It takes a lot of courage to face life positively. It really is rather easy to be gloomy, grumpy, dreary, and just plan out of sorts. I think that is the easy way out: just don’t bother to shift your thinking or your mood and hang on if you will, to that dear old familiar grump.
Again and again I say, feelings follow thoughts. If I am in a good thinking place, it is pretty easy to smile and be cheerful and hear the birds singing. When I begin to think about life being hard or people being mean spirited or me not having enough, enough whatever, time, money, friends, love, attention, sunshine; when that is what I focus on, then of course I am going to feel awful. It only makes sense. If I think life is awful, if I think life is difficult and dark and brutal that pretty likely is going to be all I can see.
Storm clouds hide the sun. Dark thoughts hide the hope. It takes strength of mind, courage of soul, and energy to insist that you see and feel and hear and know that there is beauty in the world. To be sad makes sense. To be gloomy day after day does not. It causes brain rot and heart break and soul crumble. To force yourself to take a walk around the block, to get in the shower, to dress in feel spiffy clothes, to smile and to reach out is sometimes almost…..almost beyond doable.
Start with affirmations even when you don’t feel like it. Simply say: the sun is shining, the birds are singing, the air feels warm, the world is busy, my life has meaning and I am looking diligently to find what that meaning might be. Grieve when you need to and sleep, rest, retreat; be easy on yourself and gently sneak in a surprise. A surprise book to read or phone call to make or a treat to eat or a collage to make or a book to write….something that distracts, directs, and begins to have some forward meaning….which actually translates into having some hope for the future.
There is no shame in being depressed or discouraged. But there is huge loss and sadness in staying there longer than is good for you. Retreat time, recovery time, gentle time with self and soul, all meant for healing and preparing to move forward.
It takes amazing courage to change your life around from negative to positive. Even when the world looks awful, finding the moment of hope is imperative. One tiny glimpse that there is a sun in the sky and then let that slim glimpse increase ever so slightly, little by little.
Be gentle, be easy, be kind to precious you. And know that having courage does not mean not being scared. It means being scared and do it anyway. It means moving forward, finding a moment of peace, letting a ray of hope move in and take residence in your heart. I know you are courageous. It takes being courageous to get as far as you have gotten thus far. Trust that doing whatever you are doing now in a new way will shift something. And every little shift helps create possibilities of hope filling your heart.
Sending hope, love and room for joy, Nancy