Many...or most?...people I've been speaking to over the past couple of weeks have been having a rough time. Illness, surprise financial challenges, general stress and busyness--these "obstacles" can make it difficult to manifest that calm, grounded pleasure in life we're generally striving for.
The push and the pull. Pushing toward healthy habits, being pulled into stress. Pulling yourself out of a funk, being pushed into a crisis to manage.
Without some slack in your rope, this pushing and pulling turns into a violent jerky dance until you feel like a marionette at the mercy of some unseen hand. But there are no strings, only a mental thread, a story line where we tell ourselves that the way things are is not the way things should be.
We need to give ourselves some slack so we aren't being jerked all over the place in response to life situations we can't change.
All of these flowery things we would apply to our enemies in order to be a better person. And if we are our own worst enemy? Bingo. Take it easy on yourself. Treat yourself like you would a little child learning a new task. Congratulate yourself for the small victories, acknowledge any accomplishments, and encourage yourself to try again if something doesn't go right.
When a situation is really entirely out of your control, remind yourself that you do have control of how you respond. And if your response isn't the way you would intend it to be under a different set of circumstances, apply the above flowery sentiments and move on.
Lastly, turn to others for support if you can. When the rope is tight and you're just trudging through the mud, barely able to pull your weight and the day, days, weeks all feel so heavy and tight, remind yourself that there will be an end to the muck. Look to the left or right, and you're likely to find someone trudging along next to you. A good friend can help cut that rope for you, and a burden shared is much less heavy.