How do you pull yourself back from the brink on those days where everything seems to be going downhill and your patience is spent? On a day where life seems like a comedy of errors and you find you’ve lost your ability to laugh it off. Your irritation then begins to bleed into the events that follow; souring them. All of this typically followed by a self-shaming session at your inability to stay above your emotional threshold and behave in alignment to the person you are aspiring to be. And, perhaps it’s just me, but there often seems to be a gap between where I know I’m not behaving how I’d want to be, but I just can’t seem to find the resources to even care, and then that first split second where I’ve begun to calm myself and suddenly I’m able to reflect and realize that I’ve crossed my internal line. Emotional whirlwind!
Should we start at the beginning? How did we even get here in the first place? What set us off? Perhaps there was an event, or string or events? Perhaps it wasn’t an event at all, but more so, emotional stirrings from days preceding that have led us to this point? The more we can recognize just what it was that brought us to this breaking point within the greater chance we have to easing it moving forward.
I found myself behind schedule today while trying to prepare for an upcoming trip. I missed two family calls because my reception in my condo is poor. I was rushing to a late afternoon dog walk. The charging case I bought for my phone, that always seems to be out of power, came unlocked and my phone crashed to the sidewalk. I suddenly found myself having to make an unexpected run to the nearest dealership to see what could be done. I then stopped at the grocery store, but it seems they rang up an item twice and I was waiting about ten minutes for them to correct it. Once home, I had to walk my dogs, who were pulling bullies. And… snap. Irritation won. I was annoyed, at everything.
I know you feel me. I know this is part of being human. So, how do we wrangle ourselves back to the point where we don’t want to continue to act out our annoyance, and ultimately release it? When I reflected on my day, what I came to see, is that it was not about the incidents that did me in. What I realized is that I was carrying a bit of anxiety with me all this week, as I’ve been anticipating starting a new part-time job, and my graduate school program. All of the mornings where I’ve not gotten myself up as early as I had intended, to get a bit further into my school books before the semester begins. All of the times I ate a bigger portion of food than I needed, just to comfort myself. All of the days I did not get my run in, because I made chores the priority. All of the money I had spent preparing my wardrobe and gathering my textbooks. These things… while they did not happen today, they were happening inside of me still today. These things were the partial anchor of weight that had me already feeling like I was struggling. Then we add today’s normally minor occurrences in one’s life, and bam! Over the emotional threshold!
Alright, so regrouping back to that beautiful spirit that resides within. For me, it’s all about inspiration. Yes, inspiration. You see, not all of our comfort activities really comfort our deeper aspirations. Likely, our sitting on the couch, watching Netflix, and eating too many graham crackers; while it may initially give us comfort, it will later be what we shame ourselves for. So, I prefer to turn to inspiration. Inspiration gets me out of that sense of despair and agitation. Inspiration breaks my mind’s self-defeating pattern of expectations. Inspiration leads me forward.
For me, I sat down to write this article. Writing is a source of my inspiration. Being able to free my heart through vulnerability, while allowing myself to move past life’s insignificant irritations to remember what it feels like to be re-awakened to my grounded self. Life is so much more plump with love from this place.
I think it’s safe to say, we all lose our loving footing at times. We can get down on ourselves, on others, and definitely on life. So, the next time you are stumbling, instead of reaching for your typical comforts, I encourage you to lean into a new inspiration and see what you can set free.