Sometimes, things just suck

Sometimes things just suck, no matter how much of a positive spin you put on it, or try to tell yourself ‘everything happens for a reason’.

Zac and I just got back from our almost month long honeymoon. On the last 5 nights of our trip, we stayed in Bora Bora. For those of you who might not know, Bora Bora is one of those places you might see on your Facebook feed. It’s a tropical island where you get to stay in a little hut over the ocean.

The first three days we were there it was raining and the wind was so strong that you couldn’t go outside. Within our first three days, we had over 20 inches of rain, and constant winds up to 50 kilometers an hour. Despite the weather, the first two days were lovely. We had come from the USA where we were on our feet non stop for three weeks, so it was refreshing to spend our time just relaxing and doing nothing. I read a new book, and Zac chased and caught a gecko in our room.

But when we woke up on the third day and it was still raining cats and dogs, I had had enough. I had put a positive spin on the weather for the last two days, and it was time to call a spade a spade. This weather, SUCKS!

Putting things into perspective

My number one character strength is gratitude. Sometimes I can be so grateful for what I have that the downside is not seeing how things can be better. It’s taken me years to learn this. So it’s my thing to step back and look at the whole picture, and when I need to, say things suck when they do. Because sometimes without realising it, I can be working really hard to see things in a positive light when in the end, it’s easier (and better for me) to let that go and call a spade a spade. I don’t have to put a positive spin on everything. 

Instead of being so grateful for having a cup of coffee, I’m allowed to send it back if it’s cold.

Once I accepted that the weather was not our friend, it was like a weight had lifted off my shoulders. I gave up on working so hard and I was able to let go and embrace all of what our honeymoon had to offer.

When you’re going through something really tough, it’s not as easy as accepting it and moving on…

When you are going through something that really does suck, and it’s not just a first world problem like mine (bad weather on an island people dream of visiting), it’s not something you can just snap out of and call it out on. However, there are some pretty amazing people out there who see the best in everything, even when things do suck. Like terminal cancer, a loss of a loved one or living in a war torn country.

Like Viktor Frankl, who was a prisoner of a Nazi concentration camp and survived the Holocaust.

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. Viktor Frankl.

His story continues to inspire millions of people today, and I find it helpful to draw upon when I’m either stressed or thinking about a problem that in the scheme of things, isn’t really a problem.

A positive attitude and a smile helps us deal with difficult circumstances in constructive ways

Yes, things suck sometimes. But making that the focus just adds to our worries and stress. Accepting that things aren’t going well can help us move forward and see positive ways to deal with the negative situation we find ourselves in. Here are some things you could try:

  • breathe and relax: meditation is proven to reduce anxiety and stress, and I personally find it helps me put things into perspective (like realizing, yes it sucks it’s raining – but in the scheme of things this isn’t really a problem I need to spend any more time worrying about)
  • read inspirational stories: like Viktor Frankl, there are many more inspirational people out there whose positive attitudes have shaped their lives, even in dark circumstances. Have a google! Or visit http://www.biographyonline.net/people/overcame-difficult-odds.html (which I got from Jeremy Howick’s book, Doctor You; which funnily enough, is the book I read when I was stuck inside reading on my honey moon while the torrential wind and rain stopped us from going outside).
  • call a spade a spade, and move on: I find that accepting things as they are helps me move forward. It’s easier than working over time to see things in a positive light, when you can just accept things aren’t going well and move forward. If you can’t change things, how can I think differently about it?

 

Image via @fashionsummerweek

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