I ran across a Panic! message board post earlier this morning, and the pain and sadness were so strong. This new member is just getting started but feels like she has already lost. I replied in the message thread, but I also wanted to blog about this. I think we all have these sort of moments and it's important that we know we are not powerless, we are not victims, and all is not lost.
Here's the message and my reply:
"I was ready to start, motivated, and excited. I ate a healthy breakfast and made good choices today. Upon coming home this evening, I discovered that my pet died, my dad's cancer came back, and I failed a required class in school. I feel so defeated."
I'm sorry you had that kind of day. Sounds horrible. Believe it or not, there is a different way to look at this. Instead of thinking, "I would have started except all this bad stuff happened," change your perspective. Try this:
"Thank goodness I am starting to take better care of myself physically, because I am going to have a lot more to deal with emotionally and mentally. The healthier I eat, and the more active I remain, the stronger I will be to deal with whatever else comes my way."
Yes, you had bad things happen. But why let yourself become one more bad thing to stress over? Why not let YOU be the one good, strong and healthy thing in your life while you deal with everything else?
You can do this. Hang in there!
I share all of this because I know how it feels. Right now, I'm dealing with the grief of losing a good friend, being laid-off from my job, another friend's nearly successful attempt at taking his own life, and more family stress than I can list. It's a lot to handle. Honestly, it feels like more than I can handle sometimes. It's as if the bad news isn't just pouring on me, it's drowning me.
But I have a secret weapon. Me. I may not be able to control all that is going on around me, but I can most certainly control my own actions. I decide to fuel my body with healthy, nutritious foods instead of junk. I decide to spike my body with endorphins by working out every day instead of sitting like a lump on the couch.
And it isn't just food and exercise. I decide to reach out to friends who make me happy instead of people who will tear me down with negativity. I choose to find the best I can in each moment. I choose to BE the best I can in each moment.
It's not that I am living in denial. I know our financial situation is going to be tough until I go back to work. I know my friend is in a lot of pain and has a long way to go before he is himself again. And my family woes will likely never end.
But I am not defined by the bad things going on around me. I am defined by how I choose to repond to them. And today, my response is to eat right, workout, and be happy for all the great things in my life.
Happiness is a choice that I've made.
P.S.: GIAFLAIR is the new Spark member who posted the original message. If you would like to give her a little encouragement, you can find her here:
(Originally posted on SparkPeople.com)