I used to believe in that phrase. After all, if you just tried hard enough, if you just had the right attitude, if you just pulled yourself up by your bootstraps .... your life would be better. Right?
Well, this phrase worked for me until mid December of 2007.
Then my life was shattered, along with my heart, and my life became "matter over mind".
I was no longer capapble of changing the way I felt by just thinking positively. I barely had the strength to breathe, let alone pull myself up by any bootstraps.
I found that I could not rise above my grief just because I wanted to. The waves did not cease slamming into me just because I willed them to stop.
The tears did not stop flowing simply because I was tired of crying and wanted to be dry-eyed for at least an hour.
The day that grief came in my door, and in my heart, I met something bigger than myself .... something that I could not will out of my life no matter how hard I tried.
I learned that in many situations life is a case of "matter over mind". There are many people who don't get that, just as I didn't get it before I was thrust onto this path. They think that we should be rising above the situation and enjoying this time of year now. They don't understand that it's impossible to force yourself to enjoy "the most wonderful time of the year" when your heart is half gone. They don't "get" why this "season of family, joy & happiness" is not that kind of season for us.
But the day grief walked into my heart, something else came in, too. It, too, has changed the way I look at things and at people. It's called "Compassion" and it's a gift from being on this path. There are so many painful and negative things on the path that it's nice to sometimes stop and note the gifts I've received. I had compassion "before" but nothing at all compared to my "after" compassion. It's changed my eye sight. And it's changed my heart.
So .... even on the days when I cannot accomplish "mind over matter" during this holiday season, I can know that I'm not alone and it's OK to feel the way I feel. The season will be over soon enough and maybe next year's will be just a bit easier.
One season at a time, right?