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Life is a lot of things, but one thing it is not is fair. You play by the rules, you keep your garbage in check, and one day, you find yourself hammered by a situation that is pure, 100% trash—and you did nothing to deserve it.

That's the truth about garbage. It never stops coming, no matter how nice of a person you are or how clean of a life you lead. So many times, the situation stinks. You feel outnumbered. You feel powerless. And just when you think it can't get any worse, it usually does until the garbage completely overwhelms you—and your motivation to fix the situation goes right out the window.

What now? Give in to the gloom? For a while, that might exactly what you need to do. Truthfully, there's something to be said for feeling all the anger and resentment and disappontment of a big pile of life's garbage. It helps work through the goo that comes with a really lousy situation.

It's what happens next that matters. At some point, feeling lousy takes too much energy and it's time to move on…but it's really hard to take that next step forward. Here's another truth about garbage: you can toss it whenever you decide you've had enough. It may not change the situation, but it sure can change the trash you may be creating because of it. Here are three things your inner garbageman can say to you that might help.

I want to make the situation better, but I don't know how. It's pretty common to thrash around, trying to find a solution to a lousy situation so we don't have to feel all the emotions swirling around it. Unfortunately, when those solutions aren't there, or the situation is just too complicated for quick fixes, we shred ourselves for not having all the answers, which makes things even worse. Admitting that that you just can't fix it right now can put the brakes on the self-shredding and the internal beat-up. You did the best you could. It's messy. And it's not going to get cleaned up right now, so step away and give it a little time, because…

In time, it will get better. Life works in cycles. Sometimes, things are good. Other times, they reek, but over time, lousy situations straighten themselves out. Just like garbage breaks down over time, this situation will, too. Stay focused on the aspects where you have control: any behavior of yours that's contributing to the problem or knee-jerk reactions you're having that are making the situation worse. Sometimes, not sending a blast-o-gram answer to an email or stopping a conversation that's out of control is the first step in moving a situation from bad to a little better. Because no matter how bad it may seem…

You'll get through this one, too. Think about the worst thing you've ever gone though. Then, compare it to the situation you're in right now. A lot of times, it's the difference between hazardous toxic waste back then and a smelly kitchen can you're dealing with now. Comparing new garbage to old trash can put your situation in context and help you see that life may not be as bleak as it seems—and you're more than capable of making it through this situation, even though it feels like a ton of garbage on your shoulders. Here's the truth: you're stronger than what's going on and you've survived worse. You will see daylight again.

It's never easy. Anyone who tells you that it should be is probably hoarding a bunch of old trash and won't admit it, anyway. Garbage can be a royal pain in the dumpster. But facing it head-on, and tapping into your inner garbageman to help you dump it, can help you deal with the garbage life throws at you and get you moving again.

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