Sometimes it all piles up, and I need to step back and think of coping strategies to reset my brain which is hyper-focused on the negative aspects of what’s going on in my life, shutting out what’s good. I call this the “oh woes me” brain and it can get stuck like a needle on a vinyl record listing a litany of sorry stuff that’s happening.
I have been underwater for the last few months with so many things not going in the direction I want. For one, it’s the holidays. My first without my mom, my second without my dad. Of course, holidays without Charles are always hard.
The holidays are not as hard as they were after losing Charles to suicide, but still, they feel lethargic. I won’t go into all the other dynamics that have me losing my center of gravity. But as most of you whose lives aren’t perfect know, it’s never one thing but often a crescendo of things that happen all at once. Yeah, I’ve hit one of life’s snags. And I am working through it with this rekindled coping focus. That and the Tibetan Singing Bowls Meditation Sound Bath I go to monthly. That’s a keeper.
That brings me to my pledge–the one for which you are going to hold me accountable.
Every day for the next few months, I am going to post one thing I am grateful for
I do this because that forces me to reframe my focus and think all day about what I will post. And because I don’t want to let you down. And it inspires me to always scan my environment for those things I’m grateful for. That sets a good intention for the day. It worked right after I lost Charles to suicide. When I mean “work” it didn’t fix everything. It helped me get through it.
This exercise opened up a sliver of space so that joy could slip in and grow to lessen my suffering and minimize the rumination-on-steroids brain chatter.
Such a simple exercise that has so many benefits. I remember when I posted a #griefheart every day (#griefheart on Pinterest). That helped me get through the day and what’s more, I had all of you and me looking for hearts everywhere. Every time I’d see people in person at events or on social, someone was posting the heart they looked for and found.
Will you help me by commenting, and sharing what you are grateful for?
Or just commenting, in general, to keep me motivated.
I tend to do better if it’s a group effort and I need accountability partners. Besides, I’d like to know what you are grateful for. That helps me and others.
So what is the photo above and what am I grateful for today?
It’s a picture of the lake I walk by on my walk at least 5 times a week. I walked by this lake hundreds of times during the pandemic shutdown when I logged over a thousand miles through my neighborhood.
I do believe life is about lots of little moments of joy that add up and not some eutopia we arrive at and stay in infinity. I know now to grab and hold moments of joy, stop and relish them for a moment. It really is about stopping and appreciating the small stuff. And this will be my catalog for that.
Not one day during the pandemic and now after (if there really is an after) have I not thought about how lucky I am to have a space that was so beautiful and the opportunity to get outside in it. And friends like Emily, Virginia, Julie, or Maria to walk in it with me.
What I’m going through now is not as hard as losing my son. I have healed from that and I know I can do this. I have the tools. And this is one of them.
Because no matter how stressful my life is, I can find one thing to be thankful for if I actively look for it. It’s simple. It’s free. And it works.