfigured, refortified, and stabilized after an epic storm 🙂 I surrendered to love after stretching myself to the brink again. The process of life. Like how we have the cycle of waking and sleeping, the seasons, ebbing, flowing, changing, cycling…to infinity and beyond 🙂 There has to be downtime to gain clarity, energy, and strength to prepare for what’s next.

I may dream of creating everything at once, but even if I am being my utmost, I still have to take care of basics, so there has to be balance, a return to an equilibrium of sorts, and rejuvenation. If I stay in “power through it” mode with no restorative time, it’s gonna eventually catch up with me. Plus, if I stay on the go, in overdrive, where I can barely catch my breath, much less hear myself think, then I lose track of my highest guidance, my logical heart because I have taken a wrong turn by sacrificing myself.

Sometimes life calls for us to stretch our limits for a while, where we expand our boundaries and forge a better reality so we have to power through to keep afloat. Eventually, though, there will be a point where we realize something’s gotta give and it is important to be uncompromising about taking care of ourselves first, so we can be true and free. In this way, we also free others because we maintain our integrity and power, which allows them to make choices based on authenticity in relation to them. When everyone communicates their truth, we are all free. No deceptions, no fault lines, and no potholes make for a smoother ride 🙂

But this is not how we, as humans, operate. We live in relationships with others where we need to be interdependent and cooperate, share, give, and take. There is a natural order of reciprocity. Often, it is difficult to see clearly where our responsibilities lie. We may give our power away, compromise, and then blame others for our unhappiness. For whatever reasons we give in when it is not loving of ourselves to do so. That’s when we must take responsibility, get clear, communicate and then decide what’s most important? Can I really live with this compromise? Or am I miserable and resentful, trapped? Is my relationship fear based or love based? Is walking on eggshells and not rocking the boat really working? In hindsight, I can clearly see where sacrificing for what I believed was the highest good of all involved caused more harm in the long run.

The only person I can change is myself. If something is not working, then I must change myself or my perception of it. I must accept that there are things I can not change, like what anyone else is doing. I must let go of controlling what the world is being and focus on what I am being. This is pretty accurate, but somehow, I got stuck. When something was not how I wanted it to be, I told myself to cope with it and to change my perception of it, to change my responses and behavior in accommodation, and to keep the peace, even though I was still unhappy no matter how I changed myself or my perception.

I was still miserable, so I believed I just wasn’t approaching it in the right way. I thought I hadn’t changed myself, changed my responses or expectations, believed enough to attract what I wanted, or accepted it. I thought if I became the love, if I believed enough in what I wanted, and focused on being grateful, happy, and loving, then eventually things would change around me without me having to go through conflict.

What was really going on, though? I needed to change the situation. I needed to take my power back, face my fears and be honest that I wanted this to change. And if the person I was with was not matching up, was not working with me and what I was doing wasn’t effective, then it was up to me to take action and change it.

I was dishonest. This thing that was bothering me was a priority and no amount of trying to change myself, believing and focusing on what I wanted, or accepting it was going to fix it because the actual physical situation needed to be changed in order for me to be loving of myself. I needed to take action, which required doing some things which I viewed as hurtful toward others. Yet to stay in the situations I was miserable in was definitely unloving of myself. I wanted there to be a magical way where I would not have to go through painful situations, where somehow my physical reality/situations, and relationships would change by my focusing on my intentions and communicating in a loving way what I was desiring. Those people would flow effortlessly into becoming capable,  changing, or else exiting with no negative backlash or fallout. Or that possibly I could be so independent that I could maintain my happiness no matter what went on in proximity to me.

What I found out is that sometimes the only way to change a situation is to break free and create anew.

That some things really are common sense and practical, though not always black and white. It was up to me to change my life by choosing hard actions because otherwise; it was not changing because I did not have the components that filled my requirements for happiness.

There was no magical law of attraction where everything effortlessly happens just the way you want it. It is more than that. There is a more expansive and intricate force that is honing us at multidimensional levels where everything is always working towards us, attaining our deepest desires and most expansive, boundless love. In our limited view, it feels painful and unfair, but it is always creating more of what we in our full magnificence and glory want. We are becoming more and more love by existing, by being and nothing we can do can change the nature of what we truly are, so we are always golden, even when we are in the depths of despair…it’s what we wanted, life… and we can work with it or against it, but no matter, we are always benefiting.

How do I know this? Well, does that really matter? Would it be more loving of me to believe anything different? I choose to believe in what empowers me the most based on where I am in this moment, based on what I have learned, and what is most loving of me now, what speaks the truth from deep within my core, my logical heart. Stuck between a rock and a hard place? Not me, I can choose to break free:) Isn’t that amazing!

Michelle Miyagi
Hi! I was an RN, BSN in mental/behavioral health for 27 years. Now I'm helping empower caring people like me to prioritize themselves by maintaining healthier boundaries for more freedom, peace, and joy. I am also active in Long Covid advocacy.

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