I Am Better at Life When It Sucks

Lately, things have been good. Really good. And that makes me uncomfortable.

I’m better at life when it sucks. I am comfortable sitting in my grief, making do with less, embracing the challenges life sends my way. I can rest in my darkness, surrender to my pain, and find a way to be with the new normal before me.

Unless the new normal is ease, peace and abundance. Then I get uncomfortable. I can have a good time (always), but underneath is a low hum called ‘this is only temporary, don’t let go.’ I am braced for the bad, ready for rejection, on guard for the attack.

It might be a survival mechanism for an optimist like me. When you walk around thinking that life is full of roses you’re taken aback every time you get pricked by a thorn. Over the years, I’ve come to brace myself for that next thorn. Enjoying the beauty and goodness of life, but staying aware of the impending downside. I am skilled at dealing with the present moment, adept at being with what if this is as good as it gets?.

Now I can see that my skill in that department does not translate well into this one. Now I have something new to sit with and embrace, called what if this is as bad as it gets?. Just writing this makes me cringe, (don’t jinx it!). But therein lies the fear that betrays my Zen approach. If I am good with what is when it is bad, then can I be good with what is when it is good? And, if I am truly Zen-minded, then how I am to judge whether it is bad or good? In which case, the question becomes - am I good with what is - whatever it is?

That’s what I am working on now. Bringing the same patience and perseverance that I brought to being good with what is when things weren’t that great, to being good with what is when they are.

Which requires some practice on my part: more celebrating with loved ones, more lingering over late lunches, more giggling over absolutely nothing. More joy, less worry; more fun, less fret, more ease, less stress. This will take some work.

And I am good with that.