You’re not alone
Sometimes it seems that the world is against us. Personally, I had always seen the pursuit of my goals as an uphill battle, and it was me against the world. Nothing I did came easy, and I encountered more opposition than support.
Honestly I can’t say whether that’s the truth or not. My mind was in such a place that I often couldn’t see the good, so I was left with nothing but the struggle. That struggle was REAL, and it shaped me at the core.
The problem is, I always expected the struggle. I expected to face hardship after hardship, and make compromise after compromise. After all, I had always been a bit of a lone wolf, on the outskirts of popular cliques, and nothing I had achieved was the ideal version of what I imagined. It was all compromise.
I remember being 32, and talking to my father on the phone. At this point in life, I had three children and owned my own business. I remember asking him “when will I catch a break? When can I just get a run of good luck?”
“Good and bad are happening at the same time. You just haven’t been looking at the good.”
It was an answer I didn’t expect. My experience and my negative outlook had been overriding the sense of joy and accomplishment I should have been feeling. I had hit every milestone in life that I had set, but no matter what, I couldn’t shake that feeling of the uphill battle.
It ended up taking a lot of years for that to register properly. This idea that hard times happened simultaneously with the good was really difficult for me to grasp. I felt that if I saw the positive, then I must be ignoring the negative, and if I saw the negative, then it must be bigger than the positive. The concept that I could experience both confounded me.
Everyone gets into these patterns at some point. The important thing is that we need to learn to recognize that there ARE good things happening. Yes, the negative in our life may be bigger than the positive, but that doesn’t mean the positive isn’t important. It IS important. It’s VITAL. Maintaining the perspective that things could always be worse is necessary.
I’m not minimizing anyone’s pain or struggle. They are real, and no one can tell you not to feel that. What I AM saying is that things get better. Situations change, and chance of the moment creates new experiences that can lift us up.
Experience your hardship. Know that it will pass, and if you seek out the positive, you will find it. Just don’t get caught in the negative. It will eat you alive.