In Too Deep
There was a placard that hung on the wall of my dad's chess room for much of my childhood. Actually, come to think of it...it's still there.
It read: When you're knee deep in alligators, it's easy to forget that your mission was to drain the swamp.
This month, I relearned that just because something is unexpected (or not part of your "perfect plan") doesn't mean that it can't help you drain the swamp. It's part of the natural course of Life to get derailed, diverted, side tracked, and even ambushed by the unexpected. Although, things may feel rather crappy in the moment, it's important for your overall health and wellbeing to remember that this is neither "good" nor "bad"...it's just part of your journey. Some of it will make you stronger, some of it will help you define your lines/cultivate clarity, some of it will stand as example for others. All of it will be history in a matter of moments.
So what do you do when things feel out of control? Accept that they are. Then know that you can lessen the level of impact these experiences will have on your mind, body, and spirit. Get more rest, drink more water, move your body (dancing in the kitchen counts), and do one thing every single day that makes you smile (even if you stand in front of the mirror and force yourself to grin at yourself...eventually it will turn into a genuine smile and sometimes even laughter...because Happy is contagious). You may not be able to change your circumstances right now...but you can decide whether or not they take root in your being on a cellular level or wash over you like water.
All of this reminds me of the meditation technique based on the notion that You are the Sky and all the emotions and feelings that you are experiencing are just the Weather passing by. The Sky remains constant...steady and at ease...the Weather is constantly changing, shifting, and developing. When you're on a airplane there is that moment when you break through the clouds. And whether it was grey or overcast when you took off...once you break through the clouds, you'll see the Sky is still blue, the Sun is still shining. You are the Blue Sky...steady and at ease. In New England, we like to say, "If you don't like the weather. Wait 5 minutes."