Sunday, November 21, 2010

Can You Cope?

You wanted to go to college, but your parent(s) didn't have the money. You applied for a job, but didn't get it. You wanted to have children by now, but you don't and may not. You missed your flight. Your new venture didn't work out. You failed the bar exam. A close relative passed away. Your lie was made public. Your significant other left you.

On the other hand it may be that, you have a job, you woke up this morning, you don't have cancer (fight like hell if you do!), your parents are still alive, you didn't die in that car accident, you had a good laugh today, you lost 20 pounds, you found a new love, you have great friend or, your favorite show comes on tonight. My point is that lots of good things are going on too.

There are unlimited scenarios that could happen to us as we live this thing called "life". As much as we plan, hope, pray, meditate and believe, we never become immune to life's valleys. That's the bad news. The GREAT news is one, that there is always a bright side and two, you absolutely have a choice in how you respond in each an every situation.

Here's the thing. . . you can't do a damn thing about what happened. It's over. All you have right now is this moment to decide how to move forward. Have the emotion. Take time to be angry, disappointed, sad, etc. Express it. Go running, talk with a friend or therapist, cry your eyes out, punch a pillow until it pops open, sing loud in the shower, take a swim in a cold lake, get it out! Some might say that you can live life without ever being angry, disappointed, etc. I say good for them; however for most of us, the oppression of these feelings will come back to bite us in the rear; and in a variety of ways.

I've seen people fly off the handle because someone didn't hold the door for them, young women & men wreck the belongings of their lovers because they suspected them of cheating, go into a deep depression because things didn't go their way, never trust again because one person hurt them, depend on pills to keep them from hearing their own thoughts, and so on and so on. What happens? Why can't they cope?

It starts early when we don't get enough opportunities to process and communicate how we're feeling. Many people grow up with people telling them to "suck it up" or where they are always put into situations in order to succeed. Experiencing and getting through failure and difficulty is the key to learning how to cope. Picking yourself back up, acknowledging the failure and making a plan for your next move is a critical process to coping through life. It allows you to gain perspective. Yes, "it" was awful. Now what?

If it's a death, grieve and grieve hard. Commit to remembering the person for what they brought to your life and go forward so that it's not in vain. If it's a failed relationship, self reflect and take responsibility for your part in it. Yes, you could name all the things about him or her that you didn't like, made you feel bad, etc. Great! That will tell you what you don't want in the future. But what you really need to know is how will YOU approach it differently the next go around. If it's the tenth interview and you didn't get the job. Self reflect again, get a network of people and get some feedback. Don't tell them about all the stuff you're doing right and how you've tried your best. That's fine, but it didn't work, so you need a new strategy.

I think you get my point. Find a healthy way to recover. Don't give up, don't slash tires, don't start a fight, don't get depressed (sulk for a moment if you must, but then get up!), don't drink too much (you know your limits), just don't be unhealthy about your process.

Learn how to cope. Things are going to go wrong and things are going to go right. Rejoice in the good times and reflect and take healthy actions in the challenging ones.

Learn how to cope and continue to Live Your Truth!


  1. I really needed to read that today, Monica!


  2. Excellent and accurate advice/techniques to practice for coping!!!

  3. Thank you for reading and commenting.