In my life, the beginning and the ending of years always contain the most amount of turmoil for whatever reason. The end of 2016/beginning of 2017 has been no different, and it’s almost taken me down.
While I don’t consider myself to be a naturally optimistic person, I’m not a pessimist either. Sometimes when life starts throwing things with record blind-sides, it’s hard not to consider what has been as a sign of things to come. But I can’t afford to look at things that way. I’ve got too much to do.
So I’ve spent the past two days thinking through lots of stuff and trying to understand what is beyond my scope of understanding. I think that’s the most maddening part of the whole process of grief and recovery from life’s setbacks. What hurts the most sometimes more than the actual circumstances is trying to keep yourself reasonable in your thoughts and perceptions. It is damn hard to do. And if you love thinking yourself into hard places like me, you find yourself vascillating between “I’m OK. I just need to keep breathing” and “Nothing good will ever happen to me again because everything is conspiring against me being able to be happy.”
Yes, that sounds dramatic but if more people were honest about how they are when life hits them, it sounds more similar to their own experiences than they would want to admit. Getting caught off guard by life is a common experience, even if you have your own special way of dealing with it.
So today’s post is the blogging version of #tweetthroughit. I’ve allowed myself to cry and there will be more tears undoubtedly. I’ve thought through all types of scenarios that have ranged from total despair to nothing is wrong and this is not real. Neither of those extremes are accurate and keeping that in front of myself is my biggest task at the present.
So. What I’ve learned…
1. Though it seems impossible, keep your eye on what’s true versus what’s assumed. – That line gets SO blurry when life happens and when you don’t have acceptable answers, your mind will try to make sense of things with some crazy scenarios. Try to remind yourself of what you know for sure versus what you don’t know, what you have seen versus what you are perceiving, what you can control versus what you can’t control. As hard as it can be to do that while your emotions are doing backflips, it’ll help you keep perspective.
2. Watch your mouth. – Sometimes we flirt with ideas or we say things, not understanding what we’re saying, what we’re flirting with, or what we’re asking for. And life will give us what we want in the most unnecessary (or so we think) ways, leaving us speechless with the “I was just joking!” face. If you’re praying for something, if you’re saying you want to change something or you’re tired of something, don’t be so surprised when it really changes. And that change isn’t always going to look pretty.
3. Keep breathing. – Deep, intentional breathing has been keeping me going. It literally helps me to feel better physically, especially since my stress presents physically (shortness of breath, chest pains, etc).
4. This is not the end. – No matter what life presents, there is always a chance for things to turn around if you keep going. It’s hard and the process will look different for you. Don’t let anyon guilt you into doing something like them. Find your peace and start taking the necessary steps to rebuild or move on. 2017 is just beginning but even if we were at the end, it would still be a perfect time to look at this unforeseen detour as an opportunity in disguise – an opportunity to grow, to re-evaluate, and to see new options. Allow yourself to grow to that point of being able to see things that way, no matter what that growth process looks like.
Prayers are appreciated. Keep breathing.