A Reasonable Breakdown
Today I chatted with a bloke who, over the last eight weeks, has been retrenched from his job, lost his dad to cancer, discovered his wife has been cheating on him and, not surprisingly, has had a minor breakdown. Wowzer! I reckon I might have had a breakdown too. He is now negotiating week nine and it’s fair to say that, right now, there ain’t a whole lot of sunshine, fun or joy in his world.
In fact, when I first bumped into him and innocently asked “how’s life?” (before I knew of recent events), he replied “honestly Craig, my life is a steaming hot turd.” Naturally, I laughed at his blokey analogy but after listening to his story, I was inclined to agree with him. Or, at the very least, understand why he felt that way. When he turned to me and said “so you’re the motivation guy, what’s your take on all this?” I replied (not very helpfully) “I think that, right now your life does suck and I don’t blame you for being overwhelmed.”
The truth is that sometimes, life is total rubbish and sometimes it’s amazing and glorious. Hopefully, a little more of the latter. And sometimes, it will alternate between crap and great all on the same day.
Somewhere along the way, some of us have bought into the self-help fairy tale that we must always be amazing and awesome and positive and philosophical. Such unrealistic crap. Unless you’re a personal development cyborg, of course you’re gonna have bad days. Months, maybe. And that’s okay. Sometimes we need to allow ourselves to feel what we feel and be human. Which is not to be confused with being self-indulgent, attention-seeking, problem-obsessed pains in the butt. Of course we can acknowledge that bad (undesirable, unexpected) things are happening (have happened) in our world, while still doing our best to be solution-focused and to keep moving in a positive direction.
The real challenge for us is not to have a perfect life or to be perfect, but to keep moving forward and to keep asking great questions in the middle of our imperfection and dysfunction.