I am fed up… what can we do to help us through challenging times?
Currently I am not really able to walk. A sport injury. Everybody told me that it would take 6 to 8 weeks, and I am only in week 4, but I am already pretty fed up. I berate myself for finding this challenging. I tell myself it is only an injury, it will heal, and it is absolutely nothing in the scheme of things. And yet, I am fed up.
I basically want things to be different from how they are, and this is the surest route to getting myself down. Wanting things to be different from how they are is a very human condition. How often have I not wished I had more energy, more time, more support, more whatever. Right now, I wish I could walk.
The risk of wanting things to be different from how they are is that I end up never being satisfied with my actual life. That is not who I want to be.
The challenge is not to have to change the situation to be ok with it. Happiness and satisfaction lie in the ability to be aware of, and be ok with, your reality as it is right now. To deal with the challenges that come your way, not by having to change them, getting angry at them, avoiding them or denying them, but to look them in the eye.
Often, I hear people say ‘I cannot accept this situation’, as if knowing and being ok with reality somehow means rolling over and surrendering. This is based on a misunderstanding of what being ok with the situation means.
Being ok with reality means taking action if that is what is needed, and when nothing can be done, still being ok. Of course, I diligently do my exercises that help me recover from my injury. But trying to force myself to walk too much will only set me back. I have to know and accept reality to respond wisely, because it is here, whether I like it or not.
This is especially powerful when you are faced with internal things you do not like – feelings of stress, anxiety, worry, depression or incessant thoughts. When we do not want to feel these things and deny or avoid them, we are actually letting them decide our life much more than if we see them and let them be.
When I let myself go down the route of feeling frustrated with my injury I feel worse. It does the injury no good, but it changes everything. My reality right now is: cannot really walk, finding it hard to be stuck at home, not feeling very joyful, lots of people who are helping me, time to write, think and read, and people coming to visit. Bit of challenging, bit of good.
Thanks to my meditation practice, to my insight into my own thoughts, my ability to take a step back from my experience, I am more than fine. But that took practice, and continues to need practice. Sitting in meditation, doing yoga moves (although very limited right now), enjoying the small things, and allowing myself to feel what I feel – because I do.
All good. Right now, it’s 5.30pm and time for a glass of wine – because that can also help!