It’ll get better

by Amy on April 11, 2019

Guys, I’ve been having a hard time. I got in a big fight (really big) with my spouse, I caught a terrible cold, we are dealing some HUGE life changes that I will say more about later and I’m just generally feeling a lot of anxiety… So I’m pretty much writing this for myself. But if it happens to help you too, then all the better.

I learned about yin and yang through an early foray into macrobiotic eating. Some things are “Yin,”like carrots, the feminine, black, and the moon and some things are “Yang” like mushrooms, the masculine, white, and the sun.

These opposites complement each other, neither one better or worse. But an increase in one will cause a decrease in the other. The idea with macrobiotics is that some foods are “yin” and some foods are “yang.” (Anyone else wondering who figured this out?) You have to eat a balanced amount of each.

The biggest thing I learned all those years ago, besides the importance of thoroughly chewing brown rice, wasn’t actually about food at all. It was about balance. According to the principles of macrobiotics everything is constantly seeking a state of balance.

It reminds me of something my mom told me once when I was an angsty teenager. “Amy,” she said, “things will always get better eventually.”

You see I subscribed to The Illusion of Fixed Conditions. I believed that my angst would last indefinitely, when in fact this idea is just an illusion. You see, when things are bad, we can’t help but assume that things will always be bad. But The Illusion of Fixed Conditions (and mom) says that nothing is ever fixed. Things are constantly changing. So as any angsty teenager would have done, I curled into bed with a pillow over my head for as long as I could until things eventually got better and my mother’s sage advice once again proved to be right.

It’s tempting then to assume that it’s enough to simply hide under a rock until Mercury stations direct. But this is not the recommended approach. After all there are bills to pay and children to feed and books to write.

Take as an example the game of tennis. If you are unfamiliar with the game, it’s the only professional sport where women receive the same prize money and, depending on the players, that attracts the same number of fans as men. The latest research also says that playing tennis will extend your life span by an average of 9.7 years. You should really take up tennis. But I am getting off topic…

One minute I am in the middle of a tennis match and I have found the Zone or what that guy with the really long last name refers to as “flow.” I am unbeatable I think as I hit another forehand winner. Then I make a couple of errors and, boom, my opponent has won a game and then another one…

Tennis teaches me that anything can happen at any time (in tennis and in life) and the key is to run with it like a French bulldog at a dog park. Yes you ride that positive momentum with abandon as far as it will take you because, grrl, it could change at any minute.

Other times I find myself getting my ass kicked in a match. Tennis also teaches me that sooner or later my opponent will lose her momentum — as long as I stay close I still have a chance.

All to say that…

If you are in a bad place right now in your life, things WILL get better.

I promise.

Just don’t fall for the Illusion of Fixed Conditions. You’re having a hard time right now but it won’t stay that way forever.

And if you are on top of the world right now (yay you!), ride that momentum for as long as you can. When things take a downward turn, remember it’s temporary. Get your ass out of bed and soldier on. Figure out what you can learn from the setback instead of hiding under that rock. It will keep you in the game until it’s your turn, once again, to soar out front.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Kaitlyn April 11, 2019 at 6:28 pm

This helped me immensely today. I have been thinking about balance a lot lately, the ebbs and flows of life and how grave it can feel when the downward turns are taking place. Thanks for the impossibly timely reminder that if what we fear is fixed conditions, we have nothing to fear at all. Time can be our best (albeit, often confusing) ally 🙂

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Debbie Laino April 11, 2019 at 6:28 pm

Hi Amy!
Thank you for putting your heart out there in this post. Your sentiments came at a good time for me. I’m typically 90% upbeat and positive in spite of circumstances. However, today is one of those days where I feel like crawling into bed, and snoozing away my worries. I am also of the belief that all things work together for the good and that situations don’t stay the same. Reading your mail reminded me that this too shall pass, and press forward doing the things I believe in.

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Suzanne April 11, 2019 at 7:00 pm

Amy

Thank you for this, it’s so timely for me today it sent chills down my spine!

I’m having many bad days, and it’s not going away any time soon, and it’s so easy to just give up, or give in to despair, or stay sad, or agitated, or all of the above.

I know I’m my heart of hearts that it won’t always be like this, but it’s hard to be hopeful or happy every day.

Your words really resonated, and made me feel ok, that I will survive and that it will get better, some day, I just need to hang on..

Thank you
X

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Holly April 11, 2019 at 8:02 pm

Thank you, Amy. You inspire me frequently and I can’t tell you how much I needed this message today. Hang in there! Your tide will turn. xo

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Jim April 11, 2019 at 9:05 pm

My anxiety is so strong now…just feel like quitting…so tired

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Charlotte April 11, 2019 at 10:14 pm

Thank you so much Amy. Such a timely reminder. I especially appreciate the concept of “The Illusion of Fixed Conditions.” At 71 years of age, I’ve seen many changes I would not have guessed would happen.And you’re right; things will get better. There have been a few times in my life that I thought I would NEVER, EVER be happy again. Of course, it didn’t work that way at all.What always helps move me out of whatever funk I might be in is to give something to someone else. A helping hand, a thoughtful note, a hug, a phone call, a lunch invitation, a smile from the heart.

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Heather April 11, 2019 at 10:28 pm

Thanks for that pep talk, Amy! Just what I needed to hear.

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Bonnie April 11, 2019 at 10:31 pm

Thank you Amy, great timing. I really appreciate your honestly and your sharing. It’s a good reminder to me that when I’m having bad days they won’t last. I always get caught up in the bad mood and I let it pull me in to worries and anxiety. This was good to remind me that a lot of us go through this. I need to take a deep breath and remember the times when it does get better and I’m feeling good. I appreciate you and your sharing.

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Frances-Agape April 12, 2019 at 3:06 am

Oh, Amy, so sorry to hear your troubles.
Sending Peace, Love and Blessings your way

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Colleen April 12, 2019 at 3:44 pm

I am with you, Amy! Wordpress updates are the pits. I am not at all techie, so every time they make changes it’s like starting all over. To top it off i have a new Windows 10 and everything is different- my video camera is totally re-formatted. This too shall pass. Meanwhile i am growing mor little grey cells in my brain. I LOVE learning from you about the Illusion of Fixed Conditions! You were blessed with a wonderfully wise Mom , no wonder you are such a great Mom!. Thank you for your wisdom. I am still a Recovering Performance Addict! So grateful to have learned that several years ago from you!

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