“Make today a beautiful day. A beautiful day that you’ve created just for you.”
Take a few moments to quieten your heart, and to remind yourself again that it’s good to be alive. And to remind yourself, again, that there’s a place down deep inside where you’re grounded, calm and settled. Where you know just who you are.
And then go out from that place into the rest of your day, making sure that you make space for the people you love most. Give your kids a longer hug. Send a message to a friend. Play a song that’s filled with memories, and reminds you of good times.
And perhaps you’ll read some pages from a book that you’re enjoying, or you’ll spend some extra seconds soaking up the winter sun. Or you’ll watch the silent snowflakes falling gently to the ground, or you’ll sit out on the porch and watch the sunset fill the sky.
Yes, I’m sure you’ll find some magic in these ordinary moments – these beautiful, inconsequential, simple, precious moments.
Then, as your head rests on your pillow, say a prayer of thankfulness for the things that turned this day into a very special day.
I was shocked and traumatized by the news I received. For a while I couldn’t function. I could barely survive. But I held on hard to hope – for without it: “What’s the point?” And there had to be a point, or you give into despair.
When I look back on the time, I can see the steps I took that helped me to stay strong, and which helped me find this hope. And perhaps there’s something here that will work for you, too:
1. Keep doing the same normal, routine things you’ve always done. You’ll have zero energy, and often doing the next thing will feel like an achievement. An impossible task. However, if you can still meet with a friend for a short walk once a week, or buy some groceries, or go and wash your car, there will be some things in life that still feels predictable. And “the same old” really matters when you’ve been traumatized.
2. Don’t hide yourself away; don’t isolate yourself. Yes, you need to be quite careful about whoyou spend time with. Also, you must be careful about who you sharestuff with. Not everyone trustworthy, or will be there for you. Still, we need to be with people, even if we wear a mask. There is something to be gained just being in the world.
3. Do something that’s meaningful to you. That’s meaningful to you, and not to anybody else. Not because you feel you ought to, or because it’s meant to help. You do it just because it makes youfeel a little better. Because it’s a distraction, and it’s what you need right now.
4. Lookback to see where things have worked out in the past for you. Right now, you’re going to feel as if the whole of life’s gone wrong. Like everything a failure, and has been a waste of time. But that isn’t true. There have been times when things worked out. Try hard to find those times. Try really to seek them out. You need find exceptions to inspire you to go on.
5. Remind yourself that there are no grades in life. Your life is not a score card. It is about experiences. And how you deal with everything that life has thrown at you. It’s how those things have changed you. What you learned and how you grew. It’s how you were courageous, and fought hard, and persevered. It’s how it made you human, and much more compassionate. It’s how it gave you depth, and gave you greater empathy.
6. Remember the people who matter to you. For me, it was my kids. I wanted to be strong for them. I didn’t want to burden them, or add to their heartaches. I wanted to be someone who would model “Don’t give up. For you are a survivor. Please believe ‘there’s always hope.’”
“Hope is not pretending that troubles don’t exist. It is the hope that they won’t last forever. That hurts will be healed and difficulties overcome. That we will be led out of the darkness and into the sunshine.”
When my kids were small, we used to really enjoy making pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. Tossing them, however, was another matter.
Often, we would have to scrape them off the frying pan. And occasionally we scraped them off the walls and floor. But most of the time, they made it on to our plates, and then we would cover them in chocolate and fruit … and all sorts of other delicious things.
Yes, Shrove Tuesday was a lot of fun.
I was vaguely aware that the day after that was something called Ash Wednesday. But, honestly, Ash Wednesday meant nothing to me.
And it’s only recently that I’ve heard the phrase: “Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” The words associated with Ash Wednesday.
An interesting phrase. One that really made me think.
We tend to live our lives as if we’re never going to die. And the more we enjoy life, the harder it can be to contemplate the fact that one day our life will end.
It’s not the kind of thing we really want to think about.
But knowing we will die can also help us to live well. It can help us each to think about the legacy we’ll leave. And that can be a really good thing.
So maybe take some time today to stop and ask yourself:
“This is for the ones who are struggling right now. This is for the ones who have been having a rough day, or week, or year. The ones who feel like this storm will never end. Keep fighting for YOU. Not for your friends, not for your family, but for YOU.
Keep fighting because deep down you hold a tiny voice that you were meant for far more than this sadness and pain you are feeling.
Keep fighting because the person you will be on the other side of all of this is cheering for you so much.
Keep fighting because you will get there.
And it will be worth it.”
– Nikki Banas
I want you to know it will be worth it.
I want you to know that YOU are worth it.
Keep on believing as an act of self-love.
Keep on fighting as an act of self-care.
You will turn a corner and you’ll find your life haschanged.