What to do when the "you know what" hits your fan
A simple and effective way to get through the stress
“You are always so positive!”
I get this a lot.
I’m really not positive all the time. No one can be Suzy Sunshine from Sunnybrook Farm every second of the day. You can be as positive and optimistic as you want, but sooner or later life will hit you across the side of the head and you’ll fall flat on your face. In other words, the “you know what” will hit your fan.
So what do I do when something hits my fan?
Well, if I can’t duck, then I plant my feet and face it. I might not be able to change the situation, but I CAN change my attitude about it. This is what gets me through.
It’s all about your perspective.
Here’s the reality check. No one can pick you up. Only you can pick yourself up. You can watch dozens of videos and read all the inspirational books and articles you want, but at the end of the day YOU have to choose it. Just like you have to choose to go to the gym or not.
I learned this while undergoing treatment for stage 3 breast cancer. Now there was some huge “you know what” hitting the fan! It’s really hard to be positive when you’re in crisis mode and feeling like crap. The bad news is that dwelling on my situation and moping about it wasn’t going to make the cancer go away. Dwelling on it didn’t cure me, nor did it make the pain go away. While I couldn’t control the fact that I got cancer, I could control how I got through it.
I could control my perspective.
Right before my first surgery, I decided to get though it with as much grace as I could muster. So I smiled, laughed, and looked at the bright side of things as much as I could. While I couldn’t control what they were doing to me on the outside, I could control what I was thinking on the inside. I focused on it being a temporary situation. A roadblock that would eventually open up again. Plus, whenever I went to chemotherapy and radiation, I smiled and tried to ease other people’s journey. My motto has always been to leave people better than I find them, and I continue to do this wherever I go.
It’s seven years later, and I look back at that journey with mixed feelings. Part of me is angry and frustrated that I was sick for four years. The other part of me is thrilled that it happened.
It completely changed my perspective about life.
Here's what I learned...
I learned that life is a gift. While there is no guarantee that we will make it to old age, we ARE guaranteed that we are here right now. In this moment. I will worry about future moments when they get here.
I learned that complaining doesn’t help anything. So now instead of saying things like “I have to go to the store today,” I say things like “I get to go to the store today!”
Since I spent almost four years living in my pajamas, I now relish getting dressed every day. It’s a gift to have eyebrows and be able to brush my hair!
I learned that when I am grumpy at my family, I can turn it around by staring at them and remembering what a gift they are. Without them, I would be nothing.
I learned that not dying made me stronger. So yes, cancer was a gift of sorts. A one-time winner take-all gift as I have no intention of doing it again!
Before something in your world hits the fan, try and start changing your perspective now. Look at each situation that you face today and say the word “gift” to yourself and see if you can change your perspective about it. If you can’t, then simply smile and listen to some music that makes you happy. Changing your perspective on the small stuff will help you when the big stuff happens.
Being positive is a minute-by-minute choice. It's a work in progress. It’s like taking a shower, you have to do it every day.
Until next time.