In The Struggle
Often times in our day to day lives there are moments when we feel frustrated, hurt, stressed and down. Sometimes we know exactly why we are feeling this way or it is a product of a certain situation or experience. Yet, there are times when we feel these ways for reasons unknown to us. As humans, our experience in this lifetime is a series of periods where we either feel we are on a high and all is going well or we are in a downturn where it seems nothing is going right…..ever. These down times are the moments when we are in the struggle, the sadness, the difficult situations that it can be extremely hard to pull out of. As a negative situation or time in our life drags on for an extensive period of time, it gets harder and harder to see a way out or that light at the end of the tunnel. This is from my own personal journey in a time in life when everything just seemed to get worse no matter what I did to try and fix it. Although some things were flourishing in certain areas of my life, a major part of it was a huge struggle every single day. I ate my feelings. Food was all that felt good some days. The taste of food was my friend, or so I thought…. I closed myself off to family and friends in many ways, not sharing with them how much emotional pain I was in. I would put on a happy smile and try and be positive around everyone. Some saw through my mask of pain and knew something was not quite right while others saw my life as perfect and never knew how sad I was so much of the time. I share this because it’s important to know that we ALL have struggles. Even when you perceive someones life as being wonderful and amazing. They have struggles too. Every single one of us.
When I had gone down my difficult path, there were so many days I searched and searched for a way to get out of all of the pain and sadness. It was hard to be positive when I felt like there was not much to be positive about. What I knew to be true was that there was always hope, even when it seemed as if all was lost. I knew people had overcome even more difficult things than I was dealing with. I knew it could be done even though I was just not sure how and I knew I loved myself enough that I could find a way. The top things that were helpful to me to stay positive were:
- Someone to talk to. Even if this is one single person, it is a must!! You need to be able to let out your feelings and frustrations. You need to feel safe in sharing with this person and let them know what is going on in your life.
- Your internal dialogue is extremely important! Even if at first you do not believe it, talk to yourself in kind words. Change the conversations you have with yourself all day long. Our minds never stop thinking and working and the what and how we speak to ourselves can literally change your life. Try going one day being conscious of what you are saying to yourself and keep it positive. You will truly see how negative we are in our own minds and how much negativity we feed to ourselves daily.
- Choose one positive thing you can do each day. Choose something that you can easily do that will be of positivity to you. Maybe it’s feed yourself at least one healthy meal a day (even if the rest are crappy and unhealthy), exercise 3-5 times a week (even if it’s only 30 minutes a day, it’s enough! I promise!!), Leave yourself sticky notes with a kind message on your bathroom mirror or refrigerator. Just invite the positivity in. Start small. Do not overwhelm your life by making yourself some big promises or aspirations. Keep it simple and build upon that.
- Write it down. Keep a journal or even a calendar. Write down what changes you want to see in your life. Make lists of the positive and negative things in particular situations that you are not sure what to do about. Seeing it visually and creating space to make decisions about it is very helpful. Look at what you have written once a week and see if anything has changed. Make new adjustments and decisions for the next week noting what you can do to create a better outcome.
- Remember to have fun! Even when we are going through difficulties there are always ways and times to have fun. Sprinkled in with all the sad there is always a little happy. Find it, and when it’s there make sure you enjoy every second. It might be in something funny someone says, a comedy tv show, a night out with friends, a cute picture on Instagram or whatever else makes you smile. Feel blessed in that moment, laugh, let the joy radiate through you. These times can feel few and far between when you are down, but it’s important to feel these happy experiences as a whole. It reminds us that there is so much joy to participate in and available to us. We have it around us all the time we just have to choose to participate in it and make our life adjustment accordingly.
