Coping with Life

Life is about coping with life.

Okay, maybe that’s not terribly profound. It’s something that occurred to me this morning. I’ve just had a bad week, emotionally, for no apparent reason, other than coping with change.

I always feel compelled to add caveats when I make flat statements, in the interest of full disclosure, I guess. Life is about more than just coping, but it’s a basic element. If you can’t cope, you can’t do much else. As my therapist says, if you keep out all the bad stuff, you also keep out the good stuff.

My best friend is coping with a whole host of new life changes: he has a child at an advanced age (not THAT advanced, but after becoming somewhat set in his ways), dealing with several personal losses, being the head of his extended family, mundane and spiritual worries…It’s difficult. It’s also difficult for me, trying to understand what he’s going through, wanting to help, not knowing what to do, coping with my own fears.

My wise pastor said yesterday in the sermon that you never know what is going to happen to you in life. He’s said before that you choose how you’re going to react to what happens to you.

I like the word "intentional." Coping is intentional. Making choices. It is SO hard when you’re in the middle of a depression episode to see any way out. Like being inside a deep valley that’s dark and you can’t see up above the hills surrounding you to know that somewhere the sun is actually out and it isn’t night anymore. The "valley of the shadow of death," I guess.

Coping is an action verb, though. I guess "hide more" is too, but that’s not a constructive option. It didn’t help me any last week.

Not sure I have any answers, really. Cope. Reach out. Keep choosing.

Sometimes day by day is way too hard. Sometimes it’s hour by hour. You can’t eat an elephant all at once.

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