Greatness begins with awareness.

Ask yourself how, not why

How often have you faced a tough situation and said, “Why me?”  “Why” usually leads to analysis and possible self pity.  “How” has the power to move us forward.  Notice the difference:  “Why did this happen to me?” versus “How can I handle this challenge?”  Solutions begin to appear magically.  This simple change in your internal self-talk can produce quick and tremendous results.

 I wrote these words as part of a newsletter article in the winter of 2002.  At the time, I did not realize how important they would become to my own mental health mental and survival.

In the last eighteen months; I have lost my mother after years of long illness, my husband has been dealing with a serious case of melanoma, we moved my Dad into an assisted living apartment and his health is slipping.  I have two elementary aged kids and have my own business as a coach and consultant.  My days are busy and often it feels like I move from my parent’s, husband’s and kid’s need before I get to think about what I need to do each day.

Almost every day, I encourage myself to ask, “how can I handle all that is on my plate?”  The answer that has become increasingly clear to me comes from the wise counsel of AA, “one day at time.”  “What is on the plate for today?  Handle that and tomorrow you will think about what is next.”  I find breaking my action or thoughts into what I can do today, helps me not succumb to the tremendous overwhelm that could take me over at any time.

For years I have heard the counsel that we should live in the present.  The wisdom suggested that thinking about the past or the future does not serve us.  The only thing we can manage is this moment.  It used to seem like good counsel, yet I am sure I really understood it’s magnificent power before I stepped into this challenging chapter.  Being present has been so helpful and calming.

I look forward to calmer days when my biggest question will be what should I wear, where do the kids need to be and what will I make for dinner?

So, I come back to the original question, give yourself a moment to feel your emotions when tough stuff happens.  Give yourself some moments of “Why me”?  Then get yourself to, “How can I handle this?”

Please share your stories on these key questions.

1 Comment

  1. Allyson

    Ah, ca fait bien paisilr de bon matin. Avec le soleil en prime, j’ai l’impression que la journée commence bien ! Merci Ratounette!

    Ah, it is a pleasure this good morning. With the sun at its peak, I feel that the day is beginning well. Thank you.


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