Preparing for the drought?
I subscribe to a daily motivation e-mail, which usually consists of a quote and a quick sentence. It is nice to receive, even if I am not always “in the mood” for the message. I save many of them, share some of them, and revisit them regularly.
One day not long ago, this is what was in the e-mail:
People forget to think in good times. They do not take the time to evaluate, appreciate and enjoy.
When it gets tough and time seems to slow down they do not have a clear mind, they are unprepared.
Use the good times to prepare yourself mentally for tougher parts of life. Never stop thinking about self-development and general concepts of motivation and inspiration.
Take good care of your thoughts and you can harvest the crops when the drought comes.
I have to wonder if I entirely agree with this. I recently made a commitment to remind myself, during both the good and bad times, of how lucky I am, not only to have loving family and friends, but to have had some of the opportunities I have had. Sure, many, many hard lessons have come along the way (and seem to keep coming) but in general, I try to work toward the positive and have the firm belief that no matter what I say, I must be an optimist at heart because somewhere, even in the darkest days, I manage to retain a small amount of hope. I still manage to find the lesson in the challenges, because I believe that there always IS a lesson to be learned, even if it causes me to face a part of myself I don’t often visit or like very much.
Of course, doing so provides yet another opportunity for self-reflection and growth.
But is a person really able to prepare for the tough times? After all, it is often not a slow slide but a rapid drop into those times, and before we know it, there we are in the middle of them, lost in the darkness and not able to clearly think about anything. Can any amount of work prepare us for these?
Is it enough to repeat an affirmation without believing in it, or will the repetition cause eventual belief? By writing down the wonderful things my friends said about me a couple of months ago and revisiting the page, will I be able to banish negative thinking entirely? Will my attempts at positivity overcome the misinterpretations and miscommunications that happen, whether or not I am aware of or intending them? Are the process of self-development and concepts of motivation and inspiration enough to get us through? Will the thoughts really be there when the drought comes? I have to wonder.
Clearly, that hope I spoke of is seasoned with a hefty dose of skepticism.
Are we so afraid of the droughts that we seek to prepare for them, to the extent that we do not want to experience them, and ultimately ignore the fact that we are existing in them anyway? It takes a great deal of work to be mindful and conscious of yourself, your attitudes, your feelings, behavior and of others, on a consistent basis. It takes courage to be true to yourself and to not try to ignore or run away from the negative things that happen, to stand and stay true to yourself, especially when others tell you that something is wrong with you.
So not only do we have to be mindful of our own droughts, but those of others as well, because it helps us understand them better. But that, too, is challenging as we are so quick to jump to a conclusion, because it is so much easier to label a person than to try to understand the person. And we have to accept that fact that others will judge us based on little information.
So, then, how do we get through the droughts? When we are often so caught up in the day to day, how do we store up the positive to harvest when the drought comes? Do we make deposits with friends and loved ones, and agree to be able to make withdrawals when we need them? Should we have to? Can we find a way to do that within ourselves? The author of the e-mail seems to think so.
What do I think? I wonder. But I am willing to try.