What we humans must go through a daily basis to survive in mindboggling if we really think about it. Our days consist of series of many small victories, and some setbacks. We exert, we invest, we immerse ourselves in our projects until we can’t. At each days’ end, there in inevitably a list of To Do’s that goes unfinished.
To begin with, brushing our teeth in the morning is a simple task, which it is, but when multiplied with all the other simple tasks to be completed before sleep, they add up fast. Think about your own daily life schedule, all the planning, preparation, physical and emotional energy that is required for productivity.
Picture this… the alarm buzzer goes off and the day begins…..getting up, getting ready, getting out...: work, car, school, house, family, marriage; kids; friendships, relationships; cooking, laundry; yardwork; pets; social media; screen time; free time for fitness and recreation; work, work and more work. Off to sleep we go, recharging for the next day.
We find ourselves complaining about how tired we are because we work so hard and we are so busy. All that may be true. Now, think of a pair of friendly squirrels who are sharing your land, and living on your grass, in your trees, and under your bushes. Let’s give them names, Willy and Nilly. This idea may sound rather strange to you, but stay with me. I promise there’s a point to this.
So, let me introduce this pair of interesting squirrels to you. Willy and Nilly are two of many squirrels who in the fall work very, very hard at collecting what? Yep, you guessed it; eggcorns. Willy and Nilly spend all day searching for the best eggcorns they can bring back to their home turf. Sometimes they travel as a duo, and other times, they divide and conquer. These squirrels have a one-track mind, to find eggcorns. The cool wind gusts, and earlier sunsets signal, “It’s going to be freaking cold soon, so let’s start nesting.” One could only imagine the brain power and physical stamina involved in this conquest.
Then one day, Willy says to Nilly, “I think it’s time to join the pack and go in that hole in the ground. You’ll be lying still for a while, not sure exactly how long, but it’s gonna take some time. No worries, you’ll be asleep for most of it, and when you get hungry, we’ve got our stash of eggcorns! We got this one! Now come on in, and let’s hibernate.”
Our squirrel friends Willy and Nilly, are no different from us humans. They gather up all the sources of protection, seek shelter from inclement weather, and hope that they are the lucky ones who survive.
At the end of the day, we must acknowledge our human limitations, regardless of where we are at in our lives, young or old. By humbling ourselves, we soften the ego, and release the need to control. We admit to ourselves that we are trying to get through life just doing our best. In spite of being prepared, and planning ahead, we are still going to make mistakes. We will make miscalculated judgements, that we may not realize until after the fallout.
We must go easy on ourselves, and practice self-acceptance. We must continually be adaptable to the shifts, and imbalances that life throws our way. When we recalibrate our expectations to match our current reality, we avoid unneeded pain and suffering. Take what you do have and nurture it, condition it, expand on it.
Make today count. Be productive with activities that you are passionate about. Let go of the need to have certain expectations of yourself or others that are not realistic or even fair to make in the first place. Open yourself up to the possibilities of alternative outcomes which you have no knowledge of because the future isn’t here yet, and that’s ok. To take the pressure off your shoulders; try not having any expectations at all.
As we enjoy the late sunsets of summer, the warm sun on our skin when the clouds are away, we know the season of summer so too must come to an end. More seasons to follow….not better or worse, just different.
Mother Nature seems to be the one in control reminding us of our fragility. Still, we get on with the business of living. After all, there are things have to get done.
One of those things is protecting ourselves and our loves ones. For example, if we lived in an area where there had been a history of hurricanes, would we not hurricane proof our homes? And would we not pay extra for home owners insurance in case we were impacted by a hurricane? Of course, we would. And yet, we see that there are popular areas where hurricanes are likely. If we were hit with the misfortune of a hurricane damaging our home, would we not rebuild? Would our neighbors not rebuild? Of course, we would.
It is in our human nature to survive, and willfully carry on as best as we can. The strongest to survive devastation are the ones to are the most adaptable. These are leaders who understand that the inevitable setbacks of life don’t have to rob us of what we deserve.
Let’s hope for the seasons in all of our lives to be fruitful, free from harm, and free from any unwanted forces of nature. We tend to get “sick and tired of being sick and tired” of staying stuck in our ruts.
Practicing gratitude for what we do have in our lives, and expressing genuine appreciation to the important people in our lives is the remedy to getting unstuck.
Think of one person who’s helped you in ways that have made your life go in a healthier direction. Someone who has helped you discover your own strength and love to give the world. Tell that person, “Thank you for being there for me.” Say it while you can before the window of opportunity closes.
Self-reflection although challenging, is what makes us grow and better understand ourselves
*Designate a location to nurture your daily practice of gratitude.
*Create your own haven; a safe space in your environment, or even in your own inner conscious.
*Invent your own form of calm in the storm.
*Remember a happy place and go there in your mind. *Imagine being your best self, and connect to that feeling.
If Willy and Nilly looked at our problems, they might say, “Wow, I wished I had your problems. At least you have shelter, transportation, and grocery stores. Look what we have to do to stay alive. Compared to us squirrels, you’re doing pretty awesome!”
I remember reading a saying that read, “There was a man who was so depressed, he couldn’t get out of bed. But then there was another man that wished he had a bed to get out of.”
When we lose our way, we can find our way back through the practice of gratitude. We learn to embrace acceptance of our humanity, and be where we are with peaceful stillness. We give ourselves love unconditionally, and know we are whole. Everything we need lies right inside of us.