Self-Improvement

What if You’re Running on Low?

What if You’re Running on Low?

I read a blog in which the author said he was able to relate to the fact that we hurt, struggle, and go through lonely times. He spoke about how we’re all connected and we’re really not alone. Usually, this particular blog helps me, but this time…it didn’t.

Sometimes it, no matter what it is, just doesn’t seem to help.

2006 was an unbelievable year. For some reason, I decided to go to church at the first part of that year. I lifted my hands at the end of the morning service, and it dawned on me, I felt a complete loss of hope that I’ve never felt before—in church of all places.

A lot was going on then. A lot had affected me.

In 2005 I worked a record number of suicides. Being a cop, you see the worse of human nature. You see what others to do each other; sometimes, to themselves.

I think it sucked something out of my soul then.

Suicide messes with your thinking. I saw more than I ever wanted to.

I thought, What were these folks thinking right before they did the deed?

I wondered about the pain they felt…inside. About the hope they lost.

And yes, I’ve thought it through myself.

When you’re out of hope, when you’ve fallen off the edge inside, when the last strand you’ve been hanging onto comes undone…you think of ending it all. At least…I did.

Some things suck the life out of us. Drip by drip, it seems to leak out of us.

Sometimes, it comes as a flash-flood. You don’t even see the train coming and then, BAM!

Afterward, all you know is that you hurt—an indescribable loneliness, even when there are other people in the same house as you.

There’s that ache that doesn’t get touched by a blog post, by a special word, by a text, email, or written whatever.

“How did you regain hope?”

It’s hard to explain.

It’s how I lived that helped me more. It’s the day to day decisions on how I spent my own time that even today seems to have made the difference; but, back then…admittedly, I had no clue that anything I was doing at the time was helping.

I got to a point where I just didn’t feel—apathy set in and set in hard. Nothing. Nada.

Cut me, I’d bleed, smile back at you and the fight was on. I pushed partners out of the way of dangerous situations to be the first one through the door.

Deathwish? Yeah, probably.

But, here I am…still alive, writing about what it’s like to lose hope.

I really can’t explain it.

The loneliness, despair, and utter dismay I felt from the loss of hope then…

I found myself clawing and scratching for anything that moved to help alleviate the pain. It felt like I was drowning and couldn’t take another breath, and it’s an ache that doesn’t go away with any drug, nor alcohol.

Worse, when you lose hope, passion drains out of you like…I don’t know what. I just wrote like a leaky bucket, but I erased it because that’s stupid.

Passion just leaves. I have no idea where it goes. One day, you’re all excited about your thing. The next day, it’s the last thing you want to tinker with.

But…here’s what I did then. I do it now, and I know that somehow, someway, it helps; just like it did back then.

Take a few moments right now. Close your eyes, and tell yourself, “I love you.”

Really, go ahead, right now. “I love you.”

Do that a few times, then simply listen to your own breath, quietly, for a few moments.

Take another deep breath, open your eyes, and whisper, “Thank you.”

Now take yourself outside, and go for a walk. Look at the trees, notice the colors in the rocks and pebbles below your feet, and then gaze up at the birds and clouds above.

Then, as you gaze at nature, whisper, “Thank you.”

That’s it. That’s all you need to do—right now. Nothing more.

Does it fix things right now? Absolutely not. But…

It helps.

Little by little, every day.

Drip by drip, every day: you and I will refill our glass.

Right there, you and I have taken care of our four pillars.

  1. Spiritual = you just spent a few moments meditating.
  2. Physical = you just took a walk, long or short, fast or slow, it doesn’t matter; you exerted some energy walking.
  3. Mental = you just gave your mind a rest as you focused on the nature around you while walking.
  4. Emotional = you practiced gratitude by saying “thank you” for things that are peaceful and soothing.

Good job!

Those four things do not take much effort. Honestly, somedays, there’s not much left in me to exert much effort.

Yet, the times when we’re weak, out of breath, and our lives seem to have fizzled into thin air before our eyes, taking a few moments doing the above may seem a little strange, awkward, or silly…but…

it helps.

Posted by Christian Martin Jr. in Burnout, Life Hack, Living Better, Self-Improvement, Suicide
Lesson Learned from the Devil?

Lesson Learned from the Devil?

In the beginning…

Adam blamed Eve.

Then, he blamed God for Eve being around.

Eve blamed the snake.

The snake said nothing and eventually took responsibility for the whole mess!

Hm!

Lesson learned?

Not really.

***

Blaming, finger-pointing, harsh words of condemnation, eye rolling, and excuses run deep in us. Seems to be the common thread in all of us…

We blame God.

We blame the devil.

We blame our parents.

We blame our spouses, friends, ex’s, and whoever else that pops up on the radar.

Live long enough and have the fortunate experience of having children, you’ll blame them for lack of sanity, lack of money, and lack of food in the refrigerator.

We blame that horrible boss, the evil co-workers, and the lousy mundane job.

We blame that certain teacher as to why we can’t read, write, add, subtract, or that we’re just not smart enough.

We blame old age.

And we will even put the blame on luck…”I’m not lucky enough,” OR, “I always get the short end of the straw, stick, and get stiffed.”

***

As with most blaming, it’s rooted in fear.

Fear of what others think of us.

Fear of our weaknesses being exposed.

Fear of the unknown.

Fear of our decisions, or lack thereof, in the past; and fear of an uncertain tomorrow…which all seems to steal our energy from living in the now.

And for myself, fear has always led me down a path of excuse making, blaming, and ultimately deception, living untrue with myself and with others around me.

Fear is the number one reason why, when all the excuses are wiped away, I remained in bad relationships, bad jobs, bad everything…corralled. Corralled and not able to breathe or move, to just get through another day with anger, bitterness, gravel swirling around in my gut, and poison in my veins.

***

No matter the who, I try to learn from others what to do, and what not to do. I found it that makes for an easier life; I’ve made plenty of blunders in life, I’d rather not have to make all of them.

Why should I make the same mistake with the same consequences as others who’ve gone before me?

I found a far more successful and peaceful way of being…stop making excuses, stop finger-pointing, stop blaming everyone and everything else for where and why I am, and start taking responsibility for my own life.

When I live intentionally, I don’t have time to blame others.

When I focus on improving the shortcomings in my OWN life, I don’t have time to make excuses.

When I spend a few moments every morning being thankful and grateful for life, doing the hard work of loving myself and taking care of myself now, I realize that there isn’t enough time in life to waste it on blaming and excuse making.


Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

Posted by Christian Martin Jr. in Life Hack, Living Better, Self-Improvement