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Monday, July 16, 2012

Life Suck? Deal with it!



'If you're going through hell...just keep going.' Winston Churchill

Sometimes Life Sucks. It's How You Deal with it that Matters.

I get it. Sometimes life sucks. Things don't always go your way.  But here's the thing: You either deal with it or you don't. And if you choose to deal with it you either deal with it well or deal with it poorly.

I'm Angry all the Time

No one is immune from getting stuck and dealing poorly with life.  I recently talked with a man filled with anger. His anger was directed at the economy, and 'the train-wreck coming down the track no one is paying attention to'.

And like the person who ineffectively speaks louder to make a person who is deaf hear, he became more insistent in his angry talk. His days were consumed with talking about 'the train-wreck' and trying to get people to pay attention. As a result, most people stopped listening and walked away, and his level of frustration and anger grew more intense.

"Nobody is listening to me," he said. "I'm trying to get them to wake up to the corruption and how their rights are being taken away, but no one cares. I am just so angry all the time."
From Creating Your Own Reality to Creating Your Private Hell

The funny thing is this self-made man is financially set for life. He has--more than anyone else I know-- lived his life believing 'you create your own reality'. As a result, he has successfully navigated life's challenges and enjoyed making money doing what he loves-- being a highly creative and influential person.

So what's up? What happened to turn this powerfully creative and influential man into a person currently stuck in his own private Hell feeling life sucks and everyone's stupid? Look no further than the usual suspects--a huge bout of stress due to major life upheaval and transition.

  
He's human. And like the rest of us mere mortals who deal with prolonged periods of intense life change, he has temporarily lost his resiliency and way.

After an intensely stressful period in which he uprooted his life--selling the house he built and lived in for more than 30 years and moving 1200 miles away he burned out. The spark igniting his true passion and drive has been falsely replaced with raging anger. He hasn't yet had time to regain his balance and rediscover his direction for this new phase of his life.

 Things aren't Always what they Seem

Sometimes we erect convincing false fronts--things that seem to be true, but are really hiding the truth. These false fronts aren't erected for other people, but for ourselves. For example, if this man exhibits intense righteous anger about the world outside (the false front), he doesn't have to pay attention to the war he's raging with himself inside.

Fear and depression often masquerade as anger. 'Fear managed by anger' is one way many people deal with the uncomfortable out-of-control feelings of fear or dread. Anger looks and feels more powerful. Yet the truth is anger only boils over when we feel out-of-control and/or powerless.

Knowing the Right Questions to ask is Half the Solution

Sometimes asking the obvious questions can help you or another in distress get back on track.

I asked this gentleman three important questions:
  • What do you want to create in your life right now? 
  • Is this obsession to talk about 'the train-wreck' helping you create what you want in your life?
  • How effective do you feel bludgeoning people with this conversation?

The obvious questions produced the obvious answers--putting them front and center for consideration:

  • I want peace, harmony and creativity in my life right now.
  • Harping on the obsession puts me 180 degrees from where I desire to be.
  • I am totally ineffective getting others to pay attention when I bludgeon them.

To Get at the Truth: List Your Complaints

To regain power and control over your life you must reclaim ownership for it. We all want to be in charge of our own lives, but sometimes life sucks and we lose our sense of being in charge.

If you, like this man, find yourself out of sorts, and dealing with life poorly, try this exercise for putting you back in the driver's seat:

1.  On paper, make a list of all your complaints about the people around you--what is it they won't let you do, or what they do/don't do you don't like, etc. Go ahead--let the complaints fly. Look over your list of complaints about others to be sure you've got them all.
2.   Rewrite your list of complaints about others replacing they/he/she with 'I'.

For example:

My Complaints About Others

  • No one is listening to me.
  • They won't listen to me.
  • They're creating a train-wreck.
  • They're being stupid.
  • I have to bludgeon them to get them to wake up.
  • They won't wake up.
  • No one cares.


Rewriting my Complaints to 'I'

  • I'm not listening to myself.
  • I won't listen to me.
  • I'm creating a train-wreck.
  • I'm being stupid.
  • I have to bludgeon myself to get myself to wake up.
  • I won't wake up.
  • I don't care.

 We don't have control over other people, only over ourselves. When we feel frustrated and angry we can't make others do what we want them to do, life sucks and we deal with life poorly.

When we bring our focus back to ourselves, we regain the ability to influence and direct our own lives. When we have complaints about others and life, it pays to ask the obvious questions and refocus those complaints on ourselves.

What about You?

  • What do you want to create in your life right now? Take steps each day towards renewing your goals and regaining your focus on the present.
  • Are your current actions and beliefs helping or hindering you getting where you want to go?
  • What are your complaints about how others and the world are getting in the way of you having a great life?
  • When you refocus your complaints from 'they' to 'I' what do you learn about the role you're playing in getting stuck?
  • If you could do anything you wanted, what would you do?
  • If life feels flat and uninspiring, act 'as if' you want to do something and take a step.
  • Goals change as we transition from one life stage to another. If making money is no longer the driving force, what can be your driving force?
  • Which do you choose--to deal poorly with the life you've dealt or to deal well with the life you've been handed?
"Life is not a matter of having good cards, but of playing a poor hand well" Robert Louis Stevenson

"What I say is, patience, and shuffle the cards." Miguel de Cervantes

The Heart has its reasons that Reason knows nothing of...


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For more than 25 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes changing easier than ever before. Contact Susan to schedule life change coaching, weekend retreats, or engaging Lightarted experiences to share with friends.


  

7 comments:

moey said...

this is wonderful...clear... and soooo helpful.
thank u susan.
xoxoxooxoxox
moey

moey said...

this is wonderful...clear... and soooo helpful.
thank u susan.
xoxoxooxoxox
moey

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Sue, this is one of my favorites of all your wonderful posts. Should be required reading for everyone!

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

Moey--we all have a piece of the angry man in us. I was so thankful to get such a good story to share. I know it touched me and rang a bell within myself.

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

Jean--this one took a while to come out because as I was looking within this man I was looking within myself. It's not always easy to find the truth within!

Anonymous said...

They are listening to me
They are stepping on my toes
They don't love me
They don't care about me
They aren't asking for my advice
They don't want me
They don't know me
They aren't giving me the work I am capable of doing

ouch

tmr

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

tmr--
Good job getting to the ouchies! Now that you own them, do something about them! Here's a little twist on the next step with the complaints---I'm responding to you!

I'm listening to you.
I love you.
I care about you.
I want and ask for your advice.
I know you.
I'm giving you the (life) work you are capable of handling and doing!