It’s a tough place to breathe. Especially when you feel the walls closing in no matter what you do.
Apparently, many of us share the same space between a rock and a hard place. The conditions vary for each of us, but they look something like this:
1. You’re out of work and have been for a really long time. Something comes along (after a ton of effort) and it looks like the answer to what you need, only to find yourself right back where you started.
2. You’re in a relationship, but it seems no matter what you communicate with your mate and what you both “wholeheartedly” agree to, nothing ever changes.
3. You’ve worked on yourself ad nauseum, stripping away all that isn’t real or that doesn’t work for you, only to find you are still in the same place with your life circumstances. You changed, but your life did not.
4. You are working at one or maybe two jobs to support yourself or your family. You dislike what you do (or it’s just overwhelming) to the extent that just showing up each day is a challenge. You feel you can’t quit, but you also can’t stay. No matter what you do it is always the same.
5. You start dating and you know what you want; you feel confident in that space. The issue is you either keep attracting the same type of person or no one at all. You feel doomed to crappy relationships or to be alone forever.
Those are just a few scenarios. The holidays seem to exacerbate these issues for many and make one feel even more stuck in their unwanted circumstances.
I have found a few things can help to alleviate the powerless feeling.
1. Acceptance. As hard as it is, when you let go of the internal resistance to your situation, you feel better. It may not solve your issue, but at least you can start to breathe again.
2. Change your thoughts. I notice when I’m in a place of doom and gloom, I get tired of thinking the same repetitive thoughts. It not only wears me out mentally, it takes a physical toll. When you can catch negative thoughts flying around, stop em’ or change em’. At the very least you won’t have the mantra repeating itself in your head.
3. Put out the effort. Even though you’ve planted a bazillion seeds, keep planting more. One day your garden will grow. Don’t want to be alone? Keep dating. Don’t like your job? Keep on looking for a new one. Your relationship is just a hardship? Find the soft spots and focus on them. Without a job? Look in different places, get creative, talk to people… plant more seeds.
4. Let go. Lose the picture in your head of how you believe things are supposed to be. Just let things be the way they are while you continue to work toward your goal. The goal may look different when you get there, but allow it to develop and evolve. Watch the signs that things are unfolding; it may take awhile, but it will move forth.
5. Focus on joy. Wherever you can find joy, go for it. If you love to paint, start painting. If you want to start a business you are passionate about, work on it an hour a day. If you are single and love to help, volunteer somewhere. Whatever your joy is, invest in it, especially when you are in a hard place.
This is just a short list of techniques I use all the time. As you start to do these things, even if your situation remains uncomfortable, painful, etc., at least you can start to feel somewhat better. 🙂