Sometimes the tiniest thing can derail us - can make us set aside our goals, can make everything just seem a little bit too heavy and a little bit too tiresome or not important enough. We all have those "down" days when we just can't seem to get a grip on where we're heading.
Usually, it's something small really, trivial even, that sets us off course, but at the time it feels overwhelming. Then there are the times when we're broadsided by something truly catastrophic and just don't know how to deal.
With all of this "emotion" flapping around inside my head the last thing I want to think about is tracking food calories or slapping a Fitbit around my wrist and counting steps.
All I want to do is to sit down and rest, stop thinking, take a breath and maybe for a minute, run away from it all. I'm not the one to call a friend right away and talk it through. When I'm hurting or overwhelmed, I go to ground and get still. I need to be quiet to process things.
Usually, while "processing" I eat. I grab something quick and sinful; something I usually consider a "treat" because subconsciously I'm telling myself "my reserves are on empty..."
All I really want is to be comforted and eating offers that instant gratification.
(...I mean what is more comforting than food right? Treats that remind you of your childhood, or first loves, or best vacations... Fun times and no worries. It's instant - like a kiss or a hug.)
Oh sure, I know the difference, It's not the same... and really I'm just fooling myself because I KNOW that my bowl of ice cream or that mouthful of peanut butter straight from the jar won't solve anything. But for that instant, my mind focuses on something OTHER than what's really bothering me.
It's about at this point that I add insult to injury. Not only am I dealing with whatever emotional triggers have brought me down, but now I am dealing with guilt, shame and frustration, if not outright disgust (but only if I've eaten the entire carton of ice cream or my spoon scrapes the bottom of the PB jar, by which point I'd be feeling sick along with unhappy.)
I start knocking myself down for not sticking to "the plan". Another setback - another fail. Something else to chew over in my angst riddled mind.
Whoa, Whoa, Whoa there! ... You runaway horse with no shame...(this I tell myself lol)
Wait a darn minute now! .. (I say to myself lying face down on the couch in abject dejection)
Since when is there a do or die? A one shot deal here? Since when are you allowed to kick yourself when you are already down? (hands on hips)
Here's the thing.
There is always something to worry about: finances, elder care, house repairs, unemployment, security. There's always something that screws you over: a bad love affair, a fender bender, being downsized at work...Then there's grief and sadness and anger and loss. It's all muddled up in there for us to deal with.
The good thing though is that there is so much more that's good and our reserves are much deeper than we think and we are way more resilient than we give ourselves credit for.
And so, today, when things got me down a little (thankfully this doesn't happen often)
I stopped and pondered a while.
(that's me sitting there...pondering....OK, maybe with just a few more pounds though)
I went over what was true in my life and what was bothering me and I gave in to the emotions and let them pass. I acknowledged that this was messed up, but that for the moment, I needed to be patient. That just for "right this second, minute, hour," this now I inhabited was manageable, doable....OK.... the future would have to wait .... for just this moment.
If I said I felt better, it'd only be a half-truth. Yes and no. But I calmed down enough to think a little more objectively and to acknowledge that help would be grand and I could and should ask for it. Then I did what I usually do when I'm bummed out...
I treated myself to a walk by the lake (my go to place when I'm troubled) where I'm surrounded by the sounds of nature and the ease of the growing trees. I am a part of it all and by the grace of God go I....
..... and then later, I'll make the time to have a bubble bath, a glass of wine and a tiny scoop of ice cream (... Hey!... I'm counting!! Even if I go over a bit... I'll still count it...)
It's not always easy to deal with what life throws at you. But if you just let yourself be still for a moment and take "you" out of the equation, it becomes manageable.
Immerse yourself in something grander than your woes: family, nature, your children, exercise, love, cooking, gardening, painting, driving, prayer. life itself!
Do whatever nourishes your mind and soul. even if it seems trivial, like filling up the birdfeeder in the backyard and watching them feed....or listening to those wind chimes you hung from the porch, or breathing in the freshly brewed coffee you just poured yourself and then taking that first sip....there is joy everywhere... and forgiveness.... and renewal.
We are all allowed to fall and to ask for help getting back up and to seek solace and nurture from better sources. (That's why Spark works so well.)