- Be consistent!!!! This is the absolute number one piece of advice that I have. If you are all over the place doing a million different things all the time your life will feel like chaos. Implementing all of the above advice does not work unless you are consistent. Take each and every day and try and do at least one of the things that are helpful to you. It’s not the wave of a magic wand and voila, your life is fixed. It is a process. A process that takes time. Do Not Give Up! Every single day with consistency you are capable of making beautiful and positive changes in your life. It’s the day to day choices that are the hugest factor in what and how our lives evolve. Be aware each morning you wake up that today is a chance to take another step forward, even if it is a very small, there is movement and progression.
- Surround yourself with good, kind, positive people. It’s the saying “you are the company you keep.” If your life is full of toxic people and drama, then that is what your reality will be. Eliminating people or environments that trigger negative behaviors, choices, and circumstances truly will create a new life and existence for you. Amazingly, even one person can completely change the energy of a room or experience. Choose wisely. Your friendships and relationships are chosen by you and nurtured by you. Be sure those you are allowing into that precious space are those that are worthy, and add value to your life. Make sure these relationships bring joy, peace, calm and teach you to be better. If they bring out the worst in you it is best to recognize that and then remove the toxic relationship completely from your life in the best way possible. This is not always easy but very crucial.
- Prayer. Prayer is a comfort. It doesn’t matter of what religious faith or spirituality you are based in, embrace prayer. This is such a personal thing, I know, but it truly is an immense blessing. There may be times you feel as if this is meaningless or you do not have belief in this process, but do not lose hope. Pray even if you struggle with the basis of this. Pray to whomever or whatever you have your belief system in. Give gratitude for the good in your prayer and ask for strength, wisdom and the knowledge to understand. I personally ask for the insight to see what lesson I have not yet learned from this situation. This practice is a light in your soul. Keep the light on.
- Do not continue to make all negative choices for yourself and expect a positive result. Be accountable for what your choices are and your role in it. I know this doesn’t seem like it would help with positivity but you are seeing the truths in what your part is in where you are at in life. The truth shall set you free sort of thing. Even when people have inflicted negative words or situations upon us, the matter of fact of it all is that we allowed them to do this because of something inside of us that told us this was ok. When we see that the negative decisions and feelings we have chosen to hold on to are hurting us, we are then in an awareness to see that we must let go of these to invite the positivity in. Thus, more positivity. Yay!!
One of my favorite sayings is “Keep on, keeping on.” I know that no matter what, I just have to keep moving forward. I think a big part of this is the letting go of the past. Not blaming, holding anger, or continuously looking to past situations and reliving them over and over is imperative. We can only control what is happening now, today. If we use our wisdom and knowledge to accept that what’s done is done and learn the important lessons the past has taught us, then it creates space for more positive things in our present. That will always be part of the journey of life. Anything is possible and attainable. This is the beauty of this life. Is it hard work? Yes, but anything worth it always is. We have to do the internal work (and it is very difficult work sometimes) to experience the external rewards and gratification we are searching for. The common thread is we all just want to be happy, joyful and fulfilled. We CAN get out of the dark with work and diligence. When we fall again, we must get back up. Those set backs are frustrating but that is when we have to relight the fire within, give ourselves that positive internal pep talk, and apply what we know, what we’ve learned. The AMAZING thing is, is that when you have been putting in the work, been consistent, made that effort every day to do better and be better you start to see one day that you are beginning to heal. Things have shifted within you and you are starting to feel whole again. You also recognize that you are still not all the way out of the woods but you are making progress. Parts of you are happier that once were not. You view things, situations, people differently in a way. Things have changed, and for the better. These small little moments give you hope and this hope perpetuates your journey. As each small step, each renewed breath, and every little glimpse of happiness envelopes your being, you become more aware of the joy that your life is and can be. You overcome. You are anew.
I hope that this post was helpful to anyone going though difficulties in their life or even if you are in a great space a reminder to continuously work at oneself to stay in a positive space. The constant nurturing and awareness of our beings is so crucial to our continued pursuit of joy in our journey. I wish you all immense joy, peace, and harmony in your lives. I am again so grateful for all of you and your support and kindness in my blog. Please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments or questions. I love hearing from you all!