Let’s be real…
The majority of our lives are spent trying, failing, and learning through difficult situations. It seems that we spend more time on our knees, catching our breath from the latest sucker punch than we do anything else. It gets frustrating. It gets exhausting. It gets lonely.
The experience of heartbreak happens to everyone. There isn’t a soul past, present, or future who hasn’t or won’t deal with pain. It’s inevitable. Loved ones pass away. Jobs are lost. Finances disappear. Trust is broken. There are a myriad of venues that pain can present itself in but one question remains constant:
What will we do with it?
I’m a firm believer that your circumstances don’t define you. What you do with them, however, does. While it may seem that there are a million decisions to make when you’re loaded down with the weight of the world, there are only two: Step up and face it or run.
These two sides of the story carry equally weighty consequences. If we face our pain, we inevitably experience every corridor that it has to offer but there’s a chance for growth at the end. If we decide to run we escape having to deal with the emotional residue but end up paying for it in the long run.
I think that it goes without saying but I believe that we all want to opt for option #1. We all want to be able to stand up to our fear, our pain, our disappointments and say ‘You can’t have me!’ Does that always happen? Unfortunately not. It’s difficult to think clearly when your brain and heart are clouded by confusion.
If you have found yourself in that position today, I want to offer you 3 quick but incredibly important reminders for the time of life you’re in. If you happen to be doing relatively ok, you can still benefit from these too! You never know when you may need to help a friend or when you will need to remember these yourself. Here we go!
1.) You’re not the first…
…to go through this. This is in no way an attempt to undermine what you’re going through. Rather, it’s an attempt at letting you know that there are people who have been in your shoes and made it! They faced similar situations, experienced the same emotions, made mistakes, learned from them, and made it out ok. When you’re struggling to know what to do, the best option is to find someone who has been there, done that and has legitimate wisdom to offer. Talking with these people can often provide peace of mind and a direction in which to head.
2.) You’re not the only one…
…going through this. In a world of over 7 billion people, odds are, you aren’t the only on going through this. In fact, there are probably many people experiencing the same kind of situation that you are. They certainly can’t experience the kind of pain, confusion, or anger that you are but they are dealing with their own. What this provides is having someone to be there with you in the pit of it all. Knowing that someone is going through something similar often brings a peace that nothing else can. Being able to have someone to share frustrations, worries, and crying shoulders can often be a catalyst that leads to healing.
3.) This can make you stronger…
…if you let it. Ultimately, the choice between facing our pain and running from it falls in our lap. Only you or I can decide what we’re going to do with our respective circumstances. When all is said and done, we are only responsible for ourselves, our reactions, and our decisions. Difficult times have the propensity to make a man/woman. What it makes them is entirely up to the individual.
“I think a hero is an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” -Christopher Reeve
Be strong where you are. You’re not the first one to experience this situation, you aren’t the only one dealing with it now, and this can make you stronger if you let it! It doesn’t feel like it but I promise you that it will be ok. Breathe in, breathe out. Take it one day at a time. You can’t eat an entire elephant in one bite. We’ll get through this.
Maybe take some time to read a few of our “Finding Who We Are” entries? These are your stories with your unique voices offering up hope. So far we’ve had three and our fourth is coming this Wednesday! Go take a look and if you’re interested in contributing, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find our entries with these links: Entry #1 Entry #2 Entry #3
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You are loved.
You are valued.