“This too shall pass…”

Ever heard this while suffering through a hardship or struggle?

Me, too. It sucks.

Of course it’ll eventually pass. That isn’t the problem. The issue is how to feel better while we wait it out.

My dad used to say, “Wish in one hand. Crap in the other. Then, see which fills up first.” Ah, full of wisdom my dad. And if I’m completely honest, that isn’t exactly how he said it, either. But you get the point, and so did I: Wishing will get you nowhere fast—including wishing you would feel better. It won’t just happen.

And believe me, I know all too well about this. Sadly, I spent years wishing things would get better, so I could finally feel better, too.

But it never happened.

The Medisky Family (2009): Me, Mark, Jason, and Nate

That’s when I had a rock-bottom moment. Well, okay, make that plural: many rock-bottom moments. Eventually, I realized things weren’t ever going to get better. And whether I was going to feel better in the midst of it was entirely up to me. Oy.

That’s not to say I was happy about it. Facing a future of certain struggle that would only increase and grow is hard to embrace enthusiastically. (Curious? I’ll share more in future posts, videos, and books.) But somewhere along the way I got so desperate that I stopped looking outward and began looking inward.

I couldn’t change others. I couldn’t even change my situation. I could only change myself. And what a project THAT has turned out to be.

But there’s more…

No matter how crappy and challenging the situation, no matter how cornered we may feel, there is always one thing we can change that will make a world of difference: ourselves.

We may never truly be able to control our reactions. They’re immediate and knee-jerk. But we can always craft a constructive response. And this can go a long way to making  us feel better right where we are—no matter where that is.

Me and Mark in April 2009, shortly before his bilateral eye surgery to prevent blindness

So, how do you feel better?

There’s one response in particular—to every situation, no matter how I feel—that has proven to help 100% of the time. And I hope it helps you, too.

Go ahead! Have a FIT

FEEL, don’t fight it. All emotions are natural. How you feel is valid. So, allow yourself to accept and feel them—even if they’re uncomfortable, scary, or shameful.

IDENTIFY the emotion and why you’re experiencing it. Strip away any additional anxieties by getting to know it and why it’s here now. Resist the urge to stuff it down and ignore it. Instead, drag it out into the spotlight, so you can sort it out.

THINK about it. Give yourself time, so that you can think it through and craft an intentional response. Remind yourself that you’re not under the threat of a stopwatch. Rarely is an immediate response needed for anything—including how we feel. Know this truth and act on it.

Books to Help You Get There

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