There are points in our lives when it just seems like nothing’s going right. The days drag by and we feel as if we’re stuck in a never ending cycle of dealing with one obstacle after the next. We’re sad more often than not, and we just can’t figure out why. We just want to feel good again and find ourselves wondering if our lives will ever get better.
I’ve learned that while life does get better, we’re the ones responsible for making it better. We have to get up, wipe away the tears, and do whatever it takes to make our lives what we want them to be. It takes a ton of hard work and dedication, and there’s a lot we have to go through before things start to turn around. But once they do, everything becomes absolutely worth it.
When we’re down, we tend to feel sorry for ourselves and wonder where we went wrong. We overthink (a lot) and figure that maybe this is just the way life is destined to be for us. We lead ourselves to believe that we just suck, leaving our minds to feel powerless in problems that are truly our own, ultimately succumbing to our anxiety and allowing our insecurities to get the best of us. So we often begin to look for happiness in all the wrong places.
We treat ourselves because we think that an ice cream sandwich or a new pair of shoes will make us feel better. We allow ourselves to stay in bed because we just need a mental health day. We reach out to friends in hopes that they’ll magically heal us, only to have them bandage up our feelings for a while, ultimately leaving us no better than before. The thing is, that no Chipwich, no friendship or relationship, no day of laying in bed, no pair of Gucci shoes has the ability to make us feel truly fulfilled in our lives. In the end, we are the only ones who hold the keys to our happiness.
We come to realize that we want to make a change and that we ourselves are the only ones who have the power to do so. So we begin the process of changing and making life better. It’s rocky at first. We still make a lot of stupid choices and don’t always think things through. But since we’re always so clouded by our negative feelings, we’re blinded to how illogical (and outright dumb) our choices are. Because we’re so upset, though, it’s easier to just give in and gain the short-term happiness our bad choices provide us. After all, we’re not yet strong enough to endure the long-term pain it takes to make our happiness permanent. This is when many people get stuck in the cycle of constantly choosing the easier path as a result of their unhealthy but unconscious desire for instant happiness. This is when we realize that in order to break the cycle, we have to fully commit ourselves. We have to be willing to put in everything we’ve got 100% of the time. This is what it boils down to—it’s all or nothing, baby.
So, after a while of making thoughtless decisions, we begin to realize that our choices totally sucked, and we want more for ourselves. We want more than to just lie in bed, making no good use of the precious time we have on this Earth. We want more than to cry every day over something that doesn’t really matter or someone who isn’t deserving of us. We begin to realize that we want to make something of ourselves, and that not only do we have the potential to do so, but we are more than capable. We’ve finally come to terms with the fact that leaving things the way they are is going to feel worse than anything that we could possibly do to change our circumstances.
After innumerable bad days, bad decisions, and bad feelings, the “bad” starts to go away and the real change starts to happen. We begin to adjust the way we view our struggles, we analyze our feelings and reactions to situations, and we start to focus on what’s actually best for us, not just what makes us feel good in the moment. And we’ll totally mess up over and over and over again. But we keep trying and pushing because we’ve come way too far to let all of our hard work go to waste. And our “messing up” is really just a lesson in disguise—it’s growth, its change, and it’s us coming that much closer to everything we’ve been working towards this entire time.
And eventually, after life knocks us off our feet countless times, and after we continue to get right back up, something crazy happens: We start to love ourselves. We see ourselves becoming the person we always knew we were but never got to experience. We notice how often we smile, how much more we laugh. We admire the way we respect ourselves more than ever before. We are astounded by the fact that we’re finally able to do the things we always knew we could do but never allowed ourselves to try. It takes a lot of effort and a ton of self-discipline to create change. But, if we hold ourselves accountable always and realize that we have total control over our own happiness, our lives will get better.
Because life always has the potential to get better, we just have to play our part in making it that way. And when we do, when it does get better, it’ll be even greater, even more wondrous than we’d ever imagined.
So get up, wipe off the tears, and make shit happen.