We all deserve medals for dealing with our issues
Dealing with your issues takes courage and humility. It involves developing new muscles, training yourself to learn new behaviours and pushing outside of your comfort zone. It demands a willingness to try new things and if they fail to pick yourself up and keep on trying, even though you are tired, and even when you don’t want to do it anymore. That is the same stamina athletes have, my friends, which is why every one of us who is fronting up and doing the tough inner work deserves medals. And the winner for recognizing they are being triggered and quietly supporting themselves using a breathing technique rather than lashing out at others goes to…
The truth will set you free
Pretending we are doing well when we are struggling keeps us feeling disconnected, unseen and unable to move forward. Even though it can be hard, being honest about how we are really feeling is the essential first step in claiming our right to be who we are, feel what we feel and know what we know. It is in being brave enough to be honest, allowing ourselves to be vulnerable and flawed and reaching out for support that we learn the powerful secret truth that can’t be known in any other way than through first-hand experience: rather than being feared, our suffering holds the key to opening our hearts and allowing us to feel connected to others. If we are unwilling to see and know our own pain, we are unwilling to be seen and known. The truth is never the cause of the problem. It is the start of the solution and the solid foundation on which to build an authentic life.
You are doing the best you can
We all want to be great at “doing life”. But life is hard, we are only human, and we all stuff up sometimes. Our tendency in these moments can be to go hard on ourselves. But after extensive and rigorous research (and a whole lot of personal testing of this concept in our own lives) we can categorically say that self-criticism, self-judgement and self-rejection are not effective life strategies. What is effective is self-compassion. This begins by reminding yourself that, just like everyone else, you are doing the best that you can. And, just like everyone else, you deserve understanding and respect for all that you have been through. You don’t have to be perfect to be worthy of love, connection and belonging.
We need both the darkness and the light
Pretending things are great or always trying to put a positive spin on things doesn’t work. Owning our darkness, vulnerability and pain is vital for genuine healing, authenticity and connection. But we also need to stay connected to hope and be constantly reminded that we are bigger than our problems and more than just our pain. One of my main survival techniques has been to never lose sight of the fact that no matter how crap things are there is always room for fun and humour and play. I think doing the work is made easier if it doesn’t all feel like some massive boring chore.
There is always a way
Life constantly throws us curve balls. Sometimes it’s tennis balls that we easily catch. Other times it’s ten pin bowling balls that hit us right in the face. No matter what size ball you are dealing with, we 100% believe that if you keep being honest, reaching out, being open to ideas and experimenting, you will find within you the strength to carry on. It might still hurt. Your progress might be slower than you would like. It might mean you need to change. But the painful truth is that sometimes you need to grow into a new version of yourself in order to hold the ball you have been thrown. We know that sucks. We know it is hard. But we believe in you. And at least it is a bit easier to know that we are all in this together.