Friday, December 16, 2011

When Bad Things Happen

I have a friend who is going through a really hard time right now.... and I feel so helpless!

After a lot of emotional drama - which is almost always heightened this time of year, she is going through some scary health issues (high blood pressure), is having to take off work because she is too upset to focus, and is really struggling to handle this thing she can't control!

I can’t fix it for my friend.... I can only listen.. and say what I would do.....

(Mind you, I would NOT give her advice to fix her family issues!  When it comes to family issues, I think we all have opinions on what other people should do... or opinions about what we THINK or HOPE we would do... but I’m not sure we can speak to what we would REALLY do in that situation...)

But I CAN speak to how I would take care of ME!

The first thing I would do is NOT (okay, TRY NOT to) focus on the latest upsetting event.  Especially if I was sitting around wondering what I could do about it (this means that I am clueless and probably helpless – at that moment anyway)

I would be nice to myself!   A cup of tea... an inspirational book.. SOMEthing that makes me feel good – really good.... not binging or overbuying or crazy stuff that we do mindlessly! 

  Of course, as agitated as I would be (because I am me) .... sitting and reading probably would not be MY answer here!  I would need to get out and take a walk!  Regardless of the weather – wearing myself out physically would help me get through the rest of the day!

Then, what I usually do when I am confused, or lost, or upset.....  is make a list.   No surprise there, huh?  If you know me, you know I write everything down :-)  I don’t have to do anything on the list if I don’t want to ... but the list helps me focus on constructive things that will help me.

I think about how I will feel when I go to bed tonight.... I try to think... what will help me rest easier?   What can I accomplish today that will make me feel a little better tonight?

Because the reality is – especially when I am upset – I can slide through a whole day or even weeks – in misery.  I can spend all that time wallowing in my self-pity or self-loathing or self-something (all SELF, mind you).... and accomplish nothing except making mySELF and everybody else more miserable.

So, if I can accomplish something that will move my life forward in a direction I want it to go... then I have not wasted this time God gave me.

I think about what I can do – TODAY – that is not SELF-oriented.  My negative emotions, however justified, are all about me.  They will not move me in the direction I want to go.  When I am focused on my own feelings... I need to come out of them in order to find logic and truth.  Giving back to someone else helps me find balance in a bad day.

A bad day.....  is another thing.  Days are neither bad nor good.... it is what happens in them and how I react to these events.. that make a day “good or bad”.  So it makes sense... when things happen and I am no longer in control... it is time to find things I CAN control.  It is time to create some positive energy to send out into the world.

I write down the things I do accomplish that make me feel good.   Sometimes that list merely says things like.... took out the trash... did a load of laundry... made dinner for the family without complaining... but looking at that list makes me realize that I took charge and did not let my day slip away in a haze of misery.

Balance – it’s about balance.  When bad things happen – and they will – I need to do what I can to even the scales.  And I often can do absolutely nothing about the things that knocked me down.... so I need to think of other ways to bring me back into balance.

I hope this helps a little, my friend.  The wisdom is inside you..... the wisdom is available for the asking... take it slow... take it one day... one hour.. at a time.... and bring that balance and positive energy back to your life.

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