But sometimes they feel like they do. I had the greyest little rain cloud follow me around the other week despite the fact that we were in the middle of a typical California drought summer. Everyone was continuing on with their normal lives outside but I was not ok. Halfway through the week, with a little encouragement from my little one I headed outside to play the sun. Those first few minutes just being outside made my heart soar. The feeling carried on through early evening. Nothing else had changed. My burden was still the same to carry. But there was a noticeable difference in my ability to continue on with that day.
Even when it sounds like the worst thing in the world, and you don't have a blonde little girl tugging you towards the door, try it. Try spending time surrounded by nature, and see if it doesn't help just a bit.
Visit Somewhere With Chronically Kind Customer Service: I hope you have a place that comes to mind. Whether it's a local book store, coffee shop or large chain department store, the power of kindness is not to be overlooked. They might be being paid to work, but a genuine smile is a genuine smile. And when life is looking bleak I'll take as many of those as I can get.
Find Someone To Talk To: Is there a support group in your area focused on your personal struggles? Do you have a friend, spouse or family member you can talk to and trust? If so, let someone in. You'll be amazed at the power of sharing and being vulnerable.
Try To Not Complain I believe that positivity begets positivity. And that negativity begets negative. I can't imagine a situation when those rules wouldn't apply. I try to loosely base my life off of this realization by being as positive as I can. There is power in owning and sharing your story. You are accepting where you're life is, and encouraging those you meet to do the same.
Where it takes a negative turn is when it turns into the complaint zone. Those thoughts and conversations encourage us to feel bad for ourselves and hinders our ability to see our neighbor's struggles.
Write. Write. Write. I am a new advocate for writing : during good and hard times alike. Though I peaked with "journaling" in the 5th grade, my sporadic entries still provide the peace and self-awareness that I need. I believe the quote "I don't know what I think until I read what I say" applies especially well to times of trouble. Though we respond individually to stress-- shutting down and out is a common response. Writing is a gently way to combat those responses and to stay checked in.
Stay True to Who You Are When shii hits the fan, expectations for myself drop the opposite direction. The day-to-day demands, let alone goals such as sticking to a budget or making it to the gym are easily set aside. Prioritize, and be gentle with yourself especially in the beginning stages of survival mode.
But what about the moral standards that you held on dearly before? Can I just make a promise that those are the expectations to not let drop a bit. Now is not the time to start doing anything you hadn't done before. Now is the time to hold tight, be aware, conscious and prayerful.
You deserve a lot of things. But should the phrase "I deserve this" ever enter your mind, I hope you'll think of this. And that you don't deserve anything that would go contrary to your typical moral standards. You deserve so much more. You deserve healing, you deserve peace, you deserve to love yourself, you deserve a pure heart, you deserve everything good in this world.
So hold on.
Get outside when you can. Seek out kind people. Find a support group or confide in someone you trust. Be vulnerable through writing. And most of all, stay true to who you are.
This storm won't last forever.