It’s not the Load that breaks you down. It’s the way you Carry it. – C.S. Lewis
First of all, it’s a privilege to do the work I do. As a counselor, I am trusted with the most critically important issues people can face in life. Big or small, one rule applies: if it’s important to you, it’s important to me.
Some of these issues are easy to identify, harder to change: leave an abusive relationship, establish boundaries with a loved one when they are overbearing, reach out to a friend who has hurt your feelings, or unfollow someone on Facebook whose posts upset you every time you read them.
But sometimes it’s things that can’t be changed readily by your actions. Like a cancer diagnosis, a significant other’s affair, or a layoff at your company.
The words of the Serenity Prayer, used by Alcoholics Anonymous, come to mind: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Because going to war with the hard issues in your life with anger, guilt, self-loathing or blame doesn’t help, and indeed, only strengthens the misery. Example: I’m laid off. I hate myself for not seeing this coming. Now, besides being laid off, you are laid off AND feeling upset with yourself.
How did that help?
The key is learning acceptance. Accept to float on the ocean waves of hard times rather than flail around in the water fighting them. When you do this you will get to shore faster and feel less panic. Giving yourself a break with positive self-talk – I’m doing the best I can, No one could’ve prevented this, I will use this to inspire me– will help you to feel encouraged while building your self-worth to move forward in life regardless of uncontrollable circumstances.
On that shore are SOLUTIONS, WAYS TO COPE, HOPE, AND NEW IDEAS.
You will also find a STRONGER, HAPPIER, MORE MOTIVATED SELF.