Many of us seem to be frustrated that things are hard right now, but who said life would be easy? Of course life isn’t easy! Why do we act like it should be? And why do we choose to accept that difficult is inherently bad?
Difficulty breeds innovation. It gives us an opportunity to appreciate moments of comfort and ease. Meeting a challenge brings a sense of accomplishment. These are not bad things.
Yes, we’ve been served a big dose of strong medicine all at once. But that’s not really the problem. The problem is trying to force things to go “back to normal.” That normal is gone. Adjustment is necessary.
Adjustment often comes with a sense of loss, grief, helplessness, fatigue, sadness, frustration, fear, and anger. That does not automatically spell catastrophe unless we choose to define it that way. Most of us have within us the resources to weather much more than we imagine. We just need to believe it and draw on those resources.
When our internal resources need bolstering, we can say so out loud to someone capable of holding our truth, lending assistance, and encouraging us. I promise you, there are people who will listen, feel empathy for you, and can help hold your burden. There are people who can, and will, provide you with food, clothing, or assistance with bills.
It may not be those you WANT to or believe SHOULD provide for you. But holding onto the fantasy that a dismissive parent, self-focused friend, humiliating spouse, or bureaucratic system will suddenly change prevents you from finding better resources. Now is the time for letting go!
I am not discounting the strength and courage it takes to move forward when you’re terrified. I lived with underlying fear for at least my first 55 years. I am skilled at talking myself off the ledge. But that’s just it: I feel confident I can push through my fear and shift swiftly when I need to. I am, if anything, adaptable.
At this moment, I keep hearing Jack Nicholson in my head saying, “You can’t handle the truth!” like he did in the movie “A Few Good Men.” It feels like many people currently accept that as fact and choose to avoid information that is hard to hear. That’s a choice that can put you at additional risk both health-wise and financially.
But you can handle the truth. Life is hard. That’s not devastating news.
My eldest son told his wife the other day, “I was built for this.” I feel the same way. That doesn’t mean the current state of affairs would be our first choice. It doesn’t mean we don’t value easygoing, fun times. It just means we know about ourselves that we can handle this new reality. We will find our way through the challenges and feel our way through the heartache. It will not destroy us.
You will have new challenges today that you did not anticipate a month ago, a week ago, or yesterday. It feels like that is something new, but isn’t that always true in life? Think of all of the unanticipated challenges you’ve already faced. Those allowed you to build the emotional muscle you need to meet an even bigger challenge.
Celebrate your courage, bravery, stamina, and good decisions! Flex your resilience muscle by supporting your friends, family, or a vulnerable population that moves your heart. When your hands are busy, your mind will settle. When you channel your energy into helping others, the reward is always yours.
This week, when you meet each day, see if you can feel however any new difficulties make you feel and then let those feelings go or channel them into energy to make the most of the opportunities presented. After all, the flip side of a challenge is always an opportunity.
Life is hard. You cannot control every detail. There will be uncertainty. Within that uncertainty are opportunities for greatness and excellence! I choose to embrace and celebrate those no matter how small! And I am grateful for the chance to do so. I have never believed that life will be easy. Who said that anyway?