Life can be tough without any challenges. It seems humans naturally find ways to see hardships and negatives and focus on what is wrong versus what is right. Or what is good. Or what is easy. We take our day to day lives and lose sight of joys in mundane tasks and instead look heavy towards the most minor disruptions.

So naturally when something major comes along, like a major illness or loss of a job or maybe an accident or flood or fire, we tend to either find a resolve that eluded us when times were easier, or we fall prey to demons sucking us into the self-pity party zone.

No one blames you. They understand you are going through extraordinary circumstances and they tell you it is ok to get angry. It is normal to feel down. It is acceptable to lash out, to drink too much, to skip social functions, to become negative and bitter. They tell you it is just a phase and they enable self-destructive behavior because they don’t know what else to do. They don’t know to say to you, “Yes, what you are going through or just went through is horrible and unfair. It sucks big time but it is no excuse to do the things you are doing.” No one tells you to get yourself together. Not your counselor. Not your friends. Not your parents or your co-workers. No one. They watch, they whisper, they turn the other cheek.

If your behavior goes on too long, they might muster a mention of getting some help, or maybe not sleeping quite so much or suggesting a walk every now and then.

Ultimately we are on our own to bring ourselves through those dark, hard days. We are our own saviors and our own judges and juries. There is no need to wait to have someone else tell you to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and get yourself together. It is so easy to just muddle through, focusing on how difficult life is, how things don’t ever seem to go your way, and how no one seems to understand or could possibly comprehend the stresses and difficulties you go through.

Yes, life is tough. It is long and short all at the same time. It is overwhelming and burdensome while being ordinary and complicated. We have highs and lows, sometimes all in the same day, possible the same hour. There are few things more difficult that putting yourself in a new light while sitting in the shadows of a darkness that is casting a long shadow that seems to have no boundaries. It is a matter of just doing it. Just finding that inner voice that tells you to stop the manic behavior. Stop the self absorption. Stop the self destruction. Stop being your own worst enemy. Get out of your own head and find a way, any way, to change course and become the person you are supposed to be.

There comes a point in our lives we are faced with becoming our own heroes. Today is your day to become your own hero. To lift yourself out of the danger you have put yourself in by muddling in the sorrow you have surrounded yourself with over time. It isn’t easy. But it is necessary. Find that path to lead to some lightness. Find a counselor. A clergy person. A support group. A friend. Or yourself. Find yourself. We lose ourselves in the midst of tragedy. We find many things: hope, despair, support, loneliness, love, bitterness, kindness….it is all in how you see things. Will you see the helping hands or the hands that move away and disappear? Look for the good and you will see what you want. Look for reasons to lose hope and you will also find what you are searching for. What do you want to see?

2 thoughts on “Bootstrap Time

  • Michele

    A wise man once said to me: Show me your appointment book, and I’ll show you your priorities.

  • Stacie M Cote

    If this is meant as a pep talk piece, I’m not getting that. what about the stages of grief? And depression? Or survival guilt? Or berating yourself for not doing more? It’s not all “pull yourself up by the bootdtraps” kind of world for anyone – let alone caregivers.

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