Today I want to talk about how to deal with hard times, especially now, I feel like this is super relevant, so I wanted to write about how I deal with things, in hopes that it helps you too!
While walking couple of days ago, it was a really difficult day to become motivated because of covid-19 and social distancing. For me, I think I was born to be a social being, but I know that it’s my civic duty to protect others and myself by staying home. Regardless, it was a hard day.
I was on my second trip up the dirt hill, something hit me about my past, this time it was in a really interesting way. I reminisced about the hurt feelings that was in my past but this time, rather than focusing on just the feelings, I start to apply those thoughts to put them to good use for the present. I started reflecting actively. When I was married I did not have any friends mainly because I was with a controlling person who did not let me have friend – as crazy as that sounds, that was the reality. I was not social and that was normal for me. When I left that marriage, I made a vow to myself, to learn to be the best social person I could be.
But now we’re forced to be apart and to social distance. I thought about my years of being isolated and I realized I got through that very difficult time, not even knowing that my life was being controlled.
Even though we can’t hold our loved ones or even share a meal with them (in some cases) it doesn’t mean we are alone. I feel less alone today because I know my friends and my loved ones are just a FaceTime call or text away, and most importantly, I’m not afraid to reach out. I believe I can turn this very difficult situation we are facing into being a more caring person because of my past experiences. I realize how important it is to lift each other up when a person needs some encouragement. If you are in the same position where you are not able to actually see your loved ones or friends, I would encourage you to reach out and say hello. Really, that “hello” goes a long way.
At first I was a bit upset with myself for being stuck in the past – a PTSD moment. But this moment was just that, a moment! I realized that a certain amount of self-reflection can be healthy, you can become stronger and you are able to focus more on the present and that is exactly what I did. Maybe this is something that everyone else has already figured out but I think we you can get through this.
I thought about being on this hill, and looking backwards makes it really impossible to enjoy what’s going on ahead and around me￼￼, the dirt beneath my feet, the smells￼, the fresh air, the sounds of nature, and I realized that if I continue to look back it will prevent me from making my future as good as I’ve envisioned it to be. It is OK to look back (of course), sometimes we can’t help our thoughts￼. But if it becomes overwhelming and negative – remember to stop, take a moment and be mindful of why it’s happening.
Here are some ways I reflect:
1. ￼ THINK WHY DID THIS THOUGHT POP UP: When a negative thought from my past comes up I usually wonder why I went back to that thought. Was it a moment of weakness, feeling a bit overwhelmed? Is something making me feel hurt all over again? I try really hard not be upset with myself when this happens and I don’t want to make light of the feelings I may be having either. I feel when a memory, a ptsd moment happens, there is reason it presented itself. I do like to explore why it happened and resolve it – journal, talk to yourself, whatever gets you through the moment, do it. I try to never let myself feel like I let myself down. I give myself permission to acknowledge what I’m feeling and realize, that was my past, and at that time it was all I knew and realize how much I’ve learned and grown. I try to put that negative thought to rest on a very positive note.
2. FOCUS ON WHERE YOU ARE TODAY: Because I know better today, I really try not think about the unfairness and the difficult life I had I try and always be grateful for the present day – currently, I’m loving my life and how I shaped it for MY future. I’ve learned from surviving the painful past and those difficult encounters the most important lessons of my life. The most important thing was to live and love each day fully. I believe the vision of my future should be about who I want to become, it doesn’t matter how old you are or who I used to be. I make sure I let go of whatever anger or shame or guilt is holding me from moving once again, forward￼￼￼.
I would so very much love to hear your stories of triumph over difficult life situations. When I hear from you and this community we’ve built, it really makes me feel a sense of purpose. What’s your story? Feel free to share below!