Just over a year ago I wrote a post called I Let it Go. I wrote about how I deal with the bad things that have happened (And still happen) to me. It’s my way of coping because I truly believe that not moving on only causes more pain and everybody hurts sometimes.
Yesterday I had a difficult and emotional day. It was no problem of mine but I was trying to help a couple deal with their problems. They exhausted me because they just didn’t know how to let it go. The problem actually started a year ago and instead of moving on from it and improving things from then, they’ve let it fester and not expressed any kind of forgiveness or responsibility on either side. Yes, apologies were given, but not truly accepted. And, of course, each one held on to the view that it was the other ones fault.
Not Forgiving is Bad for Your Mental Health.
At one point, to one member of the couple, I blurted out just a few of the awful things that have happened in my life. I know their life hasn’t been easy, but hey, it’s not a competition. I just wanted to point out that I could let these things consume me and drive me insane. Or, as I do, I could let them just be bad things that happened and get on with my life. I don’t let them consume me. Yes, it hurts to think about them (And talk about them even more) but I can, and I still survive. I take responsibility, because we make choices in our lives. Some things are out of our control be we an still take responsibility on how we deal with them afterwards.
I forgive people who have hurt me because it stops the hurt from continuing. But it’s so hard to explain to those that just don’t ‘get it.’ By forgiving, you are not saying, ‘hey, it’s ok you did that shitty thing to me,’ but it is fixing something in your mind. In your head you can think, ok, that’s done with now, I dealt with it and survived. If I don’t let it go it will consume me and that will mean that it will go on hurting me forever.
Forgiving is good for you, not them.
We hurt in different ways, we deal with things in different ways. One persons worst experience of their life can be a drop in the ocean compared to the other, but it doesn’t stop it from hurting them just as bad.
Yesterday I felt frustrated because this couple’s problems were so insignificant, so futile, so easily solved with just a tiny bit of love and understanding. Yet, they were on the verge of destroying each other.
I don’t know if I helped at all in the end. Honestly, I was exhausted and frustrated and wanted to bang their heads together (And told them so.) But here are the rules I live by, the things that get me through the tough times.
- Listen – when arguing it’s hard because you want to have your say and you are angry. But sometimes you need to listen to the other person. Even if you can’t agree or believe a word they say, if you don’t listen there will never be a resolution.
- Be Honest – Honesty is key, even if it hurts the other person. Don’t lie, it only makes things worse, even if the lie is told just to resolve the argument or make the other person feel better. Lie’s bite back so always be honest even if it makes things worse for a while.
- Forgive – possibly the hardest thing to do is to forgive the wrongdoings against you. It may be a person that has hurt you, or just life itself. But by forgiving you are giving yourself permission to move on.
- Take the Bad Times and Deal With them – Again, something really difficult. But bad times happen and sometimes there is no blame. For example, who can I blame for my illness? It’s just something pretty awful that happened to me, and the timing of it was pretty crap too. But, I can let it consume me or I can get on with things. If I let it consume me then what good will that do? I deal with it in whatever way I can, whether it’s taking advantage of all the downtime I get (i.e. when I can’t even move) to watch tv or read a book without any guilt of feeling lazy because the washing is piling up. Or, looking forward to spending quality time with my family and doing something fun no matter how small. There are always some things good, no matter how small and by appreciating them, you can help alleviate the rest of the crap in life.
- Don’t Sweat the Small Things – or, under the same category, pick your battles. Some things are just not worth getting stressed out about, it will only make you feel worse. Same as some arguments. Everyone has times when they’ve ‘lost the plot’ over something that on reflection seems petty. Think before you act or speak. Not easy, but something that you can get used to doing and in the long run it makes life a lot smoother.
Disclaimer: I’m not a therapist or psychologist (although I may have some qualifications in that area) but these are the rules that I live by, hence the title My Rules.
