You’re living your life intentionally. You know where you’re headed and what really matters to you. You’re actively cultivating what you’re best at. You’re developing a strong personal foundation to support you in work and life.
Life is rocking along…
But that doesn’t mean you won’t encounter bumps in the road.
It doesn’t mean that we are immune to the world around us.
As a Massachusetts native and former Boston resident, like many around the country, I felt emotionally thrown off course by the Patriots Day bombing. There were friends and family members I wanted to know were safe. On TV, I watched war-like scenes in “my” Back Bay. It didn’t seem real.
And from Texas to Washington to China, it seemed the whole week was filled with challenge and difficulty, political bickering and catastrophe.
It’s times like this when our self-care feels important. When we need those inner foundations we’ve built to keep us strong. When we hug the people close to us and also the ones we have never even met.
I wanted to write about this. About how we respond in our individual lives when it all seems so crazy “out there.”
And then my computer’s hard drive crashed. Followed by a malfunction of my apparently-not-so-trusty backup drive. Which meant I lost stuff. Stuff I needed for my work. Stuff that was meaningful to me, personally. My schedule was thrown off.
I had a fairly sleepless night cursing technology (and my increasing dependence on it). And I remembered something important.
When things go wrong, don’t go with them.
Having a great life and work you love — or working towards that — doesn’t mean that bad things won’t happen in your world. It doesn’t mean you won’t be inconvenienced.
It doesn’t mean that you won’t lose a loved one or be injured or heartbroken. It doesn’t mean you’re immune to the sudden disappearance of the photo memories of your incredible vacation or six months worth of work or a client database that you thought was backed up.
It means you’ll have what you need to handle all of that. It means you’ll be in charge, not mindlessly reacting to everything that’s coming at you and losing your well being in the process.
Your sky will not be falling, though it may feel that way.
It means you’ll have what you need to live on purpose. To choose how you will respond, what you might contribute, how you will hear the small voice inside that tells you what you really need right now. And actually let yourself have those things.
For me, I needed to reach out and talk to people. I needed to be quiet, to be mindful, to go about my plans: attending a psychology/mindfulness workshop, cleaning my house, seeing friends. I needed to laugh. I needed to read the news and not close myself off from it. I needed to go about the business of restoring working technology into my office.
Sometimes it seems unfair. Unfair that it’s happening to us. Or to them. Or unfair of us to feel happy and grounded and moving forward on our projects and priorities when others are in pain.
And yet. That is what we have. To meet our needs honestly, to find our joy and share all of that outward, with the world. What we have. Where we are.