Sunday 6 April 2014

An Open Letter for Your Broken Down Bad Day

I wrote this for a friend who really needed to hear it this week. I hope it helps more than just the one person.

An Open Letter To Anyone Having a Really Bad Day:

Dear You,
Jordan Danger

I get it. Today isn't going well at all, is it? In fact, today seems to be the natural and inevitable conflagration of all the individual things that have been going wrong for weeks, am I right? You feel like death. You look like death. Your soul is whimpering from the darkest corner of your heart, hiding in the shadows with its knees tucked up against its chest. And still, the hits just keep on coming.

Well I'm hear to tell you a couple of things. Number one: these days will come. No matter what you do to prepare this kind of day will come and come again. You can spend a lot of energy trying to avoid these days, fighting the fates with herculean efforts or numbing out on wine and reality TV, but they will still come. There's no such thing as avoiding bad days.

Jordan Danger
Which leads us to number two: these days will suck. Trying to convince yourself that you can turn these days around is foolish. I'm not talking about your average rough day: I'm talking about the really bad days, the days when the big black wolf is howling, not at the door, but right inside your house. Most of the other bad days can be lightened, but the Black Wolf Days are suck. This does not have to be a depressing thought, though. This can be a freeing realization. Everything is going to hurt today, and the sooner you give yourself permission to accept that, the more energy you'll get to save up for when the healing begins. Denial wastes a lot of energy, as does fighting an insurmountable obstacle.

And that's the crux of number three: you need to know that you're strong enough. When everything is falling apart and you feel like you're going to break, do one more thing: take a deep breath. Not because it's cleansing or calming or nourishing (which it is), but because it makes you pause for a heartbeat. We become so attached to the external stimuli around us that we forget we will continue to exist no matter what happens to those stimuli. Your house could literally be hit by a falling airplane right in front of you, and you would still be entitled to take a moment to breathe; and if you did so, you would see that you continue to exist regardless of the crisis. You are stronger than you know. Let go.
Jordan Danger

Which brings us to four: offer yourself some forgiveness. So many things about being a human feels urgent, but in reality there's no way that a sink full of dirty dishes is anywhere near the same emergency as a polar bear chasing you down an iceberg. Indeed, likely somewhere in the world right now are two separate humans facing these two separate dilemmas. It is animal nature to view every negative stimuli as something that must be dealt with; it is part of the human nature to know the power of rational thought. If today is a day where your very insides are crumbling down around you, ask yourself for forgiveness for all the balls you're going to drop. Whether you like it or not, they'll still be there tomorrow for you to pick up.

You will have days that hurt. It will happen. They will suck. You are strong and have the miraculous capacity for forgiveness. Use these attributes.

And know that I know what you're feeling. Others do, too. You're going to bounce back. Give it time.

You still have value. That's probably the hardest part to believe right now, but you do. Repeat that to yourself even if you can't believe it yet. You still have value.




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