The other day our family was playing a game around the kitchen table. I was getting frustrated because the game seemed to be stalled, with none of us being able to make a move. After a few turns where not even one of us was able to make any progress, I blurted out, "Someone do SOMETHING resembling ANYTHING!"
Immediately we all burst out laughing at the absurdity of it all. We were all in the same boat -- none of us able to make anything happen, and all of us feeling super duper frustrated. We all wanted the same thing; to keep the game moving forward, to make progress.
Sometimes life can feel that way too -- we are pushing so hard, trying to make progress, trying to make things happen, but all we get is frustration and depletion. We want to do something, but we aren't quite sure what that something is. We desire to move forward, but for whatever reason, the cards seem to be stacked against us.
What do we do when we are forced to change course, slow down, or make a new plan? How do we react when things don't turn out the way we wanted them to? I know, for me at least, frustration and anger show up almost immediately. Here I am, going along in my life, minding my own business and doing my thing, when BAM! I hit a brick wall. I reach a dead end. Nothing seems to be working. And it sucks. Big time.
I am far from being able to handle these situations perfectly when they arise. On the contrary, when the crap hits the fan I think I, more than anyone, need to remember to calm down and take a deep breath. Very often, my first reaction to a situation is to get frustrated, become angry, or freak out, and I'm working on trying to remind myself to just chill. It will all be okay. It really will. And things will happen in their own time, just the way they are supposed to.
I have a few ideas that have been helpful to me, and I'm sharing them in case anyone else, like me, turns into a little lunatic when the sh*t goes down.
1. Show some compassion -- to yourself. We tend to be our own worst critics and judge ourselves more harshly than we would anyone else. You know that compassion, that forgiveness, that patience that you show to others? Show a little bit of that same compassion to yourself. You're only human. You can only do so much. And if you really stop and look, you'll see that you're doing really great. Honestly.
2. Go with the flow. The forces of the universe are always working FOR you. Even if, at times, it feels like the opposite is true, the whole purpose of this life is for you to transform, grow, and evolve. So if you come up against some giant obstacle, take a step back, assess the situation, and ask the universe or your higher power what you should do next. When you open yourself up to receive the answers, you also open up to what life wants to give you. And usually, what life has in mind is far better than anything you could have come up with on your own.
3. Do SOMETHING resembling ANYTHING. There is a scientific law somewhere that says that an object in motion stays in motion. (I know this because I watch The Big Bang Theory.) You may have to slow down for awhile -- you may break a leg, come down with the flu, or get stuck in a ditch -- but that doesn't mean you have to stop completely. Do what you can. Keep moving, even if it's only in baby steps. Do something resembling anything, and when you're able to do more, you'll do more. If you give up and stop entirely, it will be that much harder to get your momentum going again later.
Keeping these three ideas in mind may help you the next time you're feeling frustrated with the game of life. If not, just remember that, in all reality, the rules are made up and points don't matter. So just keep doing your thing.