Feel the Quiet
Something I have always done, even before mindfulness became a ‘thing’ is to make sure that I have some quiet time to myself. Some time to organise my thoughts and evaluate them. I have found different ways of doing them in the past. As a young teen I’d walk down to the cemetary and sit by my Dad’s grave and talk to him. If he was alive he’d have probably been more annoyed with me that my Mum or anyone else who’d upset me into being there. But the peace and quiet helped me realise what was wrong and give me the leverage to sort it out.
As I got older I found writing things down helped. I have journals and diaries going back years and years.
Sometimes going for a walk or drive alone can help to get your head in order. When I had post natal depression after my first born I found walking to the park with my baby in the pram and just walking and walking, helped so much. (Plus it helped get rid of the baby fat..bonus!)
If things blow up at home then I retire to my room. I rarely get much peace as someone or other will always keep popping in to see if I’m okay. But taking myself away from arguments and (Trying) to find a little peace and quiet helps a lot.
Write things down. I know I’ve already said this, but it’s worth repeating. Even if you don’t keep a journal, get a scrap of paper and write it all down, exactly how you feel. Then you can read it, keep it, or throw it in the bin. It’s all a good form of therapy.
Laughter is a good medicine. I like to put something on the television that makes me laugh, or maybe play a game with my kids that we find fun (we have some good games that involve being silly that are helpful.) Laughing is good for you and even if you are feeling really low it can help lift you up a little.
Yesterday when our friends just couldn’t find peace with each other, me and my husband told them things about each other that drive us nuts, but instead of getting angry about them we told them in a funny way and ending up laughing at the stupidity of it all. Yes, even amongst the tears we made them smile. Laughter is good.
If All Else Fails, it’s Ok not to be Ok.
We all feel pretty crap at times. Some people find it difficult to express just how crap they feel. They’ve been through tough times and they are hardened to everything. No-one is going to see them break down and cry because their heart is breaking, or they can’t seem to make someone else understand them. Some people are incredibly aware of the black dog of depression and this post from Marvellous Mrs P. is so open and honest.
Life can treat you bad and yes, you can build up your barriers and be strong. Being strong is something that is thrown around a lot, “you’re so strong because of all you’ve had to deal with” seems to be a huge compliment. But it’s ok to be vulnerable too. In fact it takes a very strong person to break down and cry when they are hurting. There is no shame in hurting, we all feel it. Cry if you need to. Show that you are hurting, even if its in private. Without feeling vulnerable you’ll never feel happiness. Just take a listen to Brene Brown on Ted Talks, or read one of her books. She knows what she’s talking about.
Here’s a few pointers from her about vulnerability
- Say we are sorry and that we’ll fix it
- let ourselves be seen
- believe that who we are is enough
- practice gratitude and joy
- love with our whole hearts
- know that all that we do and say has an effect on others
- Know that emotions cannot be numbed
- Let go of blame
- Stop screaming and start listening.
(I think this shows I have learnt a lot from Brene Brown)
You are never alone, there is always someone out there that will listen and if there is no-one close by then do ask for help elsewhere.
There is no shame in not being strong, brave or feeling vulnerable. There is no shame in seeking help.
Do let me know your tips in the comments, or what you think of mine.
BLOGTOBER 2019 POSTS
- Blotgober Day 1 – All You Need is Love
- Blogtober Day 2 – Coppafeel – Breast Cancer Awareness.
- Blogtober Day 3 – Out of Spoons (a poem)
- Blogtober Day 4 – Smile
- Blogtober Day 5 – Autumn Fashion
- Blogtober Day 6 -Baking
- Blogtober Day 7 – missed
- Blogtober Day 8 – The School Run
- Blogtober Day 9 – Avon Give Away
- Blogtober Day 10 – What I’m watching (or have watched) Lately
- Blogtober Day 11 – Blogtober
- Blogtober Day 12 – 6 Reflections on Autumn
- Blogtober Day 13 – Impractical Jokers
- Blogotber Day 14 – Weekly Meal Planning
- Blogtober Day 15 – Everybody Hurts Sometimes