And at some point in your life, it will get tough. It’s never all smooth sailing, as much as picture perfect Instagram profiles and Facebook pages might convince you otherwise. I wrote myself a letter of hope for the next time I find myself feeling low. Perhaps you might find value in it, too.
Life is hard. It is hard in inexplicable ways and it can often feel like whatever could go wrong, has. It can feel like the whole world is out to get you and bad things happen one after the other. People are downright and unnecessarily mean to you, you accidentally drop something precious (like your expensive DSLR camera), or you spill something on your clothes just before you’re about to go onstage. It’s like a constant uphill battle that never seems to end. Why does it always seem to happen to you? Why does your heart have to break, why does your patience have to be tested, why do you always have to save the day?
I don’t have the answers, I am still learning. But I am sorry that you are feeling down in the dumps. It absolutely sucks.
When it feels like your head is in a cloud of rain, the best thing to do is add a little bit of sunshine. Sometimes, dear soul, you get so caught up in the dark that you forget about the light. Be intentional about the light.
That means gratitude daily – how much harder it is to wallow in self pity when you regularly list all that you have to be thankful for. Your beautiful family, the sunrise, a cup of tea before bed, sparrows visiting your window, the smell of crisp clean sheets.
It means spending time outside more often – how beautiful it is to spend time in a place that makes you and your problems feel small.
It means breathing – and not the day to day shallow breaths you are used to. I mean breathe deep, and exhale even deeper. Close your eyes and remind your body that you are safe, that you are not in any mortal danger.
It means spending time in prayer – (maybe you meditate or write in a journal instead) Having a conversation with the Lord, involving him in your daily life.
It means moving your body – remember how much you love restorative yoga? And evening strolls? Exercise doesn’t always have to be intense.
It means watching Midnight in Paris (insert your favourite movie here) on repeat – doing things you love, like watching your favourite movie, reading a book, dancing to your favourite song, is soothing for your soul.
It means laughing with friends – I know when you’re feeling blue, it’s hard to be around people and sometimes it feels like you give more energy than you get, but it’s always worth it. Your beautiful friends uplift you and lighten your load.
It also means just a touch of perspective – what you see depends mainly on what you look for and the only difference between an ordeal and an adventure is your attitude.
You, dear soul, are worthy of love, happiness, and overwhelming joy and to appreciate the wonders of life, there must be a balance. You can’t have the good without the bad, the happy without the sad and if you know love, you will also know loss. The wheel of life always turns and when you decide to dwell at the bottom, that’s when you mess with the balance and get stuck.
And as life ebbs and flows, promise me one thing, that you’ll be gentle with yourself. The world is harsh enough without you beating yourself down as well. Give yourself time to grieve, time to rest, and time to process. If you need to see a counsellor, do it. If you need to be on medication, do it. It doesn’t make you any less of a person to admit you can’t do this crazy life thing on your own.
Then, after everything, you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and try again because you are not the victim in this life. No, you are so much more and once you decide on that, you will see your life change.
P.S. Thank you, dear soul, for always showing up. For going through the motions each time when life gets tough. For looking after us as best as you know how. Thank you.