Each of us goes through pain and struggle in our lives. It seems that pain and struggle is a right of passage into adulthood.
I see those things as something like a gym exercise. You see, each time you have a hard day there is a choice to make. Do you learn from it, grow from it, or let it break you? If you snapped or you feel like the day broke you, what do you do the next day? Do you choose to go back and make the same mistakes again or do you learn from it and move forward.
I work as often as I can to practice kindness even in stress and struggle. I try my best to be honest even in the face of frustration. These things create simplicity in my life by not having to remember lies and half-truths. I purpose to fully accept responsibility for my part in a situation EVEN when I don’t believe it was entirely my fault. Each person involved always plays a part even through their reactions. What helps me do that? Reflection. I ask myself questions early and often.
- Did I handle the situation the best I could in the moment?
- Be prepared to forgive yourself if you didn’t and also repair what you must.
- What would I do the same if the same thing happens tomorrow?
- What about the next day?
- What would I do differently if I had a ‘do-over?’
- Can I take parts of what I would do over to fix it or has that ship sailed?
- What do I need to do to make it right, or if I can’t make it right, can I at least make it better?
- What do I need to do to let this go? **
- This one is the most important and is required truly grow better.
- If you can not let it go you clearly need to search and find peace in any way you can
I am absolutely not saying I am a door mat, nor am I saying every event that happens to or around me is my fault. What I am saying is you have a choice in how you respond. You choose to get out of bed for work. Some days it is more difficult, some days anxiousness and fear makes me want to stay in bed, but staying in bed is also a choice. Those choices have consequences but there is a choice. I can choose to refuse to shower, brush my teeth, eat the junk or eat healthy. I can also choose how I respond when someone is unfair or yells at me.
It takes practice and purposeful reflection to get better at handling each situation with as much grace as you can. When I do handle things well I know I can let go of the feelings faster. I don’t have to hold on to guilt, and even better I can rest easy at night.
For me anything else will leave me bitter, and I strongly prefer better.