Has it been years since you had hope?
You keep hoping that things will improve but it doesn’t.
Everyone seems to be getting ahead but you seem stuck in the past. The catastrophic breakup or divorce seems to be holding you back and you can’t seem to shake it.
You want to come up for air but you feel like you’re just pulled in too deep under water.
Life doesn’t seem fair.
You just want to disappear and give up.
What’s the point after all? Some people are lucky and get what they want. Some people live their dreams, travel the world, marry their soulmates and have smart children.
Life can be so frustrating for those of us who are waiting on the sidelines of life. We watch the game of life passing us by while everyone we know is doing so much better than us.
Others making their families proud.
Others doing what they’re “supposed” to be doing with their lives.
Others are achieving success and recognition.
It can be frustrating and demoralizing to be behind and to wonder when life will fall in place for you. When will life push you ahead?
When will you meet the man of your dreams? When will you have children? When will you buy your dream home? When will you bring home a fury companion? When can you post a happy moment on Facebook?
When can you feel joy and happiness again?
It’s been a long struggle. It may seem like your entire life has been a struggle. Why is it so easy for some people and so difficult for you?
I get it. I know it. I hear every word you’re saying because I’ve traveled the same path as you.
So, how do you keep going when you want to give up?
Well, first take a deep breath and then another. Take another breath. Breathe in and breathe out. Don’t let the unfairness or injustice of life weigh you down. As heavy as it is, a simple breath can help you feel lighter. A simple breath can release the tension and help you get more present. Take as many breaths as you need to relax.
Next, remind yourself of where you’ve been. You’ve gone through some hard times. Unlike many others, you’ve struggled and come back from places others can’t imagine. You’ve grown as a person, you’ve learned lessons, you’ve gotten life experience that you can’t pay for or buy.
While it may seem like you’re drifting backwards in the ways of the world, you’re actually a lot further than you think. You may feel like you’re behind your peers and family but look at how far you’ve come.
You’ve stood strong in the face of hardship and challenge. You got up and left the house when you didn’t feel like it. You showed up at work when you didn’t want to. You got out of bed when you feel like you couldn’t. You helped others when it felt like you couldn’t help yourself. Value these small steps you’ve taken.
No, you may not have love and family. No, you may not have achieved your careers and dreams. No, your life may feel unsettled and uncertain but here’s what you do have: self-knowledge, self-resilience, wisdom, compassion, kindness, empathy and understanding. You have skills and tools that people will never acquire in their lifetimes.
Because you’ve gone through struggle, you know how to be there for someone else who is suffering.
Because you’ve found yourself on the bathroom floor, you know what it takes to get up from your life’s worst moments.
Because you’ve sat in church pews wondering if there was a God, you know where to find truth and wisdom. You know how to access the divine.
Take some time to count the small blessings that you do have in your life. Yes, your old life is gone and the past you cherished no longer exists but what have you welcomed in? Did you find freedom? Did you find resilience? Did you find achievement? Did you find spirituality? Did you find friendship?
Look at all the small things in your life that you’re grateful for. Be thankful for home, warmth, food, family, neighbors, work that pays you and transportation to get you there. Be thankful for small acts of kindness, big acts of courage and giant acts of love that you’ve shown over the years.
Acknowledge how far you’ve come as a person – how you picked yourself up and became a new “you”.
You have fallen so many times and fallen hard but unlike many others, you’ll bounce back. You’ll rise each time you fall. Remind yourself how many times you’ve done it. Take comfort in your resilience and find courage in your strength. Yeah, you did it! You got back each time and you know how to get back up every time life throws something worse at you.
Life takes time, sometimes much longer than you would have ever wanted it to take.
Instead of demanding life deliver for you or blaming life for not coming through, trust that your life will fall into place at the right time.
Remember the story of the rabbit and tortoise? The speedy rabbit hops off to a promising victory only to be passed by the steadfast tortoise who puts one leg in front of the other and keeps going until she crosses the finish line first.
It may feel like you’re inching away at your life but you’re going to get there. Slow and steady patience always wins the day.
You’re not going look around you and see what others are doing with their lives. There’s no point in comparison and you don’t win by playing someone else’s game. Focus on how to keep going until you win your game.
Society defines success for everyone in the same way. You don’t have to play by those rules of success.
Success doesn’t have to be marriage by 30, having kids a couple years later, buying a house a couple years later, and sending your kids off to college even a few more years later.
Yes, that’s the story they tell us but that isn’t the story you have to live.
You can create your own story. You can remain true to yourself. You can show up in the world as who you are. You don’t have to compare yourself to others or strive to be someone you’re not.
- Take a deep breath
- Remind yourself where you’ve been
- Count your blessings
- Be patient
- Trust life
- Ignore those around you
- Don’t play by society’s rules
- Stay true to yourself
You’ve done this so many times – over and over and over.
Walk on your own path. Take your own time. One day in it’s own way, life will smile down upon you.
In an instant, you will see your scars as the very thing that prepared you for your success.
Your success may come next year or the year after.
You just have to treasure this moment in front of you.