Heartbreak. Betrayal. Failure. Inadequacy. These are just some of the adversities that we have all experienced in the past. Dealing with these hardships was never easy. At times, we struggle to cope with it and sometimes we even breakdown. More often than not, we can’t help but feel helpless and powerless towards these situations.
I know, because like you, I have experienced the same feeling too. In fact, I was trapped in a circumstance where I felt like it was never going to end. Like all the burden in the world was suddenly placed on my shoulder. It felt like that initially, especially since I was expecting a different outcome. The pain also blind sided me and I struggled to process what has happened. This unfulfilled expectation was certainly the root cause for my disappointment.
During this struggle, I was always in deep thought about almost everything. It never helped that I was also a natural over thinker. Several scenarios were always playing in my head, and I was hard on myself as to how I was not able to anticipate several possibilities. I felt like if I was able to foresaw this outcome, I could have done a better job on dealing with it. But I am just a man. I never could have predicted what was bound to happen. And no matter how carefully I plan for it, it simply was not going to happen.
Eventually, I was able to learn how to deal with my misfortune. Like in all long nights, there will always come a dawn. Soon the morning came, and in time I finally determined how to deal with my situation. I learned how to forgive, accept my new reality, and eventually move forward. It wasn’t easy. It took time and required a lot of patience but it’s worthwhile.
It was in this time of reflection when I realized the stuff that I have done wrong and the stuff that I did right. If I can go back in time and give myself an advice on my previous situation, I would tell myself the following things:
First, remember that hardships are just temporary. Remember, This too shall pass. Whatever it is that you are experiencing right now, heart break, failure from landing a dream job, chronic illness, financial struggles. These are all hard things to deal with but like all things, it will come to an end. Endure, and just keep at it. Keep fighting, even if every morning is bleak. Even if there seems no silver lining, just keep going. All these things will come to pass sooner or later. Going through these difficulties will surely make you a better person!
Second, never lose hope and keep the faith. It is easy to just give up when you’re overwhelmed with problems. But always remember to never lose hope. What is happening to you does not make sense right now nor does it have to make sense at all. Difficulties are bound to happen whether it’s our fault or not. And when these trying times seem to be getting the best of you just remember that it will pass. Hope for the better, for the best. The moment you lose hope is the moment that you let these struggles beat you. Stand up! Carry on and keep on fighting. Like you, I was once hopeless, but over time I regained that hope. I believed that these difficult times were not the end. I kept my faith that things will get better in time. And eventually it did! The hope and faith kept me fighting even when things were unsure. As Gandalf once said “There was never much hope, just a fool’s hope.” Hope is all we have, without hope we can never go through anything.
Forgive yourself. You have endured a lot, you came to a point where you have done lots of regrettable things in your past. Sometimes, these are unspeakable and unforgivable. You may have done these things willingly or unwillingly. But one thing is for sure, you did those things because you were hurt. You never could have done such things if you were not conferred with negative stimulus such as rage, anger, jealousy, greed, lust etc. Just remember, that you are not that kind of person. These are just mistakes that you have made. Poor choices driven by negative emotions. In time, you should learn how to forgive yourself on what you did. Do not beat yourself up on these blunders that you committed in the past. There is no point of doing that. What matters is that you move forward, you learn from it and you forgive yourself on committing such regrettable actions.
The next one is obvious forgive others. If you have the ability to forgive yourself of wrongdoings, you certainly have the same ability to do so on other people. Some people have hurt or wronged you on the past. Whether they all did it consciously or unconsciously, it doesn’t really matter. These hurts are all in the past now. What matters is that you learn to forgive the person who wronged you. Even if they did not apologize for it! Even if you feel that they do not deserve your forgiveness. Believe me, you should. Forgiving others is not for their sake, but for your own. By forgiving people, it allows you to let go of the pain that they caused. Holding on to these past hurts will not do you anything good. Let it go. Don’t hold grudges. So forgive them, but don’t forget rather remember and learn.
It will always go sideways. You may have set plans for yourself, your family, your loved ones. But remember that not all plans come to fruition. Whether it is as simple as asking your crush out on a dinner, planning vacation with your friends, buying a house/car or planning your future with your loved one. There will always come a time when these plans will go sideways. And when that happens don’t despair. It simply means it wasn’t meant to be. We may have tried our best to make sure these plans happen yet sometimes it still ends up failing. When that happens fret not! Remember if it’s meant to happen, no matter the circumstances, it will happen. This just simply means that you should still have a positive outlook on the bad things that was handed to you. You don’t always get what you want. And it is only fair that you deal with it with optimism instead of sulking around these botched plans. Lighten up!
Your time will come! Everything takes time. Planting and harvesting crops takes time, earning others people trust takes time, teaching yourself how to play an instrument takes time. It all takes time! Whether it is about getting the job that you always wanted, being able to travel to your dream destination, earning more money or even finding the love of your life! It all takes time! Most of the good things in life takes time simply because these things requires an effort from your end. Depending on how big or small these goals and tasks are, it will always require you to do your best. You have to invest your time in it and eventually your time to harvest what you sow will come. It may take longer than what you expected. But surely, there will come a time when the thing that you are most hoping for will be yours! Remember frustrations mostly arise due to unfulfilled expectations. By remembering that the thing you want most will take time helps you manage your expectations and lessens your chances of getting frustrated. Patience, Hard work and Time!
Take a break! Go Travel! Dine in a restaurant which you haven’t tried. Go visit a nearby town/city which you haven’t been and explore it. Do something which you have not done before. Remember that problems come and go but we must still continue to live our lives. By travelling and exploring new places, you get to discover and learn new things. You also get to experience new stuff which you haven’t before. By having these kind of experiences helps you take a break from whatever difficulties you are in right now. It may be a form of escapism, but it also reminds you how wonderful and fun life is. Your problems may have consumed most of your time and may have hindered you from remembering what it is like to take a long stroll on the beach, enjoy a cold beer with friends, watch a movie, consume a sumptuous meal, to be happy. Taking a break recharges your spirit and gives you that much needed strength to continue fighting.
And lastly, the most important thing of all is to Hold on! No matter where you are standing right now. In midst of a bitter break up, financial woes, abusive relationship, life threatening illness, whatever circumstance you are in right now. Please, I have just one request for you. Please hold on. Hold on to your life, hold on to your family, hold on to hope. Hold on to faith. Hold on to whatever it is you can cling to. Don’t give up. All these hardships will eventually come to an end. Do not end your chance of seeing these things come to pass. I know it is hard, it never was easy. But remember you will always have someone to help you get through this. If the burden is too heavy don’t hesitate to approach your friends, family, and loved ones. They will help you the best that they can, just please hold on to your life. Hold on even if you feel like letting go. Do not ever think of giving up. You will get through this I promise you, it gets better.
These are just some of things which I learned. Certainly, I could have listed a lot more. But I feel that these are the most important lessons I can share with you all. The adversity which I went through molded me to what I am right now. It made me a better person. So if you are currently going through crucial times, remember that this too shall pass. And in the end, this experience will make you a better person. So I’m ending by sharing you with this quote:
Suffering builds character.
-Talia Al Ghul
Peace! I’m out!