Ever hear of the phrase, “It’s always easier giving advice, rather than taking it.”?
Well, I needed advice. So I wrote myself a Dear Abby styled letter.
And then I answered it with an accumulation of advice I received from a course and therapy. I truly hope it helps anyone that needs it!
Dear Is It Really True? Are Things Better?,
For the longest time, I’ve been a human fire extinguisher. I’ve been running after small sparks and big blazes and everything in between. I’ve head them off at the pass, and even avoided a few from starting.
I have always been on call. Always available. Always…. waiting.
I’ve had to morph from letting go, allowing bad things to happen, to accepting as is.
I’ve avoided public places so I didn’t have to lie saying “Fine!” when asked ‘How are you?’
However, things are better now. Dare I even say good? I’m afraid to. It’s been awhile.
I feel like I can now take a deep breath without the phone ringing.
However, there’s one white elephant standing in the way.
I’ve forgotten how to live.
In the back of my mind, I still feel like I’m on call. Don’t move an inch in case you are needed…
How do I live this life that appears to change minute by minute?
How do I let go and trust others to do their jobs?
How do I even begin to trust success itself, hoping it’ll stick?
Signed… Testing The Success Waters
Bike Ride Adventures
Dear You’re On The Right Track,
You HAVE been really busy. But for all the right reasons.
You’ve taken the time to educate yourself while advocating when needed.
However, a good structure has finally been set in place, and it is working today.
Now that the fire is out, it’s time to look at your own life.
Write down the things you use to love to do. Schedule them in! Then go do them.
If the phone rings and it isn’t an emergency, it’s ok to say ‘How about another time?” That does not mean you don’t love. It means you love enough to not let regret creep in for passing off your own life. Joy for all instead!
Trips to Hope, BC
Do you want to travel? Try a short getaway for starters. Get your feet wet. Give it a little time until the time feels right.
Take care of yourself. Eat well. Sleep enough. Work up a sweat each day doing something you enjoy. You will gain strength and just FEEL good.
Pamper your house. Put things back in their rightful places each evening. Put out fresh flowers. (yes, you are worth the fuss) Make it pretty again to bring back that sanctuary feeling you’ve been missing.
Use the knowledge you’ve gained to jot down all your fav things to do that help keep stress at bay. Then do them on repeat, even before stress hits. Just think… if you keep doing things you love, what’s not to be happy about?
Live in the moment. Don’t dwell in the past, nor worry about the future. Live right now.
Goals promote growth. Plan some good future things too!
You now have full days to create. Not hour by hour. Create to your heart’s content and fall in love with the process all over again.
Curve your mouth upwards when you feel down. Wish trouble makers good things. Forgive. Let go. Fake it ’til you make it.
Plan things. Scary, isn’t it? Start small and work your way up.
Let joy in. Just because you are enjoying your life does not mean you don’t care about another. Not even applicable.
Stop envying other’s apparent good fortune, and give yourself permission to live your best life, no matter what your circumstances are.
Do YOU well, then you’ll be awesome for those that continue to need you.
Trust success. You’ve earned it.
Signed… Good Job! Now Just Do It.
Now to take my own advice… starting with a short little getaway you’ll be sure to hear about very soon!
Talk about a good student, huh?
Read more Therapy 101 posts HERE
28 thoughts on “For those afraid to start living again after crisis mode.”
I never thought I would make it through my children’s teen years. I was on the most hated list for quite a while and as they suffered through their issues, I suffered too. Thankfully they all eventually found their way but I was stuck not knowing what my role was in life past dealing with their emergencies. It took a part time job in a library, a place that was ironically my sanctuary in my teen years of strife, to bring back my self esteem and self worth. I was reacquainted with myself and found new challenges outside my familiar routine. I expanded my horizons, much like you.
Cheers to you for looking to new horizons! With your talent and creativity, your new path will be amazing!
Funny you should mention new horizons. I was just overlooking my yard thinking, “What’s next? This chapter feels like it’s coming to a close…” I don’t even know what that means yet, but I think when we’ve overcome something, it gives room for something new? It’s quite a challenge to fill that spot at first, isn’t it? Glad you found yours! Is it strange to feel a sense of loss when the ’emergencies’ suddenly stop? So weird! It’s what we want, but… ok, time to fill that spot with something good! Cya in 3 days… haha
Donna, thank you so much for sharing this.
