I don’t often write about my struggles when I am in the midst of them, feeling raw and vulnerable. I usually like to share about how I overcame my obstacles and then share the lessons I learned from them.
But as I sit here in the messy, in the raw and in the moment, I know that by sharing my experience, I can help someone else who is going through their own version of messy.
We all have our own messy, that is one thing I know for sure. Sometimes people share it publicly, other times people struggle silently and then some pretend they have it all together. I can honestly say I have lived every version depending on the season of my life.
Today, I normally would have been teaching in the classroom welcoming a school full of bright, shiny faces. Little wee ones who normally I would give a giant hug to welcome them back after the summer. I would see their excited little faces and hear all about their summer and watch as their faces lit up.
I would pay close attention to the ones who might have been a little shy or reserved and make sure I made it a priority to make a connection with them at some point during the day to ensure they were doing alright and to let them know I cared. I would go about my day as a busy bee, sharing smiles, laughter and sometimes even tears and if I was really lucky I would get to pee (only other teachers know this feeling). As much happiness as the day brought, I would come home exhausted and look back at my day with a blur. Then, I would get ready and do it all again the next day.
There is nothing really like the first day of school.
But instead my day did not start like that. My day started very differently. There was no first day of school. There were no tiny humans with smiley faces. I didn’t get to see their excited faces as they reunited with their friends. But there were tears and not that of my students, this time they were of my own.
While I won’t get into the details, I will tell you that this season is a hard season. This season is going to challenge me. It is going to test me. It is going to force me to grow even if I am not willingly asking for it.
So what does one do in a hard season?
Well, I can tell you for certain, I AM doubling down. I am doubling down HARD on my routines, on my mindset, on my health, on the things that make me happy and focusing on what I can control.
While there is so much in this moment that I have no control over, the one thing I 100 percent have control over is ME. I get to choose how I show up moving forward. I get to choose how I act. I get to choose what I do with this messy season. I get to choose my mindset. I get to choose if I have prolonged pity parties. I get to choose what I do from here on out.
While this is hard to digest, trust me that adopting this mindset will lighten your heart and bring you so much freedom from your pain. And if you too are going through a scary time, I totally understand. It is scary. It is uncertain. It is overwhelming. It is messy, It is HARD. Those feelings are valid and you need to feel them, process them and work through them.
But, the key is to not stay stuck here. I have every reason to validate myself sitting here and focusing on all the things that may not be happening as I would like. I could point fingers. Blame others. Be angry and I can one hundred percent participate in a pity party. But, I am choosing to reframe this situation and look at the good that can come from the messy. Not an easy task. Pivot seems to be my word of 2020 and again, I am refusing to let yet another hardship pull me down. I am choosing to rise.
Sounds a little wonky, I know but hear me out.
I am totally leaning into faith here and trusting that life is happening for me, not to me. I am trusting that something good will come from this and that I am not a victim here. In the most challenging times faith can pull you from some dark places and give you the light you need. Never steer away from faith, even if you feel so far removed.
Challenge yourself to look at the messy from a different perspective and ask yourself what good could come out of this hardship. Even if you can come up with only one thing, focus on that and hold onto it. Energy flows where attention goes.
Remember, you are not defined by your struggles. Your struggles are only one piece of your story and there are so many more amazing, beautiful things to come that will bring you back to life. There will come a time when you look back at the messy and talk about how you overcame it and how you got through some challenging times even if you had no idea how you were going to do it.
Keep taking one step. One step each day. Look for moments that make you smile. Find the joy wherever you can and if you get tired and need to rest, do it. Just don’t stay down and don’t quit. Keep fighting and keep moving forward.
You will persevere. I will persevere. We will get through the challenging times and we will be stronger because of it.
Sending you all my love.