When the Going Gets Tough

I had breakfast with a dear friend yesterday. We talked about a lot of stuff. We talked about our relationships and our jobs (mine is the unpaid kind). We talked about getting older and the changes that brings. And we talked about how at some point in our lives, we are faced with something we have no control over, something that is a real struggle to deal with, or someone or something we wouldn’t choose to have in our lives.

In these situations, we may have the feeling like our lives are “over”, like we are backed into a corner, like we’ve been dealt a bad hand, and that, as a result, it all sucks. We think about the situation all the time, and feel the weight of our relentless thoughts and feelings. There is nowhere to run and hide.

What I have found though, is that the way to make peace with the “situation” is the opposite of trying to push it away (which is really draining energetically).

I have found the following to be helpful in these situations:

  1. Acknowledge your feelings and let them out. It can be in the form of tears, pounding your pillow, talking to someone about it, going for a run or other physical activity.
  2. Write it out. This is a point in itself and not a part of the first one because I truly believe in the power of getting it all on the page. As you write and notice the specific words that come up, as well as what you say, it provides an opportunity to clarify what is really bothering you. Writing also provides catharsis and an opportunity to process your feelings instead of stuffing them where the sun don’t shine.
  3. You’ve heard the saying “the only way out is through”, which means that no matter how much you would like to, you can’t fast forward or take a detour. Eventually you have to deal with what *is*.
  4. The art of dealing with what *is* : remember compassion; for yourself and everyone involved. Humour is often helpful. So is spending time in nature and doing something that brings you joy. Losing yourself in the moment is highly beneficial. Do this through art, cooking, gardening; whatever activity you enjoy.
  5. Don’t go it alone. Talk to someone. Get professional help. Adopt a pet. Volunteer for a good cause.
  6. Prayer, meditation and exercise.

I hope that this helps you when the going gets difficult in your life. Wishing you peace always,

Cora

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Be You

Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.

   – Steven Pressfield in The War of Art