The world is such a stressful place. Was it always that way for adults and as kids we were oblivious to real life? Or are things really just filled with a constant state of angst these days? We go through life worried about health issues, concerned about money, fearful about terrorism, scared of losing our security and a myriad of other negative feelings. It sounds so easy just to say remove yourself from the stress, but the truth is most of us can’t afford to remove ourselves from our lives.
Somehow many of us manage to bounce back and defy the odds for the big things and yet the small disappointments are the ones that seem to drive us over the edge. There are days when all you want to do is sit back and fight the urge to “cry Uncle”. Into every life a little disappointment must fall (along with clichés obviously). When our disappointments and struggles seem to become so overwhelming, and we are vehemently opposed to burying our heads in the sand we need to find ways to pull ourselves up and rebuild our inner resources to face the world again. Sometimes it doesn’t feel easy.
So HOW do we move on? How do we regain our confidence? How do we pull ourselves out of that funk and become viable adults once again? We each have to find our own best method, but here are a few that I’ve used or people near and dear to me have used. Some are encouragement mantras; others are mere symbols of what could be.
Many, many years ago I was driving on a local road in a rainstorm; my two young children were in the back seat when I went around a blind curve and partially under a truck trying to maneuver that curve from the other direction. I had a few scratches on my leg, my daughter bumped her face against the door and my son complained of feeling like the seatbelt had “punched him in the stomach” — all minor injuries. The car was totaled. I took a picture of the car after it was towed to the junkyard and I look at it whenever I feel defeated… if we were able to walk away from a wreck like that relatively unscathed, there is a lot that we are capable of surmounting.
A dear friend of mine says that when life kicks you down, you just have to get up and put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward.
Someone else dear to me says that whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
Others stand in front of mirrors telling themselves how wonderful they are.
Still more recite the serenity prayer every day and especially in times of stress.
Whatever it takes for you to feel encouraged, find a way and move back into life
"Do not take life too seriously.
You will never get out of it alive."
- Elbert Hubbard