1. The people that can handle the ugliest parts of life are the people that deserve to share your victories. Those people that can see you at your absolute worst and still say, “I’m here,” are the people that deserve to make up your inner circle. There are a lot of people that will want to use your momentum when you’re winning, but those people will ultimately quit when you aren’t.
2. Faith doesn’t mean anything if it can’t withstand truly authentic lows in life. Religion, spirituality, whatever you call your personal beliefs, should bring peace and comfort in difficult times, not add to it. If it doesn’t reassure you when everything is going wrong, it needs to be reevaluated.
3. Answers aren’t always necessary, sometimes we just need to verbalize thoughts to help show how untrue they really are. Many times our own heads are our worst enemy, specifically in difficult times. It’s easy to blow things out of proportion in our minds and we don’t always realize that’s what’s happening until we hear it out loud.
4. Terrible things are part of life, but without them we can never truly understand the beautiful parts of life. We can’t appreciate light without darkness, heat without cold, love without lack thereof. It is never easy to experience difficult times, but it brings into sharp perspective the incredible things in our lives.
5. Be wary of people who aren’t able to face the darkest parts of themselves with honesty. One of the most authentic signs of a mature and wise person is that they know and understand what they are truly capable of. A mentor of mine once said that a person’s greatest strength is in knowing their greatest weakness and that kind of self-awareness speaks volumes.
6. Everyone is broken; the strongest people are the ones who can admit that and know it doesn’t mean they are worth any less. Brokenness is part of the human condition. We have all been dealt blows and wounds, but the best of us understand that and know that neither our self- worth nor our value is tied to that brokenness.
7. Surround yourself with people who are authentic rather than people who pretend to have it all together. It takes nothing to put on a façade of perfection; any person can say the right things or posture to an audience. Real growth and healing comes from people that can empathize with you, but also push you out of your comfort zone.
8. Platitudes work in books not in the midst of genuine pain. That quick one liner appeases that initial need to feel helpful, but really helpful things come from a heart of empathy and genuine love.
9. For every low there is a high, but that doesn’t make the low feel any less infinite. On some level we all know that pain and hurt is temporary. However that doesn’t change the feeling, in the moment, that this is just how life is now and it is ok to feel that way for a time.
10. Tragedy has a way of revealing our true character. How we respond to pain and tragedy is one of the most honest reflections on ourselves we will ever see. Be aware in those moments, but also be gracious with yourself.