Life is full of challenging events, some that might be overwhelming. We get comfortable in situations or settings and then something happens that might make us question things- even to the extent of our very existence, or purpose. People enter and exit our lives- seemingly on a whim- whether we welcome them or not, and whether we like it or not. We don’t always get our way, and sometimes we might focus on the little things when we need to focus on the big picture, while other times we might focus on the big picture when we need to observe and appreciate the little things.
It’s difficult to find the balance between the good and the bad in our lives, our world, or our circumstances at times- especially when a series of unfortunate events cloud our blue skies. Or perhaps we’ve never experienced a truly blue sky and we were dealt a difficult hand from the beginning, being forced to deal with one traumatic event after another. People who have lived this way might deal with circumstances differently than, say, someone who has lived a comfortable, cushioned life and is suddenly faced with a major life crisis. Either way, both of these individuals might be unprepared or unwilling to take on the challenges that arise because they are either exhausted and feel they have reached a breaking point, or because they haven’t had the experience and do not feel they are equipped with the right tools to handle the situation.
Everyone has issues. Everyone faces challenges. Everyone experiences loss, grief, panic, fear, heartbreak, and so on… However, more and more studies are conducted regarding human behaviors and the mind, and with that, more and more research has shown that the individual’s perception– or outlook- on life or the situation or the future, is what determines the extent of how the unfortunate event affects or impacts that person or his or her routine or his or her future. For example, a person cares X amount about another person, the two break up, and depending on the person’s outlook on a variety of things, that person will either grieve for a short time and start making adjustments accordingly, or will wallow in their grief, mourning the loss daily, to the extent of allowing the loss to control his or her life and future, and potentially allow that event to affect relationships with other people, or cause him or her to avoid relationships altogether.
One scenario is healthier than the alternative, and while things are not black and white, or limited to this way or that way, there are options available to help those- everyone– in need to satisfy the individual and help him or her cope and move on with their life.
As the saying goes, life goes on…
One method I like to use to help me cope with challenges each and every. single. day. is to express myself in a variety of ways that work for me. I sometimes feel the need to vent to my people verbally and am always encouraged when I do so. That is something I take comfort in, because it helps me focus on the good people I have in my life. Or, when I want to reach out but am unable to for whatever reason at the time, I vent by writing. An example would be- my dog is still sick and I am worried about his health but have the responsibility of going to my job an hour away. I would love to cry on my boyfriend’s shoulder, but am currently unable to, so I’m using my creative outlet instead, and taking pleasure in the little things– being able to vent through writing while I am also at work.
I remind myself that I am thankful for this job and my ability to be of service to those in need. While my contribution is smaller than that of the Psychiatrist’s, I am comforted in knowing that I can and do make a difference. That is another little thing I can reflect on and it helps me to maintain focus and remain in- and appreciate- the present, regardless of what might be happening in the background.
So while the big picture is there in all its mystical glory, it is sometimes the little things we should take comfort in during troubling times. There are calms before and after the storm and we need to remind ourselves that avoiding the situation, avoiding our needs to get us through the situation, or avoiding the feelings, people, or lessons associated with them, is not the healthy choice in handling life.
Appreciate the little things and take comfort in the possibility that the current circumstances are shaping your outlook and future for a more fulfilling and meaningful life. A hard lesson could blossom into a found purpose.