My niece, Lucy, is 7 years old. When I visited her this summer, I’d just had an argument with my mom. When I was sitting in the next room with Lucy i said “Uh. Nana is REALLY mad. Im in big trouble. “. Lucy understood my sentiment. She said to me: “I It makes me sad when I get in trouble. And, then I just want a do-over. I’m like, can I just do it over?”
When it comes to everyday living, there are no do-overs. Only reflections, and contemplations about what went wrong – and what should be. From there, the potential for growth – or upward spiral patterns begin.
I’d been sad. It was a slow buildup – actually months and months of various events, interactions, observations. I could easily outwardly point fingers – but the reality in my world is that I allowed these situations to become my life.
Now, in retrospect, I see why I ended up in a state of sadness.
And, although I passionately wished I could hit the delete button on my situations, I came to terms with this: my problems would not disappear.
As the situations began to creep up: a long, drawn-out breakup, funcancial stress, all the daily pressures of owning a business (and in my case, two businesses). One morning i looked in the mirror and saw what others had been seeing for a long time: stressful, cranky, overly serious.
I *tried* to “get happy” – but it just didn’t work. Instead, I found myself unable to look happy people in the eyes. I saw their light, and was embarrassed that I had none. I tried to disguise my moods – but my fog kept getting darker. I felt lost.
I had no plan of action. No rope to grab. My dearest friends extended their hands and I turned away. It wasn’t about their help. I needed to find the switch inside of me.
My First Step was the toughest – because it was unexpected. So maybe you wouldn’t consider this a step – but I really think it was necessary in the process. I broke down. In a BIG way. It was bad – really bad. I cried and sobbed and shook. I sat on the floor in a ball. I yelled. It continued for two days. I thought about terrible things. I wrote and wrote and wrote. I wrote hate mail… much of which was directed to myself. I felt dirty. I felt a black void inside of me that physically hurt. I could feel it on a cellular level. I felt like I wanted to disappear. During beautiful sunny days, I laid in my bed sweating, with dry lips, and I cried.
My Second Step is downright embarrassing. I made the tremendously insidious mistake of reading though Facebook. I couldn’t handle everyone’s happiness (I couldn’t stand it). Big smiles and videos of kittens, fruity drinks, plane tickets, self-serving vanity shots, birthdays, achievement awards, and war.
So – I used social media as a platform to proclaim my sadness and anger to the world. I’m not sure why I did this, as I’m typically pretty private. (But, yes, I really did.) I just said: “I’m so sad. Tears down my face sad.” I felt like a rebel. It felt like “F-YOU FACEBOOK! I’M F-ING SAD!”
What happened next was incredible – and also unexpected. An outpouring of love from “friends” who genuinely care! Some people gave me pragmatic advice. Some, spiritual guidance. My favorite were those people who wrote: “Thank you for your honesty. It’s refreshing.”
My honesty inspired. (?)
(Other people are sad too!)
The lesson: I’m not alone. (YOU’RE NOT ALONE).
I took all of this genuine advice and care into my heart and into my mind. Then I took a long shower. I cried a little more, and exhaled a lot. Then I began repeating to myself. “I’m ok.” (Not profound – but it worked) (!)
I felt clean.
Now I begin with a fresh page and a new pen. This new beginning does not mean that I will ignore my problems. I will approach them with a positive, solution-based attitude. I have the ability to change my thinking. I can re-program my brain.
I have the power to change my paradigm. I have the strength to re-program my process.
I will avoid negative terms – and will think before I speak. I will listen to the tone of my voice. I will soften my jaw and brow, and make my eyes sparkle, even when there’s no one around. I will take my time and care for what is important. (Me.)
As a fitness professional, I help people become strong; physically and mentally. I coach them that it’s ok to fall – just as long as they stand up again.
Taking our own advice can be tough – but here I go.
In my Third Step, I will become strong through my fresh start. My strength will bend and flow like water. My strength will be quiet, and it will glow.
So, I’ll appeal to you… when your life gets extra complicated, messy, or difficult, find your strength again. The Universe supports change – and fresh beginnings ARE the cycle of life. Be strong, friend.