We want life to be fun and full, but often we think the path to that kind of life comes by way of a persistent pleasure or, at least, the avoidance of pain and discomfort. We think that to have the best life, we have to have be living the ‘high-life’. We think that when we get there, to this Utopia, it will be a life of ease and leisure where all of our basic needs are met and we can have whatever we want.
And it certainly does sound nice, doesn’t it. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have no debts, in the past or in the future. Wouldn’t it be grand to know that no harm will come to you or your loved ones and that far from just getting by, you have access to all of the best clothes, the best foods, the best vacations. You don’t have to shop at Ross! You don’t have to quit your job to have more than a weeks off of work – and I say that because I know that’s the situation some of you are in. You don’t have to eat Ramen anymore.
It’s no wonder some people just give up.
Recently, I helped fit shoes for a husband and wife, fire-fighting duo. In the course of conversation about working for the fire department, they told me stories of some of the things they saw and things they went through in helping others. Houses, that from the street looked like any other house, filled from floor to ceiling with trash; only small corridors to the fridge, the bathroom and the bed. Houses with pools of urine on tile floors, the occupants covered in sores and filth.
We wonder, ‘What happened to these people?’, but we know what happened; They gave up. They quit trying. They got so caught up in the disparity of their situation and life weighed down so heavy on them that they just buckled. Maybe they tried to lift their head a few times. Maybe they caught a glimmer of hope once or twice and tried to change the road they were on, but they got beat down again. They got beat down until they just broke. They gave up and they stopped holding onto something so flimsy and untrustworthy, something so painfully disappointing as hope.
But life isn’t easy, is it? We can get caught up in all the negative things that happen to us and let life brutalize us – make victims of us all. We can think of all kinds of legitimate reasons why we aren’t this or that and, as Brene Brown puts it, ‘..discharge the pain’. (See ‘Blame‘). She goes on to say ‘that Blame is the direct inverse of accountability’. WOW! #heavythings
I don’t know what kinds of things people out there have gone through. Things they done or had done to them, where the past continues to ravage and run rampant over their present and sabotages their future. Maybe, like me, you are working through these things and dammit if you don’t keep trying to make progress in your life, your running, your finances or whatever – but it’s hard and you don’t see a way out and maybe you have settled in for the ride because it’s just too hard, and you’re tired. Maybe you haven’t given up, but you’re not grinding anymore – you’re waiting for life to happen to you.
I’m here to tell you that life won’t happen to you. Don’t believe the stories where great things happened to people based on chance or blind luck. Even if they’re true sometimes, they aren’t true often enough for you to count on it. Quit waiting for life to happen to you! You DO have something to contribute and you DO have value – what anyone else says or thinks is none of your business.
If life is grinding you down, lean into it! So you’ve been dealt a shitty hand, find a way to win, anyway! BE your own success story! It might not get any easier. As a matter of fact, it might get even harder – lean into it! It won’t happen over night, no! It takes time.. it takes a life-time! But giving up is the surest way to fail..
And you’re not dead, yet.
If you are depressed or think you might have depression, please go HERE. This post is not intended to be therapy in any way, shape or form. These are my thoughts and my own struggle with finding the balance between personal responsibility, blame and chasing my own dreams. There are helpful resources for those who need them and there are legitimate reasons why some of us have such a hard time dealing with life. The subreddit /r/depression, may also be useful.