How do you keep going when life gets really hard?
Lately I’m having to pull daily (sometimes hourly) on mantras that hold me up, and I’m also learning from my friends’ examples.
Are We Okay Right Now?
Previously, in life-threatening situations when I was stunned and dumbfounded and also knew I had to hold it together for others, this was the question that got me unstuck. Obviously we are not totally ‘okay’ if it’s a crisis. But when I compare current state, right this minute, to worst case scenario (which could happen, hence the crisis) and we are not there yet, then I can take a breath, regain my wits, and take the next necessary step.
People say, “One day at a time.” But so much can happen in one day. That interval is too long. Everything can change in a moment—of misunderstanding, of misspoken word, of impulsive action. We do things in a moment and it’s 来不及后悔—literally ‘cannot regret fast enough’—we can’t take it back, the damage is done. So one moment at a time is even sometimes too long. “One breath at a time” seems more helpful. If I can get one breath’s distance from my impulses, maybe I can make a better choice of words, actions, expression or attitude. Depending on what’s going on right now, I can be elastic—taking everything One Day, One Moment, or One Breath at a time. When I can get up to one whole day, it reminds me to be grateful and revel in the good. When I take one deep breath, in this minute when we are mostly ‘okay,’ I can also find the good, and then a way to keep going.
Show Up Loving
My friend Donna gets it. When we share our challenges and struggles, we show up loving for each other. Donna also teaches/reminds me to show up loving to myself. Because when I show up anywhere or to anyone in self-loathing, nothing good happens. This doesn’t mean I absolve myself of responsibilities and accountability. I do not stop striving for learning, excellence, and progress. It just means I allow myself to be fallible and imperfect—to be human. When I do that for myself, I’m far more likely to do it for anyone I encounter. I can take another person’s perspective more easily. I can show up loving to them, and also hold them accountable, as I do myself. It’s a win-win, even if it’s hard and painful.
I’m taking a break from the blog for a while, friends. Hopefully not too long, and not total silence. Maybe I’ll find a way to post shorter pieces, and/or maybe just not as often? I’ll figure it out. Thank you for reading all these years, and for your engagement and support. Peace to you all.