It is astonishing how many people right this minute are trying to cope with the fact that their heart is broken, they are deeply sad or depressed, or are managing traumatic things happening in their lives – yet they still need to function in their daily lives. Maybe you are one of them?
I have been there, and sadly know a little something about traumatic experiences. Below are some things I have learned along the way that might help you function if you are in that space right now:
1. Accept that life has cycles of joy and pain.
The Chinese book of wisdom, the “I-Ching,” points out that there are seasons in our lives just like in nature.
It is really awful when you are in a dark place, but recognize that this too shall pass. Take comfort in the fact that while you are still breathing, things are changing.
2. Scrounge around for healthy comforts.
You know yourself best. What makes you feel a little bit better? Give it to yourself.
I am not talking about drugs, alcohol, over-eating, over-sleeping, or anything like that. Those are temporary fixes that come with more problems than solutions. Call a friend who makes you laugh. If nature restores your broken spirit, take that hike. If playing fetch with your dog makes you smile, take time to throw the ball or the stick. Now is when you have to pull out your own personal “feel good” strategies and give yourself permission (and time!) to apply as many as you can to your daily life.
3. Stop yelling at yourself.
Just take a deep breath and tell that mean bully inside your head to leave you alone. Often times, we are our own worst critic.
The question is not who is to blame (which solves nothing) but “What can I do now?” When you honestly ask that question instead of burn up your energy beating yourself up, you find things that cause you to get into action. Action has a tendency to pull you out of the doldrums and into a better place. List proactive solutions and start applying them.
There is no magic wand that will suddenly make everything all better forever and ever. Nobody really has that kind of life, no matter what you think from the outside. We all just get different problems of different sizes and shapes throughout the course of our lifetime. That is the very nature of life. Do not let this one you are facing now hold you underwater any longer.
Do not be afraid to get back up – to try again, to love again, to live again, and to dream again. Do not let a hard lesson harden your heart. Life’s best lessons are often learned at the worst times and from the worst wounds. There will be times when it seems like everything that could possibly go wrong is going wrong. And you might feel like you will be stuck in this rut forever, but you will not. When you feel like quitting, remember that sometimes things have to go very wrong before they can be right. Sometimes you have to go through the worst, to arrive at your best.