What do you do when you’ve approached the point of frustration where everything seems like it’s about to boil over, where the smallest inconvenience turns into an insurmountable obstacle ready to overwhelm and disrupt your entire day?

What do you do when every part of your inward being is calling out to stop, to run, to get away from the situation, when you are brought to tears at an unexpected turn, when your plans for the day are undone by the simplest slight and you don’t know what you have to left to turn to?

What do you do when you hope for rest, hope for recovery, and see nothing but an unending line of requests and needs laid out in front of you without a hope of completing them all?

You breathe, you pause, you rest. You don’t keep pushing, you don’t keep forcing. You see that you need a moment to yourself, your mind needs to find a place to center, to see the reason for being, to understand that the thing in front of you that’s about to turn your thoughts into chaos is merely a moment in time, it doesn’t represent the whole, it represents a tiny fractional piece. 

So you get perspective, you get time apart from the thing that overwhelms, and you look to the things that bring peace and calm and recuperation. 

Anger and frustration and angst aren’t the problem, apathy and despair are the signals to look for, to recognize and treat. When you feel that there isn’t even a reason to keep pushing because it is meaningless, that the work and effort will amount to nothing, that’s when you need to pause and go back to what is lasting, what is affirming, what brings you those tiny moments of joy and delight. In finding that you’ll find your center.

It might be in seeing a beautiful flower bloom in the middle of a burnt out forest. It might be seeing a smile from your child, telling you that you are the best father in the world. It might be a note from a friend that your small amount of time given as a gift changed their day, changed their life. Find those moments, find those little bits that remind you why you have something wonderful to give to this world, something beautiful and joyful to share with others. 

When it feels that everything around you is going to overrun and destroy the precious light inside, take those moments to pause, to see the little reminders of beauty. They’re scattered, tossed about amongst the ever increasing flow of entropy. But they are there, ready to be found, to be enjoyed, to be understood. 

And lastly, be kind to yourself. It’s not easy, it’s ok that it’s not ok. You don’t have to pretend that you’re perfectly whole. We broken exist among the broken. Sometimes it feels like we’re the only ones with cracks, but we all have them. 

Sometimes we have to hide our cracks, but other times we can let them be shown, a little or a lot, to find healing with others. 

When you feel the breath building up, the pressure growing without release, that’s when—more than ever—you have to find a way to look for the peace, the beauty. And you will find it, I promise. It’s there, it might take a while to find, but you will.