Have you ever stepped into the mud, I mean deep, like clear to your knee? Did you notice that it was much easier to just stay there than to try to get out? It took only a little effort to
step into it, but so much more to get out.
Western culture is full of phrases that we use to keep us in the muck. “Misery loves company.” “Waiting for the other shoe to drop.” “Bad things come in three’s”, etc. Sometimes it is easier to stay in a bad pace than it is to do the hard work of getting into a better one.
Many of us have been through difficult times lately, things that can feel like we are stuck in a lake of mud, up to our necks. So how do we get out? How do we do the hard work of climbing out of the muck?
It starts with our thoughts. Lots of muck exists only in our minds. Take an opportunity to assess your thinking, do some journaling, write about what has been on your mind a lot lately. Then do an honest assessment of what you have written. Are the thoughts mostly positive, negative, about other people, about yourself, etc. Where is your primary focus? Is it in the muck? Are you spending your mental energy focused on your troubles? Other people’s troubles? We do a lot of thinking that is unconscious. You can shift your thoughts to your conscious awareness, choosing your focus to intentionally keep your thoughts positive, solution focused, and on yourself. It takes awareness and practice, I know you can do it!
From here we need to look at self-care. Are you avoiding taking care of yourself? Do you know you need to eat better, get more exercise, or see a doctor? Is the muck keeping you so busy that you have forgotten that only you can take care of you? Give yourself some reminders, sticky notes or notifications on your phone to take care of yourself. Make an appointment with your medical practitioner, make sure you are keeping up with your needs. Feeling tired, depressed and weak keeps us in the muck. Meditation and energy healing are key to getting out of the muck, but they only help if we actually do them.
Practice staying in the moment. Nothing drags you back in the muck quicker than ruminating on the past. You can’t change it, no matter how much you think about it. Accept your life as it is now, choose to adjust to the new normal. Resistance to change serves only to prolong your stay in the muck.
Look for the positives, practice being an optimist. Every experience teaches us something, and even the most difficult things have a positive side. Intentionally think through the things you have experienced and pull out the good things. I will give you an example. My parents died 18 months apart, in 2011 and 2013. Although losing them has been painful and I miss them everyday, I do see positives in my new normal without them. I am stronger and more independent. They aren’t here to be give me wise advice, so I have become wise for myself. My Dad was on Hospice for 10 months, I got to know him better in those 10 months than I had the in the 35 years before that. When he died I had a very clear picture of who he was and a strong sense if his love for me. I have no regrets. There are many negatives to losing my parents, but focusing on them doesn’t change anything. At least choosing to focus on the positives has given me peace and encouraged happiness in my new normal.
I went deeper on this topic on my radio show, Kindred Spirits.
Watch the show here!