Category: Inspired Mind Written by Michelle Maros
I was recently talking to a close friend about life and the seemingly unwavering state of chaos in the external world.
This friend of mine is one of the most optimistic, hopeful people I know. Actually, hope is a guiding virtue and principle in their lives. Because of this, I was surprised to hear that they had started to feel hopeless. Life had become so hard, and the happenings in the external world have become so uncertain.
This conversation was so meaningful for me because it made me realize two important things. First, that if someone like my ever cheery friend could be so deeply impacted by life and its happenings, this must be something that a majority of us are feeling. Second, it reminded me that, for whatever reason, the positives and the feel-good things in life are something that we consistently have to be working towards. And even more so in difficult times.
What this conversation brought to the surface for me is the duality of life, and that we should not be afraid of it, but rather allow it to bring us peace of mind. Yes, life will be difficult and sometimes scary, but life will not always be this way. There is no bad without good. No lows without highs. And so there is no despair without the balance of hope.
This, of course, sounds easy to say but can be difficult in practice. This is where our commitment to training our minds to seek the good, even in the tiniest of ways, can help us remember that life contains both. Life will always present us with difficulty and loss, but it will also give us opportunity and joy, and just because we might be in a season of darkness, doesn’t mean that there isn’t that light at the end of the tunnel.
If you’re like my friend and resonate with these feelings of hopeless or lack of optimism, firstly, know that you’re not alone. This week, I wanted to share four simple reminders on this topic to help you find your way back to that happy, balanced place.
- Remember that this, too, shall pass. One of my favorite life affirmations, this, too, shall pass always soothes my soul when I feel like life is stacked against me and the turbulent storms won’t pass. If there’s one thing that we can be certain of, it’s that everything in life is always changing. So when you feel like you are stuck in places of hopelessness, know that change soon will come.
- Remember that the tiny joys are all around us, we just have to look for them. At the beginning of the pandemic, my life, much like everyone else’s, felt completely upside down. So many joys were taken away that it was easy to feel like happiness was out of reach. In those moments where everything was stripped away, I started to fill the void in practice of actively seeking out the tiny joys in the very mundane life. For me, this was my morning coffee, the purring of my cat, and Netflix binges on the couch. All things that in “normal” life I took for granted, but in that moment, I could realize just how precious and meaningful they actually are. Things that spark joy are always around us, if you’re feeling hopeless, please remember to look for them.
- Remember to use your creativity in positive ways. In times of difficulty or struggle, it’s incredibly easy for me to fall into the habit of writing doom and gloom stories in my mind. I can very quickly go down rabbit holes of despair and lead myself to a place where hope is out of reach. Rather than expend your precious energy telling yourself stories of all the bad that could happen, try to shift your energy into more productive uses of your creativity. Or, write good stories. Ones that you hope will come true, and allow yourself to bask in the positive energy of what you wish to come into fruition. As we know, our minds are incredibly powerful. They have the power to change our moods and influence our actions, put your mind to good use and nip negative story-telling in the bud when you notice it creep in.
- Remember the power of community and compassion. Oftentimes when we feel like life isn’t going our way, we isolate and shut ourselves off from the world for fear of being a burden, being wrong, or even being too negative. The pandemic era taught me that just how important community and true loved ones are in times of struggle. And that quality is always better than quantity. You don’t need to have a football team in your corner to find meaningful support. There is power in a few people who can help lift you up when you’re feeling down, remember to reach for them when you’re low.
I hope these reminders are helpful for you all! I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
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