1. Shit Happens.
No one is exempt from falling into a really shitty circumstance once in a while. It can happen to those of us that had absolutely no control over it and it can happen to those of us who walked straight into it knowing better. Good decisions or bad decisions, sometimes we end up in a bad situation regardless. Try to remember that whether or not we brought hardness on ourselves, we all have been stuck between a rock and a hard place, so give your pride a little rest to know that you’re not in this alone. If you need to take responsibility for something you could’ve handled better, then do so. If you’re in a situation that you didn’t cause, don’t find complacency in being a victim because that doesn’t help either. There is no productivity in pitying yourself, so don’t fall into that habit. Acknowledge that the best of us get put on our asses, but we all manage to find a way back up. You can do it, too.
2. You Don’t Owe Anyone an Explanation.
So you don’t have everything streamlined together in your personal life. Why is that anyone else’s business? You don’t owe anybody an explanation for your time of transition. If you’re going through any sort of hardship, there’s a major shift occurring in your life and there are way too many factors, details, emotions and thoughts for you to organize in your own frame of mind. To try to find the ability to communicate all that to someone that’s not going through what you are depletes that precious energy you need to save for yourself to get out of this rut. Sure, you’ve got people that care about you and are concerned, but in your most diplomatic, HR-approved manner that you’ve been trained to have, let everyone know they can mind their own business and worry about their own lives, because right now, all you have time to focus on is you. Anyone that truly respects you will understand, and anyone that doesn’t can kick rocks. You don’t need that negativity in your life, anyway.
3. Everything is Temporary.
This is a wonderful thing to remember at all times. Highs/lows, peaks and valleys—this is the beauty in the ebb and flow of nature. We’re living beings, we’re not permanent. We change, we evolve, we deconstruct, we build, we break, we mold… we GROW. Anytime we’re going through storms, we should be elated at the fact that once the storm passes, that first beat of sun on our skin will feel better than it ever did before. We learn to appreciate things in a new perspective we wouldn’t have thought to lest we went through the trials we did. Sometimes, the lessons are a little rougher than what we would’ve preferred, but having faith that we’re tested to the limits we can endure should build confidence that we’re much stronger than we give ourselves credit for. You don’t need a visit from Tyler Durden to learn this, because well, you ARE Tyler Durden. Aren’t you? Pat yourself on the back, you crazy person, you. You’re gonna make it through this.
4. Let it Go.
Yes, channel your inner Elsa and sing it out! Any inhibition you felt, any drawbacks you thought you’d face, the reprimanding, the judging, and the lack of support… shake it off and let it go because it’s just dead weight. This is the best time to really evaluate the things that are the most important to you. Is it financial security? Is it love? Is it success? Is it family? Is it freedom? Whatever the answer is, don’t focus on what’s right or wrong or what’s “trending.” Focus on what matters to YOU because YOU’RE the one that is going to be spending the most time with yourself. Those who love you and support you will stand by you no matter what, so don’t be afraid to go after your goals and don’t let anyone deter you from achieving them. So, we don’t all have a gigantic ice castle that we can journey through our “self-discovery” or a friendly talking snowman with an infectiously positive disposition (I wish, right?)… but we CAN find opportunities to get away and re-center ourselves if need be. Take a weekend off and get away from everything. It doesn’t have to cost money. Even if you’re just parked in your car somewhere, mentally letting go of all the junk you don’t need cluttering up that much needed space for better things… or literally singing “Let it Go” to yourself in your solitude while you have a secret cry fest about life—you know best what your soul needs. Don’t be afraid to nurture that.
5. Every Present Hardship is a Future Blessing.
You’re putting in work now, but rest assured, all that effort is not for naught. If you’re doing it right, you’ll never have to re-learn the lesson that you’re learning now. You may learn a different perspective later on, but this… right here? What you’re going through right now? It will never happen the same way again. You’re too smart for that. A child knows better than to touch a burning stove more than once. Any time you face privation, as little or as large—you’re gaining wisdom and knowledge on how to be finer tuned in the future. We may not be in the eagle scouts anymore, but earning those survival badges never stops. And look at it this way, the more crap you go through now, the better chances you have at beating Zombie Apocalypse. Seriously, though. You’ve learned how to survive off of ramen noodles, candlelight, rain water, crazy exes, crazier family members, terrible bosses, a negative bank account and unruly children. You’re in tip top shape, if you ask me.
6. Gratitude is the Key Ingredient to Happiness.
Ever since I’ve implemented this philosophy into my own life, I’ve been able to enjoy life at a much richer and fuller belvedere. Being grateful for even the most miniscule things can brighten a gloomy day. When my husband and I were going through a rough patch, we came up with a strategy to create 5 goals that we would set out to accomplish each day. They were 5 extremely small, easily achievable goals so that we would have no challenge completing them. At the end of each day, we would recount the 5 goals we set out and appreciate that each day, with as little control as we have in a world full of chaos; we were able to at least accomplish those 5 things, as small as they were. Every morning, it created a sense of purpose, direction and incentive to gain a little bit of control back in our lives at a time we really didn’t have any. One of my daily goals was (and still is) to smile at least 10 times a day. On average, an adult smiles about 25 times a day, so this was no issue. But to acknowledge that I smiled a minimum of 10 times a day forced me to also acknowledge that as horrible as the day might have been, at the very least, I smiled— so it couldn’t have been THAT bad of a day. I’m grateful for every smile I can count because that’s what gets me through the day. If you were to wake up today with only the things you were grateful for yesterday, what would you have left? Happiness is a state of mind, not a destination. You can achieve it. I believe in you.
7. Just Keep Moving Forward.
It may feel like whatever you’re going through will never end, but the laws of nature will always draw us in and out of new situations, closing each one before the next one begins. When you go against nature, however, and you hold onto things that you’re meant to let go, you stay stuck in what feels like an unforgiving vortex that you can never escape. Look at it this way, when you were a kid on the monkey bars, in order to move across to the other side, you had to let go of the bar behind you to grasp the bar in front of you, right? Every chapter of your life is just a building block to the next level of your personal success. You can hang on the bars as long as you want, but the longer you hang, the more you’ll tire yourself out before being able to make it across. You have the power to create your own momentum; all you have to do is just keep moving forward. Godspeed, my fearless warriors. You WILL make it through!