When times are rough there are few things better than being held in a beloved friend or family member’s arms. Surrendering to the embrace of someone who really cares and can be there for us seems to make everything okay.

The love and acknowledgement of our pain doesn’t solve our problems and it doesn’t make anything go away but it seems to help us regroup and come back to a place of confidence and ease. From there, dealing with challenges appears more doable. When we are taking care of a dependent loved one and we start feeling really beat, a few days of respite can help us regain our perspective and find needed clarity.

Cold Comforts~

Where we go for needed comfort matters and has consequences. Like going to a bakery to buy a chain saw, there are people who will always let us down when we go to them expecting support. It isn’t smart to go, but sometimes we choose to stubbornly cling to the notion that “maybe this time…”

Our denial and minimizing of reality can lead us to taking refuge in other unreliable harbors. Many of us find comfort in believing things that are flat-out untrue, or in fabricating stories. We persist in telling ourselves that somehow, magically everything will turn out the way we want even though all evidence points to the contrary.

We want to believe that our parents, even though they are 20, 30 even 40 years older than us, will keep on living. We want to think they will always be there for us. We want to believe that our kids will survive us and that they will always be safe. We want to believe that because we have loyally shown up for work every day for years for a company where we have friends and a collegial relationship with our boss that we will be there until we decide to retire or quit.

When Fantasy Fails~

Living in a fantasy world rarely works out and the shock that comes when our eyes are opened for us by the cold water of reality can send us reeling or submerge us completely. When we come up for air after that one we realize how much we needed to believe something even though deep in our heart we knew it was unlikely or impossible. Our cheating spouses tend to do it again. Our abusive relations keep on abusing. Those people who abandon us right when we most need them continue to do so whether or not we cajole, yell, cry or explain why they shouldn’t. Expecting someone to act against their personality and nature is just setting them up for playing the ‘bad guy’ one more time and setting ourselves up for disappointment.

No Comfort~

So then what do we do? Some go for the bottle or a drug or seek temporary respite in the bed of a stranger. What is received from those behaviors cannot be called comfort. It’s more like temporary anesthesia. We all know the consequences of those behaviors can be pretty harsh especially when it becomes our favored way of coping and we lose control over it. Rather than dive into a drugged or altered state some go for other addictive behaviors or turn on their robotic “little trouper” selves and get into a frenzy of activity geared towards forcing solutions through the application of will and hard work. This approach has major down sides. Stress. Burn out. Resentments.

Helping Hands~

There is another way. We always seem to think of it last, when we are at our wit’s end and we think we are out of options. We can ask for help from those who are capable and will actually follow through. Talking to therapists or getting friendly support from other reliable people can make a huge difference and help shift our feelings of being alone and overwhelmed. In the end other people cannot live our lives, feel our feelings or fix our problems for use, but they can lend a helping hand and give emotional support.

Safe Harbor~

We can also lean on God. However you perceive your spiritual nature and your source and whatever beliefs about it you hold, it is your biggest asset. In a state of communion with your God, you can receive healing, inspiration, understand how best to tackle problems and reconnect with the truth. The reality is that there are no problems too big for us to handle, though it seems so. We are never alone, though it seems so. There are no challenges that have no solutions, though it seems so. We can get through this day, though it seems unlikely.

Let’s Do This~

Let’s not wait to connect with the spiritual. The IPhone should never come before God. Don’t even consider starting your day without at least a prayer, a meditation, a moment of genuine thanks. When you live life connected to your Divine Center, the day will always bring hope, faith and solutions.

Dylan Mariah, 6.26.16

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