Today it felt like 2017 was not going the way I hoped it would. I started off the year thinking about all the things I wanted to do differently than last year. I wanted to change my attitude to be more grateful, I wanted to have a better work-life balance, and wanted to become more self-disciplined and inspired. But it’s the end of March and it feels as if so much time has already gone by and I still don’t feel satisfied with the level of improvement.
It’s surprising how many opportunities can be hindered by tiny obstacles. You’d think a pebble is just this tiny, insignificant object with no purpose or value, but throw it into a pond and its collision affects the entire body of water.
Upset Over Little Things
I was really bummed about something trivial and got into such a bad mood about it. Earlier today, I randomly checked out a video about how to deal with bad days. The advice was to “lean into it” and “accept it” but not to sit in it for long. As I approached hour three, I still felt stuck in a gloomy pessimism, and all the thoughts in my head were in shadow: Missed opportunities. Falling behind. Wasted time trying to get from place to place. Not enough balance between “must dos” and “want to dos.” I know I shouldn’t be turning a cluster of little setbacks into a meteor shower but sometimes I get stuck.
Important Lessons from Bad Days
I know I can’t walk away from this in peace, without forcing myself to find the lessons from this. I don’t believe it most of the time but the truth is that every problem in our life gives us the opportunity to learn something, and grow as people. If I pray for patience, God won’t simply make me patient. He will put me in a situation where my patience is tested to its limits, and in those moments I usually fail the test because I’m not seeing the big picture. But when the dark cloud passes, I begin to see the silver lining. Here is where God’s teachable moment comes in.
The Silver Lining
When we get stuck in a rut, we should be careful what we say to anyone we come across until we’ve worked through the frustration. Being in a bad mood and then communicating with people is usually a bad idea. Harsh words slip and they can’t be taken back. Take some time alone to work through your angry or frustrating thoughts.
Remember that this moment is going to pass. If you miss an opportunity, set up another one to make up for it. Having something good to look forward too can improve your attitude.
Breathe. Try to find a quiet place to be alone and breathe. If writing helps, let go of your thoughts on paper. Release them from your grip so you can take hold of something better. One of the best things to do when you’re upset is to be in nature. Today was a rainy, cold day, so being outside is the last place I wanted to be. So I turned my bed into a messy pile of comfort and sat in it until I started to feel better. (Then I bought a shawarma and watched a Netflix thriller *thumbs up*).
If you meditate, meditate. If you pray, pray. Quiet your mind. Wait for the silence to take over. Share your concerns with God and listen for His response. Ask Him to help you see the big picture and give you the strength to climb out of the rut and into a brighter perspective of this moment.
Don’t be so hard on yourself. We all have bad days. Look for the silver lining. Wait for it…