Sometimes life just comes along and kicks you in the teeth. It happens to everyone, and while sometimes you feel strong and capable of overcoming anything life can throw at you, other times, tough times can totally overwhelm you. If you’re in a bad place and struggling to believe that things will get better, here’s what you need to remember:
You’ve already survived the worst moments of your life. This probably isn’t the first fire you’ve had to walk through — and I hate to say it, but it probably won’t be the last. Funny enough, you’re still here. Take a moment to think about that. Isn’t it amazing? You’ve dealt with tragedy and come out the other side, still whole. If you’ve done it once, you can do it again.
You’re stronger than you know. You know how that one time you didn’t think it was possible for you to make it through something, and then you did? Maybe it was when you were sure you could never live without a guy and then he dumped you for the blonde girl with the fake tan and you had found someone better within three months. Maybe it’s when you swore you’d die of embarrassment after falling in front of everyone at work, but you didn’t. There are always things we think we could never get through until we have to get through them. And then we can.
You’ll grow tremendously from this. My dad used to say that people are like clay — the more time you spend shaping and molding them, the more beautiful they can become. Some people stop shaping themselves in high school. They just think, “Eh, good enough” and stop changing. But the people who are worth knowing? The really interesting ones? They keep growing and changing forever, becoming better and better and more and more beautiful, and even though it doesn’t feel like it, the pain you’re going through now is shaping you into a true masterpiece.
You’re making yourself a priority. It is important to take care of yourself, and no one knows how to care for you better than you. Remember that you don’t have to light yourself on fire to keep another person warm. There’s nothing wrong with caring for yourself. There’s nothing wrong with being kind to yourself. You alone know what to do in order to make yourself happy, so do it.
You’ll learn so much from this. Remember what an idiot you were 10 years ago? Jesus. Such an idiot. Well, the reason you’re not such a huge idiot now is because you’ve had 10 years of stuff happen that taught you really important lessons. This will teach you something, and someday your grandkids will come to you with the same problem and you’ll be able to tell them something really amazingly wise.
You’re smart as hell — don’t underestimate your intelligence. Okay, so maybe you didn’t get straight As and you don’t have the periodic table memorized, but there are a lot of different ways to be intelligent. Maybe you’re really amazingly good at art. Maybe you’re great with people. The point is, there’s something you’re phenomenal at — something only you can give to the world. Do the thing that brings you joy. Do it as hard as you can and prove to yourself and to everyone around you that you’re something extraordinary.
Being uncomfortable can be a good thing. Okay, so it hurts a lot, but that’s all it is — pain. Pain can’t kill you, not on its own, and becoming good at being uncomfortable will make you such an amazing person. You’ll be able to do things other people can’t. You’ll be able to make changes other people would never dare to make. If you don’t fear the pain, you’ll be able to live an amazing life.
It won’t last forever. I know it feels like it will, but the truth is one day it will fade. You can just keep putting one foot in front of the other and step by step by step walk farther and farther away from the BS. Look ahead at all the amazing places you might go. See yourself there. See yourself over this. Your future can contain anything you want — you just have to get there first.
You are more than your mistakes. Lord knows we’ve all made mistakes, and as much as we like to stare at them and beat ourselves over the head with them, we’re more than the mistakes we’ve made. Don’t turn your back on all the amazing things you’ve done and contributed to the world just to stare at the little pile of oops in the corner. You’re a good person, and you are worthy.
You are more than the sum of your parts. You’re worth more to those around you than just an accounting of gains and losses. You are loved for more than the salary you make, for more than the number of followers you have, for more than the number of years you’ve spent in school. You’re inherently valuable. It’s time for you to start believing that.
You’re definitely not alone. This stuff you’re going through? Other people have gone through it too, and they’ve survived. They’ve probably done more than survived. They’ve probably written books and songs and poems about it. They’ve probably gotten up and danced on the ashes of whatever horror burned down around them. You can too.
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