Hi my dear friends,
It is another incredibly difficult week in America. I had planned to discuss maneuvering through difficulty long before the events of this week occurred, as I had experienced my own personal difficulty not long ago and was planning to share how I coped with it.
While I will share my five reminders in difficulty, I just need to take a moment at the get-go, to share my deepest heartbreak, outrage, and despair over the recent murder of George Floyd. I know you may be saying to yourself as you read this, that you don’t come to this page to read about current events, but to me, these racial injustices go deeper and require a light shined on them, so that we can do better and we can heal. So thank you for holding space for this to be addressed in the blog today.
A few weeks ago I was going through a deeply upsetting and traumatizing personal matter. I had made big mistakes, I was uncertain how things were going to unfold, and I was incredibly scared and anxious about all of it. All things considered, life had been going pretty well for me, so when this situation happened, it felt like insane whiplash, an emotional rollercoaster. Naturally, I learned so much during those difficult moments. I gained insight and I have new perspective.
I know many of you are experiencing difficulty right now, whether stemming from the pandemic, economic hardship, personal struggle, or the racial injustices that are taking place. It is my wish to share some of my own personal takeaways with the intention of providing a small sense of relief, a glimmer of hope, and an opportunity for optimism, even in darkness:
1. Remember, this, too, shall pass. Years ago, when I was going through a nasty breakup, my mom gave me a bracelet with these words inscribed on it. I wore it every day as a reminder to keep going. I share this as a reminder not for you to bypass whatever it is you are feeling right now in this moment, but to remember that no feeling is ever permanent or final. Life is fluid, ever changing, and our happy and light feelings are as fleeting as the dark ones. Difficult moments do not define you, so if you’re stuck in a particularly dense fog of difficult emotion, hold tightly to the notion that it will pass eventually.
2. Life is not meant to be lived perfectly. I was really hung up on the fact that I had made a big mistake, and that some how this made me bad and wrong. It was my inner perfectionist coming out. Some of us hold the notion that we should always know better than to make errors. I’m that way, for sure. But it’s this kind of thinking that will throw us off kilter, every single time we go astray. As human beings, we will be wrong and we will mess up. It’s useless to beat ourselves up for the mistakes we make. Learn from your wrongdoings, alter your actions, see where you can do better, and if appropriate make amends. This is what trials are meant to do for us, show us how we can be better, not perfect.
3. Sometimes difficulty comes when we are living out of alignment. In my case, I was making choices that weren’t aligned with my values and with my intuition. I got gut hits to do differently, and I ignored them. Sometimes we have to have the big lessons shoved right in our faces to see that we’ve been acting out of alignment and out of character. It’s painful, but it sure is effective. Start to notice if the trouble you’re experiencing is due to being misaligned. You know your values and where your heart lies, pivot back to actions that feel right in your soul.
4. Forgiveness is incomplete if it does not include yourself. We all know that forgiveness sets us free, releases us from the binds of old hurts, and allows us to move forward in life. It’s often easier for us to forgive others than it is to forgive ourselves, for whatever reason. If you are constantly beating yourself up for mistakes or errors in judgment, this won’t erase what happened, it will just make you feel worse in the present moment. Clear your conscience of guilt and remorse, and replace it with resolve and commitment to being better. I promise you’ll feel better, stronger, and more empowered for it.
5. Asking for support is not a sign of weakness. I tend to be a pretty reserved person about my own hardship, I guess that’s the Scorpio in me. My default is to try to figure everything out in my own mind, in my own time, and not bother others with my problems. Sometimes, that works. But know that in these difficult and unprecedented times, we must lean on each other, and feel comfortable reaching out and asking for support. Feeling held by my loved ones was no doubt, the biggest silver lining of my own tough time. If you don’t feel like you have safe spaces, please reach out here and know that we are here for you.
I hope this provides some comfort and tangible steps to alleviating the personal pain you may feel in this wild life. Please know that I am here for you, and that there are good times ahead.
Michelle is Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life's Creative Director and resident writer. She has a degree in Journalism from Indiana University and is also a certified holistic health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and registered yoga teacher with trainings with Anuttara Yoga Shala and Strala Yoga. Michelle has a deep desire to help people find happiness in all areas of their lives, and truly believes the Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life movement will bring lasting change to the world. Michelle splits her time between Florida and New York City and loves connecting with people from all over the world. If you'd like to contact her, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org