My Top 5 Strategies for the Garbage Fire Days of Life
|The last few weeks have been HARD. My car was stolen (more on this later), I had a rental car for a couple weeks, I moved to a new apartment, I went through the process of buying a new car, found the stolen car 5 weeks after it was stolen, and I am now in the process of feeling secure in my car once again. It has been an emotional and psychological rollercoaster that I do not recommend. Unfortunately, life tends to throw things into life that we don’t expect and we’re all forced to deal whether we like it or not. That being said, I wanted to offer some helpful suggestions for getting through the tough times with strength and grace.|
1. Feel all the feelings. Confusion, shock, pain, heartbreak, anger, fury, fear, anxiety, frustration, impatience… those are just a few of the emotions I felt the first day when I realized my car was gone. I cried. A lot. My thoughts became hurt and angry; I was confused as to why someone would do this. Despite the pain and negativity I was feeling, I allowed myself to feel all of it. Trying to avoid any of it wouldn’t allow me to get to where I needed to be: acceptance. There was nothing else I could do to bring my car back to me but wait. That was the greatest challenge. Navigating each step with an insurance company and the police came with a list of action steps I could accomplish. Waiting sucked. I hated it. But I had to do it. In the meantime, I did my best to focus on what I could be grateful for. And there were so many things…
2. Lean on the people around you. There is no way I would have handled the last few weeks with such grace without my family and friends. Rides were given, angry texts were supported, phones were answered to learn about any updates, and my friends were constantly checking in. When I asked for help, people showed up. Your family wants to be there for you. I don’t mean the people you’re related to by blood. Your chosen family will be there if you’re willing to ask. If you don’t say anything, no one will know. The last month or so forced me to humble myself and ask for help. People want to help you. Be brave enough to ask for it.
3. Give yourself time. If you’re healing, working through emotions, adjusting to a new normal, or learning what life is going to look like in a new setting, give yourself time. What a difference a week can make! Each day really does get a little easier and you grow a little stronger. One of the greatest gifts we never have to ask for is the amount of time we’re given. There are 24 hours in a day. That’s all we have to conquer. Take it one day at a time and have faith in yourself.
4. Focus on gratitude. Find the good. Every day while you’re still walking through it . Find the good. Fight for the good. I had so many conversations with myself about the amazing life I still get to live despite the inconvenience of a stolen car. It all came down to reframing my thoughts and asking different questions: What can I learn from this? Could this help me work on patience? How can I thank the universe for this experience? Have I managed to get through many days without a car? Is it possible to get through one more? How am I growing through this?
This might sounds like an unreasonable request but, in my case, this human had already stolen my car. I refused to let them steal my entire life and my perspective. You choose exactly how much energy and power you are going to give away and how much you will retain. It wasn’t always easy to stay in a place of gratitude and positivity. Each call that added another week to my wait made me want to get angry and frustrated all over again. But how would that change anything? It wouldn’t. All that choice would do was subtract from the good day I was living in. So wait I did. And here we are.
5. Finally, take care of yourself. Cry, drink water, exercise, eat clean, sleep, have fun, pray, meditate, practice yoga, paint your nails, read a good book, pet puppies while they nibble your fingers, spend time with family, watch videos of babies laughing or people falling on ice…. whatever you choose to do, invite joy into your life. It’s all temporary. This, too, shall pass, and when it does, you’ll want to rest easy in the knowledge that you’re okay. Everything is going to be okay.
Everything is going to be okay. Keep taking steps.