These days, a lot of us are experiencing waves of uncertainty and fear, which can easily make us feel as though we will be dragged beneath the surface of the stormy sea which is life. Pandemic, losses of multiple kinds, unrest, feelings of instability, and a diminished sense of security can be more than a little overwhelming. Times like these are when we most need to draw deep from our inner reserves of trust and knowing in ourselves and in something greater. During times like these though, it is often the most difficult to remember that we can do so, or to feel as though there’s even anything to draw from.
The levels of stress crackling through the air for quite some time have worn a lot of us down, including myself. For a prolonged period I, like many of you, experienced so many difficult things that I had become increasingly ill and depressed. I had completely lost touch with my greatest sources of joy and comfort, which are my creativity and spirituality. Increasingly I am remembering that I am neither helpless or hopeless. I’d simply relinquished my power to remain strong, at peace, and happy. Yes, I used the word simply. Even though it feels a lot more complicated than that, it really isn’t.
I’ve recognized that many age old spiritual and philosophical sayings exist for good reason. It isn’t that I didn’t believe so in the past, I just still had more growth and learning to do in order to more deeply understand. It’s as though everything had to be stripped away in order for me to fully grasp certain concepts. A major one for myself was to learn that taking care of yourself first is a necessity. In looking back on my life, there have been many times I’ve repeated some lessons over and over again and thought that I’d finally gotten it, only to find myself in similar circumstances. My initial responses after those issues reared their ugly heads again were to be very hard on myself about it and/or to sit in a state of shock over how life can be so cruel. It has become a lot more clear in the last while though.
We each have our individual, as well as our collective issues which are so ingrained and deep that it can take many times of experiencing them to finally heal and move on from. Sadly for some it doesn’t happen at all, while others seem to get through it all faster. Is it due to personal failing? I feel it goes much deeper than that. It’s always easier to say from the outside that a person hasn’t tried hard enough, didn’t get it, was stupid, and so forth (or to think those things about ourselves). However, none of us know the full extent of a person’s traumas, indoctrination, what their wiring is like, or any number of factors. For many of us, it takes years to realize the extent of all of those things in our own lives.
In closing I want to say that I’m seeing the low points as big opportunities to make huge leaps of learning and to move on even better than before. Sometimes it doesn’t feel or look like it, I know! Next time a low hits, I’m going to do my best to remember this, and I hope that someone else who might need to hear it comes across this post at just the right time. Be gentle with yourself. It’s okay to feel upset, sad, angry, and hurt. Those are cues that we can look at when the feelings pass to see what we need in order to move forward feeling strong, happy, fulfilled, and at peace. In my own experience so far, the biggest hurdles I’ve had to leap were words and thoughts which were never my own to begin with, but had gotten so deeply and repeatedly put in front of me that I adopted them. I’m sure that many of you can relate. Don’t give up. I know that I sure won’t.
Wishing you all peace and happiness!