Getting emotionally TOUGH!

Just take a deep breath… DEEPER.

One minute I’m smiling and chipper. But in the next breath, I am melancholy, as I burst into tears. Sounds like an emotional roller coaster or an unpredictable storm!

Am I pregnant? No. Am I losing my mind? At times it feels like it, but no I’m not.

So then what the heck is going on?

It’s as if my emotions are going haywire or there is an emotional short circuit.

There I stood tears streaming down my face, and a little voice reminded me to “breathe”. I took a breath. Then, the reminder came to “breath deeper”. This time I made sure to inhale and completely fill my lungs. As I took in that breath and oxygenated by body, and then let out that same breath – I could feel the tension lifting as the carbon dioxide left my body.

The breathing helped to lessen the intensity of my emotions, which was good. Because though the stressors were still there, I didn’t feel as erratic or ‘on the edge’. And in this calmer state I reminded myself that this hectic season I am currently in shall pass and I will make it.

Whenever I begin to doubt the certainty of my success, I remind myself of my mother’s words: “Donna all things pass” or my grandmother who insisted that I was made of tough and undefeatable stuff. “You are a Trojan [warrior]”, she said. Their statements are nicely summarized in this quote by televangelist Robert Schuller: “tough times don’t last, but tough people do”.

I will admit, there are many days that I do not feel tough, AT ALL. However, I’ve learned that toughness is not based upon my emotions. Instead, my toughness is based upon my decision to keep striving despite my feelings. In other words, I am tough because I have made success my only option!

So how exactly can YOU get tough, when you feel like life is beating you up? This, is what I intend to share in my memoir. It is entitled: Shedding Perfection: A Psychologist’s Journey to Self-Healing © 2015 Donna Gardner. All rights reserved. The memoir is still in progress, but I eagerly anticipate the day it shall grace the bookshelves. Until that time, I want you to remember that:

Sometimes you just have to allow the tears, take a breath, and remind yourself you’re going to make it!