When your life feels like a Country song
Normally, I am an upbeat happy person.
Sometimes I get the blues. Maybe you do too.
Today, my life feels like a Country song. It goes something like this …
My beloved dog of 11 years died a few days ago.
My house was broken into on Sunday. I discovered that this morning when I went to get my work bag and found it missing. Now gone, my laptop. On it, the only copy of my book I have been writing for 2 years saved on the hard drive. Now gone, my sense of safety in my own home as I was home at the time it happened and heard the back door open.
My lovely, dear sister died unexpectedly early this year.
Members of my family have had serious health concerns to manage this year. I myself had major surgery a few months ago.
I mean how many “growth opportunities” can one person handle? What lesson have I not yet learned? That’s it – I don’t want to learn anything more.
What to do?
Given that I teach resilience classes to lawyers and health teams – I thought I would share today what raw times feel and sound like.
This morning I thought to myself – I can’t do this. It’s too much.
Then I took a deep breath.
Then I thought – I surrender.
Then I took another deep breath. And I cried.
Then I told someone how I was feeling. In fact, it happened during a business call with a client whom I deeply respect.
Then I took another deep breath.
Then I lost myself in a little bit of work.
Then I thought about a few good things in my life.
Then I started writing this blog.
Here’s what I know about steps of resilience.
- Breathe first. That’s step one.
- Gratitude is the next step – and every step after that. When deep in the darkness of how unfair everything is and how I can’t go on and how it’s all too much and how I don’t want to have to deal with one more thing – there is a spark of hope in gratitude. So I thought about my marriage and my kids and my work team and my clients and my creative work and my family. I thought of all the things that were not in my bag and that I do not have to replace.
- Take practical steps to address urgent matters. Practical steps provide a small feeling of control. I have made arrangements to change locks and I have made reports. I didn’t want to. I did it anyway.
- Share. I shared my grief and sadness and fear. I will have to do that repeatedly for the next little while. In many ways, I won’t want to share. Then there will be times today and in the next while where I will overshare – sometimes with strangers. I will not bottle this up. I will not isolate myself. Social connection is one of the most important aspects of resilience.
My life is amazing. But, it has not felt that way for much of this year.
You might be feeling like you are being stretched beyond what you can handle.
Here are some additional resources I use:
- Practice Emotional First Aid, Guy Winch TedTalk
- Love Warrior, Glennon Doyle Melton – she talks about doing “the next right thing”
- The Artists Way, Julia Cameron – for creative release
- Muse for meditation and lately the Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra meditations
Be gentle with yourself. This too shall pass.