Sometimes life gives us ripe lemons, and we are told to make lemonade. But sometimes life gives us piles of mushy, rotting lemons and no sugar, and it just stinks. Once we start to feel bad about one thing, it can spiral into a seemingly endless whirlpool of awful. Then once we are in that terrible mental and emotional state, we are more likely to attract unpleasant and negative experiences to add to our rotten lemon mush.
But you can get through this. If you are still alive, still breathing, still able to read these words and make choices in your life, then you have the capacity to evolve through this time. The fact that you are looking into MHLC means that you are committed to being healthy in your body and mind and it is still possible for you.
Look At What Is Working
When our lives seem to fall apart, it can feel impossible to see anything but terribleness. We get so fixated on the parts that are challenging us that it seems like everything is just plain wrong. But this mentality will rob us of the few things in our lives that are going well, and make everything that is not working feel even worse.
Pay attention to what is feeling good in your life. Do not ignore your pain and challenges, but place more focus on your joy. Find something to be grateful for every day. It could be the smallest thing, even just that you woke up, or that you have food and shelter, or that you still have your eyesight. These little tokens of gratitude will start to shift your perspective enough that more light will be able to enter your darkness.
Get Over Yourself
We are selfish creatures. To a certain extent this is necessary, and what has allowed many of the accomplishments of the human species. But when we get so self-obsessed that we are making ourselves miserable, it is time to broaden our perspectives.
When you feel like your life has gone to pot, look around you. Read an international newspaper and see how many people go each day without food, shelter, or the certainty that they will not be killed crossing the street. Then find ways that you can help. If you have a little extra food, cook a meal for an elderly neighbor. Have some time? Volunteer at a local rescue mission or animal shelter. Contribute your skills and time to people and causes that need support.
Giving has been shown to boost immunity, relieve depression and anxiety, and improve creativity and problem-solving skills. So helping someone else can both give you greater perspective on life, and make you feel better and more capable of resolving your challenges.
Find Your Center
When it all falls apart, we can swing into dangerous extremes. We tend to give in to addictive behaviors, and our sleep, digestion, work everything suffers for it. Now is the time to care for yourself more than ever. Get onto a regular sleeping and eating schedule. Eat nourishing food. Practice yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises. Take walks in nature. If at all possible, go on a meditation or yoga retreat in a natural setting.
Reconnecting with your center will give you the clarity and presence to handle whatever life has thrown your way. It may not change your external circumstances, but it will shift how you think and feel about your world. When you dont know what to do, do nothing. Just be. Move your body, breathe deeply, draw your attention inward, and reconnect with yourself. Then the answers are much more likely to reveal themselves.
Find the Lesson
According to the wisdom of the Medicine Buddha, every experience in life is either a blessing or purification. Believe it or not, whatever you are going through right now is an opportunity for growth. Look for what your situation is attempting to teach you. It might be giving you new skills, or challenges to help you become stronger. What we learn from our challenges enables us to teach and help others. At the very least, it is giving you the opportunity to cultivate more compassion.
Go Back to the Drawing Board
Sometimes all we have is surrender. If everything is not going the way you want it to go, you might have to chuck all your big plans and start over. Instead of wallowing in failure, look at this as a moment to begin fresh. If you hit bottom, there is nowhere to go but up. What do you want to create from this point forward?
When things fall apart in our lives it can be so tempting to fall into misery, anger, and hatred. But you are stronger than that. You can use this time to reevaluate your life, to find your deep well of gratitude, and to evolve more rapidly than ever before. Now is the time to refocus on what you want your life to become, choose your direction, and move forward.