Every time Groundhog Day comes I think of the movie of the same name. It is one of those movies that I can watch over and over again because: (a) it’s funny and (b) it really speaks to me.
The funny part, you may or may not agree on with me and I’m okay with that. We all have different things we find amusing. The speaks to me part…well, if are of the mind to argue, personal opinion is exactly that – Personal.
The things that speak to me specifically come in the second half of the movie. Phil has already done all the little boy prankish-type things he can think of. He has seen the dark side of life and turns a corner deciding to make a perfect day of his recurring nightmare.
We all have things that cause us stress, grief, anger – pick a negative emotion – and it isn’t ever easy to get out of those debilitating patterns. I’ve certainly had my share and will continue to have them from time-to-time.
For me, the key has been to recognize when I’m on the downward spiral and look for something, no matter how small, to begin to dig myself out of whatever hole I’m in. That recognition isn’t always easy. In my case, I know things are bad when I haven’t done any writing for a considerable amount of time. That becomes part of the descent. I beat myself up over my lack of writing even if that wasn’t the first thing to initiate the problem.
I know I’ve talked about goals many times on this blog and THAT, believe it or not, is part of both the solution and the problem. On the problem side, I know I have deadlines that I’m putting in jeopardy and I get a lot of guilt from that. At the same time, the deadlines/goals remind me that, even though I’m going through a tough period, there are positive things out there. Finishing a book (for me) certainly qualifies as such.
So, when I’m ready to move past the negative (and I do need some time to stew in it) I can look to those goals for the gentle nudge I need. It usually takes some time to dig out of the funk, but I can feel the positive energies begin to coalesce.
I may not be able to do everything (play the piano for example) like Phil does in the movie, but like him, I take control of my life and move myself toward a positive outcome. It’s less about forcing the issue and more about hitting that tipping point where everything finally comes together.
I know it isn’t always easy to do and sometimes goals alone won’t do it. We all need some outside help once in a while. Don’t be afraid to ask for it. What we sometimes forget is, when we are unhappy, those around us who care about us are probably suffering too. They feel our pain and experience it too. So, don’t work your way out of it just for yourself. Do it for others too.