Monthly Archives: June 2016

Get Comfortable With What’s Uncomfortable

Get comfortable with what’s uncomfortable. That’s what the Universe is trying to get through my thick skull these days. Feel stressed? Embrace it. Feel overwhelmed? Accept it. Feel like your head is going to explode? Make the best of it.

Ommmmmmm. I’m trying to get comfortable what’s uncomfortable in my life. Which is everything.

You’d think I’d be jumping up and down with excitement as the reality of moving back to the States approaches. And I am, believe me. I’ve wanted to go back for at least the last 3 years. In my (irrational) mind, being here and not there is part of the reason why I’ve been so unhappy for so long. So, I’m ecstatic to go home. In theory.

In reality, the day-to-day orchestrating of an international move is making me crazier than I already was to begin with. I am under enormous stress. We still don’t know where we’ll end up. We have lots of furniture to sell. We have foreign contracts to break and accounts to close. On top of this, I’m still working 30 hours a week on my main job and on my new side gig (blogging for HealthyPlace.com). Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I slept through an entire night, because I wake up every night. Every. Single. Night. I wake up anxious about everything that has to happen, everything that hasn’t happened, everything that might happen.

Does my anxiety make anything better? Hell no. In fact, it makes me suffer. It makes my relationships suffer. It makes everything ten times worse.

So I have to learn to get comfortable with what’s uncomfortable. And this means letting go of my need to control the outcome. It means being okay with uncertainty, and it means trusting that everything will work out. Maybe not exactly how I want, maybe not on my time line, but it will work out.

How do I get to that mental space where I’m comfortable with what’s uncomfortable? I create some spaciousness around the anxiety. I remind myself that this experience is bigger than me. This is not just about me and what I want and when I want it. It’s also about my husband and his job and what he wants. It’s about the laws and regulations of our host country. It’s about putting the contents of our lives into a 20-foot container to be shipped across the world (and the enormous amount of money involved in that). Oh. My. Goddess. There’s a lot of uncomfortable to get comfortable with right now.

Creating space around this chaos means gaining some perspective. When I zoom the lens out, I’m able to see that while this event is currently the focal point of my life, in the grand scheme of things, it’s not the focal point of my life at all. It’s one, brief episode in the overall arc. Several weeks in a lifetime of decades. Several weeks of challenges that will eventually end and then I’ll be in the next episode (where I’m sipping a glass of something yummy, sitting on a beach reading a book. Or maybe just working at my same job but in the US. Whatever.).

The current episode is tough, but I’m going to get through it. And, to do so I’ve got to create some space and perspective and keep it together. In other words, I’ve got to get comfortable with what’s uncomfortable.

Ommmmmmm.

Learning Hope is a Life Skill

When I was suffering in the darkest days of my depression, I was utterly hopeless. Despondent and helpless, I honestly felt that I was powerless to manifest any meaningful change in my life.

Hopelessness was my filter, the lens through which I interpreted everything that happened to me and about me. Life sucked. I sucked. And nothing was ever going to get better.

But as I move out of this darkness, I’m learning hope; it’s my new filter, the lens that is helping me become and see myself as emotionally competent.

In the journey of life, learning hope is a valuable skill.

In the journey of life, learning hope is a valuable skill.

Learning hope does not mean having blind optimism. I am not 100% confident that everything will work out the way I want. Nor do I think that I’m immune from sadness, heartache, or loss. Those emotions and experiences are simply part of living. They don’t just happen to me. They happen to everyone.

Learning hope means developing emotional flexibility, being able to bounce back from difficulty rather than allowing it to overwhelm me. It means knowing that although I’ll experience tough times, I won’t generalize about them. I won’t say things like, “This [shit] always happens to me,” when something goes awry.

Learning hope means embodying the adage that, ‘This too shall pass.’ I have to remember that the journey of life is a marathon, not a sprint. Circumstances change. Emotions change. People change. I have to be able to adjust my outlook and behavior. I have to course correct to make the long haul.

This is the essence of learning hope. It’s not an attitude. It’s a practice and a life skill.

 

Image courtesy of flickr user pol sifter