Archive for December, 2013

Whatever it takes

December 19, 2013

Six months ago, I was the poster child for stoicism. Battle through was my war cry. Accept the struggle my mantra. I viewed the ups and downs of life as part of the exhilarating ride and grinned and bared it, even when the ups took on dizzying heights and the downs dipped to debilitating depths. The ride was exhausting, but I saw it as my lot.

My temperament is intense and serious, ergo I am partial to the extremes. Self-acceptance can be a double-edged sword: you can reconcile your foibles, but do you have to live with them? Up until recently, I would have argued that to massage, manipulate or medicate your temperamental ailments was somehow a failure. A cop out.

I am who I am, love me or loathe me.

I now know that to be, at best, naive, and at worst, self-destructive. The last few months have taught me that if you are hampered by a temperament that predisposes you to a life of struggle, even while living in optimum circumstances, you don’t have to battle through. You don’t have to accept it as your lot. And you don’t have to be a martyr to the moody cause. When the ups and downs become extreme and you have whiplash from the ride, seek help. There are ways of levelling out the bumps and easing the turbulance. You can have a smoother ride, and you are not letting anybody down by doing so.

Life is way too short to live it in struggle. For most of us, there are enough daily hazards to wade through without our own minds tripping us up. After a day negotiating family, work, life commitments the last thing you need is to lie in bed ruminating over it all. Give yourself a break. Find what works and embrace it.

Yes, it is priveleged and no, life is never perfect. But if you have at your disposal the means of making it as near to your perfection as possible, why not use them? You won’t win an award for not doing so, and you will thank yourself that you did.