This is probably the first time I’ve posted two days in a row, which is frankly pathetic, but I hope it happens more often.
As I said in my last post, I am under a good deal of emotional stress right now. If you haven’t read my last post, Difference of Opinion: Part 1, I encourage you to go do that, then come back. Anyway, I want to talk to you all about coping strategies.
Since my text conversation with Herb, I have prayed on more frequent intervals. I think this is obvious for most Christians. No matter what’s happening, the first thing you do is pray. You get the job you wanted; you pray in gratitude. You find your life to be in danger; you pray for protection. In any circumstance where we are afraid, lonely, or hurting, we PRAY. It’s what we do. Prayer and its health benefits are similar to meditation and the benefits associated with it, so if you aren’t a praying person, this might help. Drink coffee and meditatively watch the sun rise.
Really, I think this episode in my life is serving to strengthen my faith, because I suddenly have the urge to read Scripture, especially Psalms and the Gospels, but eventually all of it. People of other faiths, I am not trying t exclude you, but this is what’s helping me.
Thirdly, I have created a “Getting Over Herb” playlist, compiling songs that promote confidence and make me feel better about the world. Titles such as “I’m Still Standing” by Elton John, “The Sound of Silence” by Simon & Garfunkel, and the classic “Carry On Wayward Son” by Kansas, are buoying me up out of Emotion Ocean, and helping me breathe.
Talking it out is also a good one. Tell a close friend or family member what you’re going through. If you don’t have any friends or close family, get a counselor. Heck, if you can’t do that, write down everything that’s bothering you and burn it. Rant. Swear if you need to. Don’t bottle it up. Which brings me to my main point.
Do not hide from uncomfortable feelings. Let them flow. Be uncomfortable for a while. Our capacity to feel love, sorrow, happiness, heartbreak, and pain is one of the things that makes us human. Use coping strategies to work through difficult times, but do not forget your pain. This is how people grow, and become better and wiser.
Play some music. Pray. Cry. Have a beer. Read Scripture. Sleep. Spend time with friends. Watch your favorite movie. Repeat as many times as necessary. This isn’t the end; it is the end of a chapter, and the beginning of a brand new one.
Au revoir again,