Over margaritas and quesadillas my girlfriends and I reflected on some of the difficult times in our lives. Referring to a particularly stressful time one of my friends matter-of-factly stated she’d “lost her glue,” to which I replied, “I can identify. My glue died,” referring to my husband, James. While our individual stories prompt serious conversation, the real question for all of us—at one time or another—is how do we change what’s not working in our lives?
How do we get our mojo back? More importantly, how do we become our own glue?
The glue, or anchor, that keeps us on the right track is one of our most essential survival tools. For me that glue was James and God, but when I look at my life—before I knew either one—I realize I’ve always been my own glue.
From day one I was a survivor. Six-weeks premature, I was the first Rh-negative baby to survive a complete blood transfusion. My friends have always said I have guts. My glue—what strengthens me—is a combination of the ying and yang of guts and neccesity, a sassy determination and my moral code. After James died I was still the same gutsy, determined woman, but I had to rewrite the script for the next chapter of my life.
Before any of us can do that, we need to take inventory of what is and isn’t working in our lives.
A severe headache, resulting in temporary blindness, forced one of my friends to assess her life. When her doctor asked about her stress levels, she listed family problems, a diet dominated by sugar, fats and fast foods, even rush hour traffic. Who would have thought that by leaving home a little earlier she would miss the tortuous freeway commute and have time to work out, which motivated her to change her diet and lose 11 pounds? While none of these things have changed her family problems, they’ve allowed her to view them with fresh eyes and a renewed spirit. Brava girlfriend! You are inspiring!
Stress is a reality of life. It’s the fly in the ointment, an unwanted ingredient in our glue. The challenge comes with how we manage our stress. Here are five things that will strengthen us and help us be our own glue:
- BE YOUR OWN BEST FRIEND: Most of us know when we’ve gone down the wrong path. Don’t wait for permission before you make changes to your life. Act in your own best interest.
- FOCUS ON THE SOLUTION NOT THE PROBLEM: Step back and look at the big picture. How did you get here, and what’s the best way to fix or lessen the problem?
- KNOW WHEN IT’S TIME TO ASK FOR HELP: We may think we’re Wonder Woman, but none of us always find our way out of the maze. Find a counselor or a trusted friend who can help you think through your options.
- DON’T MOVE ON WITHOUT HEALING: Just because you don’t work through grief and anger doesn’t mean it’s not there. Resolve feelings and issues before they stack up and become cumulative.
- THIS TOO SHALL PASS: Visualize the life you want. It may motivate you to make needed changes which lead to new doors that open for you.
Girlfriends are a strong, supportive glue. Our love for God—and one another—is a powerful, healing combination. Whether you’re commenting on my blogs or sharing margaritas with me, I give thanks to all my girlfriends for leading the way!