There are many ways to keep it together on the inside. Find ways to be silly, as you keep your sense of humor. Share silly things on your mind with friends and family, so your loved ones have permission to stay silly with you. Life doesn’t have to be serious. A grief counselor friend tells me all the time how silly humans get, when we are literally on our deathbed. It’s not the drugs! It’s the way we come to an understanding that we have been way to serious in our lives, or that our lives are short, so why not laugh. Don’t wait. Be silly now. Silly doesn’t mean you’re disrespectful or irresponsible. You don’t have to make a steady diet of it, you just need good doses of it sprinkled in to your day.
Your sense of humor is an ally. Another ally is your breath. Make it a practice to tether your breath to your feet when you feel nervous or anxious. The ancients discovered two paths of breath that flow up and down your spine. Picture a double helix, like DNA, that dances around your spine. Breathe up and down and see your practice clear negativity away from you. Take notice how you feel afterward or what’s the point?
Remember how much better you feel when you take a yoga class or a meditation class, and apply asap. The quicker you can catch your negative mood, the faster you can combat the negativity, and keep it together.
In the midst of tension and uncertainty, it’s therapeutic to let yourself go a little crazy. If you have a history of mental health issues, that’s an entirely different topic. The paradox stands to let yourself go in order to keep it together. A good poker game helps me, or a night of dancing. We all need to blow off steam. How do you blow off steam? If you don’t know, what have you wanted to try? Like Seal, the singer, says, “No we’re never gonna survive unless we get a little crazy.”
Another strategy to aid you in your quest to keep it together is vacation time. After I had kids, I assumed each vacation would be absorbed by family time. Then I remembered I get to write my own destiny, a lot of the time. This was one way I realized might not look like the status quo, but this kind of action, to take a vacation on my own, is my own signature. It honors my values. I didn’t want to go on vacation with my family every time I had time away from work. I also wanted to go on trips by myself. Here’s the judgment – selfish. But don’t we have to be happy to enjoy the people around us? Alas, I now take trips alone or with friends and do exactly what I want to do. This refreshes me and keeps me together, for not only myself, but others. I like myself better when I honor these urges. My family likes me better, too.
The topic of selfishness brings up an important point. If your false self says you’re being selfish, I suggest you do what it is that brought up that judgment in the first place. If you think to yourself, I have been gone every morning for 5 days, and now it’s Saturday, and I really need to go on a walk alone in the morning, but my children might need me. Then your inner critic says, “Wow you only think of yourself, you never think of your family.” That’s a sign you need to get away one more time, and it’s going to be extra good for you, at that time, to take a walk. I bet you’ll be better company when you come home.
It’s truly important to keep your soul buoyant. Depression is all too common in our culture, and if we lean on each other and trust ourselves, it doesn’t have to be so common. Selfishness is real. We do need to come through on our commitments, yes. But we also need to be clear on what our soul needs to feel fulfilled. We might not know at first, and then figure it out. When we do figure it out, it’s time to tactfully share the changes we want to make with the people involved. There needs to be alignment, even if there’s no agreement. This means all parties need to feel seen, heard, acknowledged, and even tolerated. Then a decision can be made.
Keeping it together is a commitment to the people you work with and love. But mostly, it’s a commitment to you. Only you can know the nuances, the daily rhythm and timing of your needs. Your awareness and the acknowledgment of your needs will be sabotaged by your false self, at times. It’s just the game we humans play. You can be vigilant in the quest to stay keenly aware of how you can get what you need. You may not always get what you need, but make sure you have a sense of when you will or if you can truly live without. Your needs and desires are the realm of the spirit. The spirit needs to stay engaged with passion, purpose, and love. Endurance in your personal and professional life arrives when you learn to keep it together on the inside, when things fall apart on the outside.
It’s easy to have endurance when times go smoothly. It’s the hiccups and exhaustion that drive us to learn endurance in hard times. It won’t work for the long haul to push and force events to happen. You’ll end up harried and way too serious. Take this time to make an undying commitment toward personal development not only to endure the hard times without struggle, but to also let you fully enjoy the good times as they happen. My wish for you is peace, always.
I tend to wait for better things to happen, before I let myself enjoy what is actually happening now. It hit me 10 years ago. My a-ha moment, when I clearly saw this cycle, happened when my first child was an infant. I looked at a wedding picture, and recalled being apprehensive about the scuba diving scheduled for our honeymoon. As I looked at my beautiful white dress, the white sand, and my lovely husband, it slapped me in the face how I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop. My inner critic told me it could never be this good. It whispered, ‘something bad is going to happen, so be vigilant and careful.’ As I shined a light on that message, I can now stay keenly aware of my need to recognize when this happens. This way, I can get in the drivers seat and insist on enjoying my precious moments. If something bad happens, it’s not going to be because of me, it’s just going to be bad luck. To relax in the precious moments is a gift I give to my soul. Of course, it feeds the endurance when my precious energy is generated, not stressed.