I am not good at writing and apparently have lost my ability to verbally express myself well, too. 🙂
But if I could, this is just how I would have. This was so spot on for how I feel right now. You are not alone in feeling afraid to trust and live life again.
I can’t quite say things are good yet but I can’t quite say they are not.
I love your solutions and they are right in line with my own thinking. Thank you for the reminder to take it easy on myself and take little steps back in to life again.
I am so happy for that life is improving. Here is to a brighter future, for us all.
I so get it Kim. Sometimes I allow myself to think everything is perfect but then something happens. I’m not certain perfection exists… it’s really how to navigate where we are in our stories. Some chapters are just a little more ‘thrilling’ than others I suppose. Here’s to a few more wild flower meadows for both of us! No matter where our stories trail.
Sending lots of love your way, D.
I know how much you want to travel, see, and experience … it’s my hope and dream that you fearlessly climb every mountain. You deserve it and are worthy of every great experience you can dream of.
“She believed she could, so she did.”
You are one of my biggest cheerleaders, M. Thanks for your ever encouraging gentle shoves in the right direction. I do have a few fears to get over. I’m going to attempt a couple new things this next round. My worst fear was ending up on a highway for several hours with no turn arounds… haha a map ought to fix that, yes?! I guess I’m about to find out… : )
Great post! I needed to hear this – all of it – today. Thanks, Donna. Love your photos, too 🙂
Years ago, I allowed myself to be pulled this way and that way, never having time to myself, leaving me exhausted at the end of the day. After losing a loved one so close, so dear, and so young, I realized that life is too short. I decided to say NO without guilt. I couldn’t do everything for everyone anymore. I felt so powerful, and so in control when I turned down people, situations and requests with a gentle “I’m sorry I can’t”, “I’m sorry, now is not a good time”, “Oh, I really wish I could….”. I could finally breathe. I still said Yes quite a bit, but it was said on my terms, and no one else’s.
YES!!! I’ve had to learn to say, “How about tomorrow?” or something similar. It’s made all the difference in the world. The world will not fall if we schedule something in when it suits us too! Who knew?
I really needed this. Life has been pretty difficult the past number of years and I’ve been thinking lately at how I need to learn to feel joy again, EVERY day! Thank you for sharing some very inspirational thoughts with us! Carpe Diem!
I’m glad someone triggered in you Terry. Please do something special just for you that you love… it’s a very GOOD contagious! You do deserve to feel joy. Sometimes we have to mindfully give it back to ourselves. A few different choices can do that!
It’s hard to not be available all the time to the ones you love and care about, but it can take it’s toll on a person. I realized that there are a lot of things in this world that are going to happen that we just have no influence over and no amount of worrying is going to change that. I now embrace things like voicemail and answering machines. I think of those marvels like my secretary, leave me a message and I will return your call soon enough. Sometimes I even (gasp!) leave my cell phone at home when I go grocery shopping! LOL! The amount of freedom I feel without having the phone in my purse while going down the aisles in the store is incredibly exhilarating. I love your post, I certainly know I can relate to it!
You are so right Sharon, all these gadgets that keep us so glued to a screen also service a need when we use them appropriately. Thanks for the reminder that it’s ok to put it all down over the next 3 days!
Great read! So true of finding balance in your life after major changes personally or professionally! Making time for yourself to do the things that bring you happiness are critical to finding the beauty in life:) Enjoy that trip!
This really hit home. At almost 66, I’ve taken care of my whole family and community since a very early age. I am so tired, I can hardly do anything without a struggle. I recently decided that I need to focus on me, and start to let others around me help to take care of me and pamper me some. It really has helped my partner be more thoughtful and caring. Most of the time I am in charge of everything on our event horizon day by day. Now, letting go of all that, I notice how much he wants to make me comfortable, which is a pleasure for both of us. It seemed to have soften my edginess, and for once, I can admit I am tired. I still pace my day now, but nothing feels urgent, and although I am recently retired, I am taking care of little things that I put on the back burner.
Cleaning out tons of things that I sell on consignment either on FB or in stores, and that in itself is work! It feels good for once to have the space around me to do things mindfully without rushing, and it is very emotional too, because since my mothers death in 1975, I’ve been caregiver for the family, and I didn’t have time for tears. I find now in my quiet time, I am grieving for myself and those years I helped so many, and also grieving that I have felt obligated to others and not allowing myself time to stop and realize all my blessings.
