Maxie McCoy

If you’re having a rough day

Why are some days shittier than others? Probably because you’re tired, dehydrated, and overwhelmed. And also because some days just suck. Some weeks are brutal. The difficulty you’re feeling doesn’t have to be reflected by the heaviness of the event. Whatever you feel, you feel.

It’s OK if you’re having a rough day. Or week. Or year. Or chapter.

You don’t have to be “fine” – which I’m guilty of saying when everything is so not fine. It tumbles out of my mouth as if I’m throwing up a shield to protect myself from what I’m not prepared to acknowledge. That in that moment…I’m disappointed. Or I’m scared. Or unsure. Or lonely.

On rough days, I’ve been trying something different…which is to not be fine. It doesn’t mean I abandon my responsibilities, or not show up for the people I love, or use my frustration to rain on other people’s parade. It just means that I own my reality, which is that I feel off. Or weird. Or stressed. Or down. It means that I learn to sit with the feelings that don’t feel good, so that I can meet myself with compassion instead of developing unhealthy behaviors that serve as an eject button from a rough day.

Here’s the thing though (and this isn’t good news but stick with me)…On the crap days when I “do” everything healthy and right, like meditating, like working out, like having a green smoothie, like calling a friend, like getting some fresh air, like taking a nap…it doesn’t always mean I feel better. Often, I don’t.

Our self-care meets obsessed self-help culture has perpetuated this myth that if we “do” all these healthy and gentle things that we’ll “feel better.” Which misses the point. Yes, sometimes those things will jolt your out of your funk. But if they don’t – and you’re made to believe they should – you end up feeling worse for not feeling better. Hello, spiral.

Instead, if you realize that these choices aren’t there to immediately fix your feelings, but rather to help you cope with the full experience of handling, holding, and feeling your feelings…then you’ll find strength on the other side of choosing healthy coping mechanisms, even if they don’t instantly pay off. What you’re developing is far more important. You’re gaining the ability to feel all the dimensions of life in equal measure. You’re finding balance. You’re knowing human depth, which is so much sexier to me than feeling good. I want to feel like I’m alive. I want to be damn sure that I’ve experienced the brush strokes of this lifetime in full fucking color, with all the texture of an oil painting.

So the next time you’re having a bad day, allow your darkness the richness of light. Don’t go flipping the lamp on. Let yourself stumble around. Knock into some shit. Trip. You’re creating intimacy with the geography of your soul, one that doesn’t require assistance. From here, you’ll move with even more clarity and speed once the sun comes up, which it will. It always does.

With a Little Inspiration, Anything is Possible...

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