A Fighting Spirit
As you move through the phases of your life, you find that the hurdles never stop. Each conquered hurdle is succeeded by another seemingly insurmountable challenge and on the cycle continues. You may catch a lucky break in between, but I wouldn’t get too comfortable. Surely, I can’t be the only one who gets paranoid when things seem to be going well. I get the ominous feeling that there’s something around the corner that will burst my temporary bubble. I try to not let that feeling keep me down though. As long as we have breath in our lungs and life in our body, we will continue to face challenges but it’s a wonderful feeling to know that there is always something worth fighting for. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, when life pushes you down, you don’t stay down; you rise up. Although, the allure of self-pity is very real, take on a fighting spirit and trudge on.
When that challenge does come around, permit yourself to go through the full range of emotions you need to express yourself. Whether its dealing with the death of a loved one, struggling with failure, a broken relationship, missed promotion, financial challenges or whatever it is you are dealing with, do not be afraid to pout, cry, frown, scream, isolate yourself, or anything else it will take to express how you feel. Sometimes I scream out my frustration instead of crying. Because crying leaves me with a headache and I’m over that 😊.
I recently had to be honest with myself about my resurfaced esteem issues and why I felt the way I did. I did not realize its effect on me until those close to me started pointing out how much I had changed. Honestly, I knew why but never really confronted it. I internalized it and regressed on years of progress. In one year, it felt like I was back to the place I was five years ago. I started trying to build myself back up but one day it was clear as day to me. All the while, it had felt like my emotions were not valid and I was just overreacting but, in that moment of clarity, I realized that it was okay to confront how I felt. That I had every right to be expressive of my emotions in any way I desired. I have had to come to this point of articulating my emotions to myself to get on the road to healing where I no longer feel anger and frustration. I’m still not all the way there but baby steps.
My issues may pale in comparison to what you may be dealing with, and while I might not fully understand because it is you who wears the shoes in your struggle, I will share what has helped me in mine:
- I confronted my feelings. Allow yourself to moan, grieve, lay about; whatever you need to come to terms with the situation. Then start to deal with it.
- After working through my feelings, I dealt with them through healthy self-talk and writing. I would ask myself why I felt the way I did especially after someone hurt me. If I felt less than, I would ask why. Then I wrote it all down. Look inward and try to come up with answers to the questions you desperately seek. Explore all the possible scenarios – worst-case and best-case – rationalize all you want. Writing is cathartic for me and I highly recommend it. You may not enjoy the writing process but it’s very helpful to keep a journal. Meditation also helps with confronting your emotions.
- I was careful to not lapse into unhealthy and unsustainable behaviors as a coping mechanism. Bad habits like alcohol, social media addiction, unhealthy eating, amongst others, can get addictive fast!
- Confide in trusted friends about your situation who you know will always be supportive of you – I still struggle with this, but I know that the feeling of sharing something with a trusted friend is like getting something heavy off your chest.
- Start picking yourself back up by getting back into the activities/hobbies you used to enjoy before you lost your mojo. Try exploring new places and hobbies or volunteering for a cause you’re passionate about. Travel and change of scenery are also underrated but very helpful options to clear your head. Travel helps me refocus, so I do not joke with my trips as you can tell from my Travel Diaries. I also find meaning in writing on here, mentoring and helping others in any way I can. The key is to find something that gives your life meaning and a semblance of normalcy, especially if your life was just shaken up.
Finally, please note that when you stay down, you deprive not only yourself, but others as well, of experiencing all that you have to offer as an individual. There are people who need your light to shine and soar; people counting on you for one thing or the other. Remember that you still have a gift that needs to be expressed and shared with others. But if you stay down, it may never come into full expression and you will not be living true to yourself. Friend, please pick yourself up and try again. You’ve got this!
You can read more about expressing your full range of emotions here.