Self Improvement

I Carry a Flashlight

maintaining-a-garden-3There isn’t always a rainbow in the storm but you can always close your eyes and see one in your mind to create a smile. There isn’t always a silver lining but you can always sew one in. Life doesn’t always smell like a bed of roses, unless of course you plant one right outside your door.

Sometimes life doesn’t feel like those wonderful cliches that are supposed to make us feel better. There isn’t some wonderful light at the end of the tunnel but I carry a flashlight, because I refuse to let the dark overtake me.

Sometimes we have to be our own hero, sometimes we have to create the good within the bad, and sometimes we just have to suck it up and keep moving.

I have had days where I have felt like just giving up, letting go, laying down and never getting up. And somehow I am still here, still breathing, still moving forward, and somehow I still have a smile on my face most of the time.

Life has not been “fair”, but honestly who ever said it would be. I’ve had what I consider more than my share of difficulties, but then who’s to say what my “fair share” of difficulties were.

When something new comes at me I do several things:

  1. First, remember it’s not personal. Life or the Universe or God doesn’t have some secret agenda to ruin my day. Nobody is out to get me. There isn’t some greater force trying to make me quit or seeing how much I can take. It’s just a part of life. Crap happens.
  2. Second, I remember it could be worse. There are so many terrible things that could happen in my life which I have not had to experience and I count myself fortunate that this is not one of those.
  3. Third, I count my blessings. When something happens, like my truck not starting after we just spent all our money, I look around and count my blessings. I become overly grateful for the people I have in my life, for my wonderful pets, for friends who are really there for me, for warm blankets on my soft bed, and whatever else. I just keep counting until I can smile.
  4. Fourth, I take a break. Maybe I go to sleep (especially if it late), maybe play a game, or watch some TV, or something. Whatever I can find that helps. I just take a break from the reality that is causing me stress. It will still be there when I wake or in a couple hours. Keep in mind there are times when this can only be a 5 minute break because it has to be dealt with right away but even if it’s only 5 minutes, I take a break.
  5. Fifth, I make a plan. Once I’ve calmed myself a bit and can look at the situation with a sort of fresh perspective, I sit down and make a plan of how to deal with it. What can I do that will alleviate my stress and change the situation I’m dealing with. There is always a choice, what choices do I need to change to change the circumstances that are creating stress in my life?

These are the basic steps and they are often carried out in between sobbing, screaming, and other such histrionics. They are often carried out with aching heart, racing mind, ears ringing, and other physical reactions to stress. I am prone to ODR (Over Dramatic Response syndrome), which is my own little made up syndrome. Because of this I am often carrying out these positive steps despite myself.

I carry a toolbox within my mind and I add to it as needed. Within my toolbox are things like:

  1. a rainbow for super rainy days,
  2. silver ribbon, for sewing in silver linings,
  3. a picture of my husband and I holding hands, a blessing that can always make me smile,
  4. funny things my children have said, to bring me a laugh,
  5. other people’s horror stories, so I remember that I’m not the only one with troubles and it can always be worse.
  6. and I always carry a flashlight, because there isn’t a light at the end of every tunnel and sometimes I have to turn my own light on, pick my head up, and march myself out of the dark.

i carry a flashlight

About Tracy Seekins

Long time writer/blogger. Has been on a lifelong journey for self enrichment. This is a journey which never ends and I look forward to sharing it with you.


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