Thanks for being a sister in all of this messy business, risky business of being here, now!
I am SO glad that you let your guard down to allow others to step in. That is a hard lesson! It also denies others the privilege of helping. People love to help, especially when they feel needed. Good for you!
Yes, clearing out IS a lot of hard work. But I can’t love the feeling more than when someone walks off the property with said item and I have a few extra dollars in my hands so I can treat myself with it. Like a reward for the effort, plus your home bonuses. Your empty corners are just around the corner, keep it up!
Oh Donna, I can sooo relate to this. Thank you.
Thank you sweet Donna for this article, it is so positive and life affirming. I have found myself learning how to live a positive, joy-filled life after some difficult years and your “response” to your own dilemma is practical, down to earth and filled with beauty, just the reason I love following along with you 🙂 It is interesting that behaviors that get us through crisis times want to continue to rule our lives, even though they no longer serve us. Taking off the ‘old’ and putting on the ‘new’ has meant learning how to live in a way that I truly never have before, head high, arms open, living today. Part of my turning from the old and creating new ways has included trust. He has led me through troubled waters and will lead me on to a life of peace, love, joy and purpose. I am sooo happy you generously share your struggles and triumphs with us! B
You nailed it. TRUST is everything! It’s easy to lose sight of it when we’re in a crunch! Trust He’ll do his job. Thanks for the reminder!
Thank you for keeping us informed as to how you are. We all need time to adjust to life. Many times over. It is tough. I mean really tough. Life is not for sissies. I mean no offense. It’s just many a time I was scared, I mean I didn’t think I could make it. But the human spirit is resilient. I am ever so glad to have hung in there. My computer is currently not working. I am having type this on my phone and it’s not easy. I apologize if there are errors. I much more prefer a keyboard. Take care and thanks for your honesty. It is a great gift to others.
Ok Joanne, I know how hard it is to one finger tap on a phone so THANK YOU for your efforts! haha I went in and corrected the typo from my 10 finger keyboard. haha I hope you get your computer working soon! Or maybe treat yourself to a shiny new one????
You are right, we are way more resilient than we feel we would be at times of need. I learned a wave theory in a class last night. Our emotions come in waves. If we can be patient and just ride the next wave out, it will level again. The key is to not react when the wave is high. Neat analogy!
so happy that you get to do what you love to do and experience some of the adventures I’m sure you have been dreaming of. Your insta stories…what a beautiful spot….have fun!
Thanks Jane! I’ll be sure to toast you with some rusty trinket while I visit the Antiques store yet again. I’ll do an insta story of how loaded it is… you’d positively die.
What a great message! Taking time to do what we love for ourselves is the most selfless thing we can do. Doing so allows us to show up fully for ourselves and others.
Honestly sometimes things happen for a reason. I haven’t been to your website in a few years. Putting out fires doesn’t describe the last I don’t know how many years. I’m a single mom of 5. My youngest just left home. I haven’t a clue what to do. I started decorating, painting the entire house just to keep myself from going insane. Finally have a few bucks. I just bought my first set of matching dishes and real glasses. I’ve been walking around lost for the last 2 months. Thank you so very much. Your post has bought me peace. I’m holding back tears writing this comment. Donna your an angel! So glad to see your website going strong.
I’m painting my cabinets white with pale grey walls never dreamed I could do that?
Oh Fran, I do understand how you are feeling. It’s so weird to not know who you are any longer! I’m trying to be patient in order to rediscover this new way and new me. Apparently it’s all about the journey, not the destination… here’s hoping we can let go and learn to enjoy where we are right now!
Thank you… just thank you! I’ve had a really bad day and well, a bad couple of years. I too am sick & have lost how to live having had to leave behind so much of what I used to do. I have to live with ‘sick’ but if I can stop being tired for a second and take better care of myself, I know I can live again… I am working on it! I build & decorate for stress and aesthetic relief as wood is one of my best friends and you as an artist & a person are truly inspiring! I am also a photographer & enjoy your bike ride shots! Reading this post in particular has eased a truly awful day and now I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to get some sleep! Thank you Donna!
Oh awesome Beth! So glad the post found you just when you needed a little lift! Thank-you for sharing what was on your heart. xo