The topic in yesterday’s empowerment class was to talk about positive ways to make ourselves feel better.
The idea is to talk openly about this. Also, the idea is to talk about this honestly because the truth is everyone knows the right thing to do. Everyone knows the “Best foot forward,” answer and everyone knows what they should do, which is great however, life does not always play fairly. Life comes with unexpected twists and turns. Life has unexpected problems and fake friends. People are less than honest. Disappointment happens all the time. Life can be heartbreaking sometimes and downright cruel as well.
For example, life comes at us this way —you work hard at your day job and things are going well but for some unforeseen reason, business goes bad and next, you find out your position has been terminated.
Next, you’re handed your last paycheck by some overweight guy in a short-sleeved button down shirt with a bad tie, coffee breath, and a bad comb-over.
His arms are folded while shrugging his shoulders as he tells you, “No hard feelings but management has to cut back,” which means you have to go.
This happens and then your car breaks down. Then you find out there is a problem with heating system in your home. Your spouse is fed up and about to leave. The walls are closing in on you because it seems like everything is just going wrong.
The frustration is so goddamned high, you swear if one more person comes up with their little helpful piece of advice, you’ll absolutely lose your mind.
What do you do to feel better in times like this?
What do you do when you feel like all you do is come up short? Your thoughts become your biggest enemy and your predictions are tainted by the ideas that match your disappointed state of mind. What do you do now?
Or, what if the problems are not financial but situational and the letdown is not money so much but instead, what do you do when you feel a sense of personal emptiness?
This was yesterday’s topic. Forget about the best foot forward answers. Forget about the things we’re supposed to say and do and forget about the judgement for how we would appear if we answered this honestly.
Do not answer this question to impress anyone or to sound like (or seem like) you have everything together. The truth is everyone comes to a point where they want to throw their hands up and say “To hell with this. I quit!”
Everyone has a breaking point. Everyone knows life comes with disappointments; some of which are insurmountable, and some are catastrophic, some are heartbreaking, and some are life-altering. No one is above this. Life happens to everyone.
The truth is everyone understands the rules of engagement. Everyone knows the difference between right and wrong.
We all know the risks. However, the question at hand is what can we do when everything is falling apart? How do we feel better when the anxiety is spinning out of control, depression is at an all-time high, and then when it rains, it pours, so what do we do to feel better at a time like this?
It is easy to do the right thing when everything is going well. It is even somewhat easy to still do the right thing when things are only going somewhat okay —the real test is when everything falls out from beneath us. This is when we need our skills the most.
This is when we need to apply the best foot forward answers, which is not an easy thing to do —especially when we’re not at our best.
The question is how can we feel better when our surrounding influence is depressive? This is the question we need to focus on. How can we achieve a spiritual, emotional, and personal Independence?
My very good friend is extremely religious. We do not share the same religious beliefs; however, religion does come up in our conversations. He remembered a passage from Mark 2:17 which say, “I have not come for the healthy, but for the sick.”
No one needs a doctor when everything is fine. There are times when life does not work out. This is when we need a plan.
There are times when we let too many things slip passed us and procrastination allowed for the curve, in which we let things go into a state of disrepair (including us.)
This is why personal maintenance is important. But, sometimes, we are as sharp as a tack. We’re at our best. We’re doing all the right things.
Our best foot is forward, and suddenly fate decides to take a cheap shot. Life hits us below the belt. This is when our ability is tested. This is when we need to endure but in the worst of times, and in the darkest times, the emotion is so heavy that we can hardly lift our body from the mattress in the morning.
What do we do then?
How do we recover in times like this?
Someone will tell you, “You just have to push through,” but how?
“Just get up and move,” but how can you move when your spirit is so broken and your next best thought is self-destructive?
What do you do then? And, more importantly, how do we apply the tools we have learned on how to keep healthy and clean when all we want to do is find relief? How do you speed up the clock to a time when we feel better?
I ask this because the answer to this question is the only thing that will save us when everything falls apart.
To apply this to myself, I exposed my current situation which is not up to my optimum level. But wait, here I am, supposedly a motivational speaker (or whatever that means) and things are not going the way I want them to right now.
I mean, wait a minute . . . here I am, creating a discussion about what to do when the panic sets in and yet, I have this in my own life.
See, I live this way because I am this way too. There are times when I want to hit the switch. There are times when I see the sign that says, “In case of emergency, break glass!” and I want to break the glass.
I think it is important to humanize ourselves rather than try to stand out with the best foot forward answer —because sometimes, there is no best foot forward. Sometimes there is no relief. Sometimes, it is hard enough to just get up out of bed.
I cannot and do not tell anyone what they “Should” or “Shouldn’t” do. I cannot and will not say what works for anyone else because I don’t know what works for anyone else. I only know what works for me.
But I also know this: when times are heavy, finding a distraction is enough to create a break in our thinking system.
Replacing thought with action is the best method of defense. However, it is important to choose the action carefully and wisely because the mid will always go to the easiest source. Our mind always looks for the path of least resistance, which is human nature; however, in most cases, quick fixes only lead to temporary solutions.
And me, I don’t want a temporary solution anymore. I’m not looking to be partially healthy or partially happy. I want to live a long-term life and be able to process whatever life presents without having my happiness and wellness hinged on the events that would otherwise dictate my life.
I am human the same as anyone else. I have good days and bad days. No pretending and no amount of posturing can change the fact that life happens to us all.
I make mistakes. I have faults and flaws. I give into my defects of character and as a result, I have made poor decisions which have led to unfortunate experiences.
This is life. However, the one thing I know is I do have the right to improve. I do have the right to heal. This does not mean I will always be pardoned or forgiven. This just means no one can ever stop me from bettering myself.
I have the right to change my life at any given point, without permission. I have the right to feel. I have the right to go forward or sit still. However, in times like now when I have business decisions to make, rather than be caught up in the heavyhearted moments and rather than focus on the wrongdoings, I have to look for me next move upwards.
I have to replace thought with action —even if the action is simple, and even if the day is so bad that all I want to do is stay in bed —even the slightest action can create a change.
I have to act. Otherwise, I run the risk of being overrun by life on life’s terms. And I’m sorry. I just can’t do that right now.
I have plans for myself. I have a game to play.
I have Monday to contend with and I have things I want to accomplish, which means I have to replace thought with action and get moving.
Besides, I have a bus to catch in a little bit. I want to get there before the line gets too long and get myself a window seat. I like window seats. They give me something to look at and provide a great distraction so I can forget myself and make things happen.
Ready, set, go . . .