Problems? We All Have Them.

Now, with this new branch of my learning/growth, I’ve also discovered something else that I need to share and be more open about.  My life (the good and the bad).  No matter who we are, it’s not the problems in life that define us, it is how we have overcome them that shapes our lives and who we will become.  I have tried to keep mostly positive, never sharing when I’m having a rough time of it.  Well, I am currently having a rough time.  Just about a month ago, I found out someone I dearly love has cancer (my step mom).  It was a shock to everyone.  After processing everything and getting into a more positive place, BAM!  Not only does my husband have a gluten sensitivity (not sure yet if it’s celiac), he has to have surgery.  See, he went in for a colonoscopy, the gastroenterologist said everything went well, then two days later I get a phone call from a surgeon.  They tell me we were referred to them by our gastro and they would like to set up an appointment for a consultation. BAM!  It feels like Wile E. Coyote just slammed a huge hammer on our heads (by the way, this phone call was June 3. 2015).  Thankfully, the gastro called a bit later (thank you so much for the warning), stating it’s not cancer but still, this was a huge shock.

Now, these are not the only problems we have experienced.  We have been together for 16 years (married for 15) and have lived through some incidents that I would not wish on anyone else.  But now, I’m older and in a much better place spiritually than ever before.  So, I would like to share my insights as I learn to deal with these.

If you are human, you have problems.  Period.  It does not matter if you are the Dalai Lama or me.  To be human is to experience problems and deal with them (or not … it’s your choice).

How we deal with these problems that surface will define not only who we are but how successful we will be in all aspects of life.  No matter what the problem is, never (ever) say to yourself (as a form of comfort), “Well, it could be worse.” Worse for who?  This problem is yours and how big or small of a role it plays in your life is defined by you and your circumstances.  If someone else would react differently, saying to yourself, “Well, so and so had this happen and they didn’t get upset at all” is a way to blame/shame yourself for having an emotional response.  We are not computers, the Borg, or Vulcans (bet you can’t tell what genre of movies/shows I like).

You are allowed to be upset.  You are allowed to cry.  You are allowed to be sad.  You are allowed to get depressed.  You are allowed to be angry. 

Suppressing any of that will backfire down the road with the next challenge/problem you face.  All those suppressed emotions will build up each time you stomp them down into that hole you have created until, one way or another, they will explode.  Whether that explosion is in the form of a rage-filled temper tantrum or health issues (just think about where you feel it when you bottle up those emotions: your gut.  Do you think it’s some magical coincidence that so many people today have acid reflux disease and/or ulcers and/or intestinal issues?).

So, what are my favorite ways to release my emotions?  Lately, I’ll be sitting here and all of a sudden want to cry.  So, I let myself cry.  There have even been some evenings recently when my husband asks what I want to do (it’s usually a choice between watching a movie/television show together or playing a video game).  My answer is: “I just want to cry.”  And he says, “O.k.” and waits.  Then, I’ll usually pick a movie with lots of testosterone (Action/horror) or we’ll sit a kill demons (Diablo 3).

My ultimate favorite way to release these emotions, though, is to scream/yell.  Seriously.  I just stand outside and just let loose (I’ll do this inside if it’s too late so I don’t disturb the neighbors).  Have you ever watched the movie, “Full Metal Jacket”?  Let me hear your war cry.  I do it as long and as many times as I can until I think I’m done.

Let me hear your war cry!

So, what’s next.  Breathe.  I’m serious.  I take a long, deep breath then let it out slowly.  It’s amazing how little we breathe when we are upset.  We usually take shallow, quick breaths when we are too upset to think straight.  It usually only takes me a few breaths until I can think a bit more rationally.

Now, I ask myself:

Is there anything right now I can do to remedy this situation? 

  1. If my answer is yes, I make all the plans necessary to do it, then do it!  I don’t wait or dwell, worry or fret, I get busy (depending on the situation, Google is great for this).
  2. If the answer is no and there is nothing I can do right now to remedy this situation, I figure out a way to let it go, mentally, for the time being.  This is especially difficult if it is a health issue.  If it is, for the love of yourself and everyone around you, DO NOT CONSULT DR. GOOGLE!  That one “innocent” search could take you from having a minor ulcer to colon cancer in three clicks.

You may be asking me, “O.k., smartass, how do I just let something like that go?”  Find something, anything else to occupy your mind.  I’m completely serious.  Just make sure whatever it is takes all your concentration.  So far, since finding out about my husband’s surgery consultation, I have cleaned my neighbor’s house (it’s my neighbor, so I had to concentrate and do a thorough job), listened to 4+ hours of interviews from Hay House’s 2015 World Summit, written two small blog posts (this will be my third and longest one), meditated a couple of times (this one was the most difficult to do), done my free weight lifting routine (if you have ever used a barbell while not concentrating, you know the consequences), begun physically reading two books and have started the Creative Baddass Challenge.

Now, I’m not telling you to just ignore whatever situation/challenge you find yourself dealing with.  Thoughts and feelings regarding it ARE going to pop into your head (and depending on the severity of the situation, this might happen quite often) but you can’t dwell on something that you currently have no solution to. Just acknowledge those thoughts, fears, or worries then let them drift right back out of your head like they are floating on a stream.

And that’s pretty much where I’m at now.  The thoughts float in, then I let them float right back out of my head (except this morning when I was trying to fix the @#$% wi-fi … that’s all I could think about, so at least I wasn’t dwelling on the bigger issue 🙂 ).

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