I never cease to be amazed by the emotional strength some people show in difficult situations. It’s all relative, of course. What may be a difficult situation for one, may be a walk in the park for someone else, but when someone tells me they are having a difficult time, I believe them. It’s a lot like pain – who am I to tell them it doesn’t hurt?
I have been blessed to have encountered only a few difficult times in my life, but last week I did have to dig into my emotional reserves. Two out of our three children, and I, caught a nasty tummy bug, and my husband was away on a business trip. It’s bad enough having to run around after the little ones with old towels to try and prevent their stomach contents from going everywhere, but it’s even worse when you yourself have to run to the bathroom every two minutes as well.
After a couple of hours the tumult died down a little and there was a twenty-minute lull between gastric upsets. I found myself lying on our bed like a wet towel, in between two sick little kids, wondering how we were going to get through this.
Then a voice suddenly came up in my head. “This too shall pass,” it said. And when I listened to it carefully, I recognized the voice as my own. I kept repeating the phrase and I felt the confidence grow inside and comfort me.
Of course we got through the whole episode and looking back now I can laugh about it. I realize that I actually use “This too shall pass” a lot when things get tough and that it has, in fact, become my mantra. It feels good to have one – it’s like an emotional safety-net you know you can pull out in times of need.
And it has made me curious as well – what’s your mantra, and how did you come to have one?