Life Beyond Coping

Our world is not what it once was, and neither are we.  In this transition that is squeezing us all on so many levels, comfort is the least of what we are feeling.  But with self-compassion and grieving, we can find our way to some semblance of acceptance that helps us reboot our systems; restoring balance, releasing the weight of coping and increasing our level of mental and emotional clarity.  When we are compassionate to ourselves, we understand this is no joke, the changes are challenging, the unrest is unsettling, and the peace we once knew may feel light years away.  This is not easy...for anyone.

silhouette photography of man illustration

Coping.  With everything going on in the world, and on a fast-track of constant change, we have a LOT to cope with in our lives.  Many of these things and events can feel overwhelming the more we focus on them in order to figure out what they really mean to us now, or what they will mean to us in our futures.  All of the constant mental projections, sifting and sorting, which seems only to lead to even more sifting and sorting, can make us feel exhausted and frankly, a bit stuck.  We are in a position where what we need to know keeps changing and how we need to find good information in order to know the facts, gets more and more convoluted. The reality is we are coping with what's coming in right along with what has already been deposited into our minds, yet we never "finish" anything fully; putting it away before the next crisis or change arrives.  

We become buried in our own coping.  And what are your coping skills?  Are you walking, journaling, meditating and resting, or binge-watching the news, drinking, over-working or living in high anxiety?  There are a million ways people can cope, and believe me, no judgement here.  Yet there is a danger for all of us when we stay in the coping stage too long.  Staying in this state of coping is like a building up of energies that we really don't even want to deal with in the first place.  We can find ourselves feeling resentful of the never-ending barrage, right along with the time and peace that continues to be stolen away from our daily lives.  We may try to avoid it by shutting it out or off completely for momentary relief, but it is still not the best answer for our longterm mental, emotional or physical health.

woman walking on pathway during daytime

The pace at which life comes at us is unrelenting enough to really challenge our ability to be aware and fully present.  It's confusing and no one knows the answers or the final outcomes.  You may be experiencing emotional turmoil, sleepless nights, or anger that just keeps roiling beneath the surface. So then, what is the answer?  If we can't escape the chaos and information overload, do we just continue to stay in the coping stage and hope for the best?  Maybe.  However, there is a much more Self-honoring way to handle all that life is throwing at us.  It is very basic: to grieve.  This action helps to clear out the coping and gives way to rest and recovery.  It is both Self-honoring and self-compassionate to grieve, whether you do it alone or together.

a woman rests her head on another person's shoulder

Give yourself that much.  You are doing your best.  Allow yourself to grieve.  Allow yourself to identify, make space for, feel, and release whatever you've been coping with, let go and allow the grief to move through you and out of you.  After all, you are human, not a robot.  You don't have to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders.  Allow the emotions to be released in a healthy way.  Let go the weight of coping.  Cry.  There is such tremendous power in taking these actions of gentle and regular coping hygiene to cleanse inner build-up and begin restoring clarity and inner peace.  I believe that as we make our way to the future, using grieving as a tool in this manner, will help us all to be healthier, more stable and allow us to navigate our way forward with greater wisdom, clarity, and optimism.  And that sounds like a pretty good option to me. 

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