I’ve been dealt a pretty crap hand lately. I’m not having a pity party, just sayin’. If you know me, I always like to find the silver lining in EVERYTHING, and now is no different. The difference is, I’m not pretending things are all fine and dandy. There’s a way to find the positive, while still really FEELING what you’re facing. Focusing on the good or the have’s [versus the ‘have not’s’] is all grand and everything, but if you don’t face full force what you are experiencing, it will surely come back to bite you in the fanny. Grief, loss, tragedy, big change, whatever it is, it’s a funny thing. It will make sure it manifests itself in your life some way, some how -> loss of friendships, trouble at work, change in weight or appearance, relationship conflict, questioning of faith, anxiety and/or depression – it varies per person. BUT, if you: actively CHOOSE to recognize the situation for what it is, ACCEPT it for what it is, and then fully LIVE what it is, you can control how it affects you. You cannot refuse or ignore the pain, but you can choose to either fall & stay down or rise up and grow.
Normally I put up a facade, find people and hobbies to distract me and ditch the grieving process all together. You know where that has gotten me in the past? Well, it gets me pretty far until one day I wake up and get hit like a ton of bricks with the feelings I buried deep down long ago. It happened when my dad passed away the year I graduated college, and I swore to myself I would never deal with another tragedy like that ever again.
But then how do you deal? It’s not something they teach in college. Yes, you can read the entire self help book section and watch Super Soul Sunday like you’re blue in the face. But, it’s not until you are living and breathing your experiences and are forced to find the ‘strategies’ that work specifically for you, that you begin to learn, grow, recover and heal.
I’m almost 30 so you would think I would’ve found what works for me, but all I’ve found is what doesn’t work for me. This sounds like a negative statement but I look at this as a pretty freaking cool thing. I’m at a point in my spiritual journey where I can literally recognize and appreciate A) how in tune I am with my inner, authentic being and B) how flipping far I’ve come as a person.
With that said, I reached out to a friend recently that has gone through some of the same life hiccups that I am going through. I told her that although I consider myself a strong person, I do not think I’m strong enough to face some of these said hiccups. You know what she told me, besides the fact that ‘I’m stronger than I can even imagine’ [we ALL are, including you!]? She said something that has and will forever change how I approach any challenge in life. And that is to revert ‘back to the basics.’
What does she mean by that? In tough spots, society teaches us to stay busy and distract ourselves any way possible. Immerse ourselves in our work, our children, the gym, new hobbies, social media, the list goes on, but the reality is, these things do a few things: A) brainwash you into thinking you are ‘over’ the current situation, B) allow control of external, materialist aspects to run the show instead of trust in God or a higher power and C) postpone communicating, dealing and healing.
So what do you do instead? Like my friend recommended, get back to the basics. Cut ties with anything that doesn’t serve you in the moment and focus on your top priorities. For her and for myself, these priorities were as follows, in this exact order:
Cut back on the boards you serve on, the extra-curriculers you’re involved with, the happy hours, and basically any extra fluff that’s not going to offer value and nudge you in the direction you want to go personally. In life’s biggest challenges, you should do YOU! Rely on God for strength, direction and peace, take care of your family because they will be your support network forever and ever, and concentrate on digging deep, learning more about yourself and really nurturing and practicing the things that are going to make you a BETTER version of YOU when all is said and done. These three things will make my friend and myself much STRONGER for this experience and will put us in a rockin’ good spot once the dust settles.
God doesn’t give you trials and tribulations for nothing. There is someone or something waiting for you on the other side. Hunker down, get back to the basics, do you, have faith in God, and plow on through.
So you know when I deleted my Facebook app and cut down on social consumption [yes, I wrote a blog about it]? That was part of this process. It’s a process [life is in general], but it is already paying off.
All I can say is “THANK YOU” friend [you know who you are] for being in my life and giving such insightful support that has completely transformed how I look at and approach challenges, whatever they might be.
To the rest of you reading, thank my friend too 😉 But seriously, if you have questions on how to get on the same path or just want to chat in general, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Hearts & kisses to all. This life is a beautiful thing, it’s just about helping each other grow through it and become better people for it.