We’re all just doing our best which is something that we often forget and it might be the reason why we’re often so quick to judge others.
We so easily get caught up in our own world, our own challenges, experiences and struggles that we don’t consider everyone else is going through things too.
You might be struggling with anxiety but someone else may have financial issues and be struggling to pay their bills. People don’t often share what they’re going through (especially not with strangers) so all we know is our own personal stuff that we’re carrying around with us.
But, I think it would be naive to say let’s all share our struggles and challenges.
However, when you’re going through things I think it’s important to remember that everyone else goes through things too.
Not as a way to invalidate your own experiences but to help you realise that it’s totally normal to have challenges and difficult experiences in life.
And once you truly realise that for yourself, extend that to everyone you meet.
Setting goals achieving them but always wanting more because you’re never satisfied.
I’ve often found that when I achieve something I’ve been working towards it never feels as good as I thought it would.
I just move on to the next big thing.
It’s as though as soon as I attain the thing I want it’s no longer a big deal because if I can get A then I want B and C.
But the problem with always being in search of the next big thing is that you might just be forever dissatisfied.
And maybe you feel that way because you don’t really know what you’re chasing.
Are you doing things you never thought you could do just to prove you can? Or is it because you want to make an offering or leave a legacy?
Whatever you’re reason might be, it’s definitely worth having one.
Let’s start with the letter S for self sacrifice.
When you live your life trying to be a good person you’ll find yourself pulled in every which way.
Often what people judge a persons goodness by is how much you do for them.
And in a bid to keep the title of the most good of all. You might find yourself bending, doing the most and going above and beyond to please people.
But as much as it’s great to go above and beyond (for the things that matter), it’s impossible to please everyone. It’s a losing game.
So it might be much more useful to focus on being generous, kind and thoughtful but don’t do it for other people. Do it for you because it feels good and maybe because you’ve decided that that’s the kind of person you want to be.
It turns out I’ve been hiding.
I’ve been hiding from the kind of writing that challenges me. I used to think that that meant being more personal and baring my soul.
But I was wrong.
I think there is beauty in being able to write something that not only moves the reader but also the writer.
Not the painful, tortured writer but instead the kind of writing with feeling behind it instead of just words.
It’s hard to find the time to push myself with what I share on The Daily Gemm in-between everything I have going on (and everything I distract myself with). And sometimes I allow myself to be bare minimum because I know I can get away with it.
But I read something beautiful this morning and it moved me. It made me remember just what I love about writing. It got me thinking about how I used to write and how I haven’t pushed myself to explore my writing enough.
I don’t even remember the last time I just sat and wrote without thinking about what I would do with it once it was finished.
I haven’t written a poem in months.
I daydreamed about writing these personal essays about my life yet I rarely write more than a couple hundred words at a time and never get round to even planning the essays.
I’ve been hiding and I didn’t even know it.
Sometimes bounce-back and sometimes give yourself time.
I dedicated a whole post to bouncebackability. It’s an important part of life and I believe that having the resilience to not let every little thing in life knock you about is useful.
But on the flip-side sometimes you just need a break. You need to eat good food, take a walk, relax, spend time alone, sleep, do something enjoyable, turn your phone off, sit in silence, take some deep breaths, get a massage or whatever it may be.
It’s not about wallowing but instead admitting ‘I’m going through something and I’m going to take care of myself’. Don’t be so quick to always bounce back to the point where you’re trying to bypass or ignore your feelings.
A few words on self acceptance.
As you take the time to explore yourself you’re likely to discover all kinds of things: the good the bad and the ugly.
You might find that there are some things about yourself that have put you at a disadvantage and they’re not always easy to accept.
The things that make you different, the things that have to be explained in order for people to understand you, the things that make you uncomfortable and maybe it’s things you wish you could just bypass.
But these challenges, the things you find difficult are probably great learning opportunities or what I like to call growth points.
Of course that doesn’t make them any easier but what I’ve learnt is that the more you push back and resist the more challenging things become. Whereas, if you’re more open, willing to accept your circumstances and explain things to the right person (or people), the situation softens.
And once it softens it becomes more malleable and in turn more manageable until eventually you overcome it or learn to handle it better.
I’m starting to wonder whether struggle has to be apart of every ‘success story’.
There’s this thing about the struggle, going as close to the brink as possible but managing to find a way to make it. That story is celebrated it’s the ‘rags to riches’ story and one of the most well known examples is Cinderella.
Her mother died, her father married a woman with 2 daughters who all treated her poorly and then her father died but in the end she married a Prince!
But I sometimes wonder if life really has to be that way. Constantly hearing of peoples struggle on the road to success ingrains that narrative in our minds and makes us think that the struggles we face will lead us to greatness.
Like my life is super crappy now but in 10 years time whilst I’m counting my big bucks I’ll tell people about how I slept on my friends couch, had to sell my car and most of my possessions just to get by but look at me now.
I currently work an office based 9-5 and I’d like to think I can do more beyond that in my lifetime. But I don’t want a Cinderella type struggle and I don’t want my hard times to be the justification for any good stuff that comes my way.
What I’m realising though is that there’s a big difference between working hard and going through hard times.
So no, I don’t think the struggle is necessary in order to succeed but I can’t deny it adds some pizzazz to the how I got to where I am today story.