I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who has ever felt defeated, deflated, or just plain down. You know what I mean: A day when, despite your best efforts and all the heart and soul that you have poured into something, you end up with what feels like nothing to show for all the effort— or worse yet: losing what you thought was yours. We all have options at that point.
- Give up and tell yourself that it wasn’t worth having anyway
- Go indulge in that quart of ice cream and sort through the ashes of the dream
- Get mad at everything and everyone in your path
What about a fourth option?
This week, I had a day on which I didn’t receive two different professional accolades that made me feel like I had somehow failed. On top of that, Mabel (my name for my rheumatoid arthritis) was misbehaving and making my body ache, and I found out that my most beloved friend had been hurt. Logically, I knew that none of these events were within my control and that I had done the best I could in each situation. It was simply a case of one thing on top of another, and I felt like despite everything I am and all the precautions I had taken that I was not…”enough.”
In the midst of my upset over the events, I found a fourth option: self-care and acceptance. I went home, cried, drank some water, and discussed the situation with the few people in the world whom I trust to help me regain my footing. I emerged from that set of events with a sense of serenity. For once, I wasn’t upset with myself for mistreating either my body, my mind, or my loved ones. I allowed myself to feel the sadness, grief, and dismay of the situation completely. Of course, piling a couple of beautiful little children on my lap and watching movies helped too! I told my beloved friend how much I loved her and was simply present for her in her situation. I remembered that Mabel has good days and cranky days and that I can only do so much to appease her. Professionally, I spent the next day objectively evaluating the situation and finding a solution that opened more doors of possibility for growth.
In short, the fourth option is to rise like the proverbial phoenix and brush the ashes off before they clog and muddy the spirit. As I write this post, I’m listening to a Stephen Stills‘ song called “Sit Yourself Down.” The gist of the song is to quit running yourself into the ground and to “sit yourself down(gotta slow down)/take a look around.” That’s precisely the heart of option four.
4. Get off the train of regret, self-deprecation, self-pity, and self-loathing. Sit down on a bench at that imaginary train station, take a deep breath, and look at the beauty that is within you and all around you.
If you let yourself slow down and allow your tears to wash away the ashes of obsolete possibility, you allow the Universe to bring new growth and an opportunity for yet more love to blossom in your life. By allowing yourself to simply be, the Universe will send a new train to the station. Your ticket is absolutely valid.