Dealing with what you’re dealt

I don’t know if it’s Mercury retrograde or some kind of karmic whirlwind or what it is that’s been going on lately, but wow, life has been incredibly, horribly difficult. I could go with the more positive sounding ‘challenging’ but that just really doesn’t cover it. Things in my famIly’s life have just been really, really plain bloody difficult – to the point where I’ve pulled out a number of entirely unhelpful, self-defeating coping behaviours to try and manage the stress – not something I’m proud of, and not something I want to keep doing, and I’m working on putting those behaviours back where they belong, which is far, far away from me. But sometimes, that’s just the way I have to do things.

And then on Sunday I was reading this post by Sarah Wilson, which was profound enough, but then the comments section led me to another post by Danielle LaPorte, with whose work I wasn’t familiar: Strike ‘overwhelmed’ from your vocabulary.

I have to say, that article really, really pulled me up slap bang against myself, because if there is one thing I have been feeling over the last couple of months – if I were to pick one single word to describe myself – it would be overwhelmed: with worries about my son, my business, my health, politics, the crappiness of the world in general. Absolutely overwhelmed. But here is someone telling me, quite seriously, that I need to remove this very concept from my thinking; that whatever the situation is, I have the sheer capacity to cope with it; that I can ride that wave more-or-less gracefully to shore no matter how rough it is.

I shed a lot of tears over this revelation, partly of shame, partly of amazement, partly of gratitude. I’m rearranging my thinking. It’s not easy. I don’t want to have to deal with more miserable crap – and in miserable crap terms I doubt we’re out of the woods yet – but if I have to, I can. And I don’t have to do it alone, because as I’ve also recently realised, dealing with the situation you’ve been dealt can mean asking for help. Which is good to know, isn’t it?

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