|How to Get Through All of It - A Personal Diary Entry Review|
Living over six decades, I've gathered some of the tools needed to overcome life's constant challenges. I thought I'd share a few tidbits for those seeking coping mechanisms.
The Most Important Thing I've Learned in This Life So Far
I can definitively say, the most valuable lesson I've learned is that the peace we seek is entirely inside of us, at our core. It doesn't come from anything or any person.
When the storm swirls around me, I hold onto that which is entirely mine, my soul.
Our soul is the one thing that is truly ours. Unseen and always ready to be nurtured, it's not the possession of anyone except ourselves and the higher power we believe in.
Five Techniques to Help You Get Through It All
Mindfulness can be an overused, confusing term.
For me, it's when I choose to practice being wholly present in a moment. When being 'present' doesn't come naturally, I use a repetitive mantra or a prayer to bring my mind into the now and away from that rabbit-thinking-hole that leads nowhere.
It takes practice to perfect, but like any exercise, it becomes easier each time.
Prayer isn't just for the religiously committed.
You can create your own prayer to the universe or the higher power that means something to you. For me, it's usually Psalm 23 on repeat in my mind. The beautiful thing about prayer is that you can do it anywhere, anytime.
As soon as you feel yourself getting upset or thinking thoughts that lead you to a dark place, STOP and begin repeating that prayer or inspirational phrase you decided upon. Repeat it over and over until you bring yourself back to a healthy center. If it takes all day, so what! Repeat it all day, and don't let anything else in.
When I spend time praying for other people, one by one, with specifics for each of them, I feel so much better. Try it; when you're feeling at the end of your rope, start praying for all your loved ones.
I go on prayer bike rides; I get to exercise physically and spiritually. I spend the entire bike ride praying for my friends, family, country, planet, and the universe. The prayers are unique and specific to each of them.
For me, I sing. Put your headphones on and listen or sing your guts out. My family is used to me singing full tilt. I'm grateful for that. Depending on the lyrics and message I need, I choose the song for the moment. One of my favorite spiritual groups is Mercy Me. While typing, I'm listening to their song "Say I Won't" (Live from the 2021 K-Love Fan Awards).
4. Realize You Can't Change People
This is a tough lesson to learn. If you're one of the lucky ones, you'll discover it quickly in your early years. If you understand this as early as your 20s, you might just have the world by the tail!
What does it mean to understand that you can't change a person?
It means that they have to walk their walk; you can't do it for them. That goes for spouses, siblings, friends, and children. We can teach with our words, but most importantly with our actions, and be there for them; we can't do it for them. I learned this first hand, it was brutal, but we got through it.
When there's a situation that hurts, that I have no power over (and the older I get, the more there are), I pray over and over. Some days I spend most of the day mentally praying.
5. Let It Go
Holy crap, that's overly simplified, isn't it?
When I was younger, I used to get upset with people who told me to 'just let it go!' What in the world does that mean! That's how I used to feel.
What it DOESN'T mean is to not have empathy, compassion, and a good heart. Letting go isn't about not caring.
Today, at this stage of life, I completely understand what it means to let it go; it means,
- practice mindfulness when you're consumed with an issue
- pray when you're consumed with an issue
- exercise when you're consumed with an issue
- listen to music when you're consumed with an issue
- trust in a positive outcome; see it
- have faith in those around you
- always embrace love no matter the pain; love them anyways
- and finally, only take action to tackle a problem when it's warranted that you do so
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