No Matter How Dark Right Now Feels, You Are Not Alone

"The winter will not last forever." (Image Credit: Unsplash/Joe Gardner)

"The winter will not last forever." (Image Credit: Unsplash/Joe Gardner)

This week is full of high emotions.

I know, I have them, too. It's kind of like a freight train carrying every single human experience and emotion went off the rails and exploded into a fiery, twisted mess.

During the last few weeks, I've reminded myself multiple times a day to just keep breathing. That it is enough to exist and love the people in my life right now, and extend grace to many people, but mostly myself. Here's how I do it. Give it a try, okay? Especially when everything right now feels shaky and scary and maybe even a little dark.

Allow your feelings. Spending time wishing to feel something different than what you actually feel can be a block to getting through a hard time. Allow your feelings to unfold. If you feel like you are spiraling and feel lost in the feelings, reach out to a mental health professional. Otherwise, FEEL THE FEELS.

Create a space to feel your feelings. Extending grace to yourself might mean avoiding certain family members or friends for a minute. Mute them on Facebook, or take a Facebook break altogether. I promise the important news will still reach you, and you can take a hiatus from some of the noise.

Yep, it might feel like the world is ending. Maybe it is in some ways. You can still find your moments of zen, your light-filled spaces.

Forgive yourself. When things go completely sideways, it's easy to lay blame on ourselves. Maybe I should have protested more. Maybe I should have advocated differently. I could have been more proactive. I should have made a different choice. I could have done more. But here's the deal with that line of thinking: It gets you nowhere except stuck. You did what you can do. Take the lesson that's in it for you, and release yourself from guilt. Put one foot in front of the other and move forward, darling.

Stop punishing yourself for bad choices. Awhile back, I made a choice that was incredibly out of character for me. I obsessed about it for months. I hurt someone I love and broke a trust. It's easy to live in regret and keep reliving the pain of the guilt and shame and hurt I caused. I made amends, as best as I could, but still have to deal with the broken relationship that probably won't be repaired in this lifetime.

And that's okay. I can live with the broken parts and still give myself the grace to not continue raking myself over the sharp edges. You made a bad choice. You are not a bad person. Stop treating yourself as though you are the worst human ever. You're not. You're amazing.

Relax. Yep, it might feel like the world is ending. Maybe it is in some ways. You can still find your moments of zen, your light-filled spaces. Remaining hyper-vigilant will not change what is. You can still allow your body to be at ease, even if the world around you feels chaotic. Your mind might just take a cue from your body and relax a little, too.

Remind yourself that you are part of something greater. You are bold and brave and strong and capable. You are a remarkable human. You have dealt with so many plot twists, you are a pro at navigating by now, even if it feels like you're fumbling your way in the dark.

I am here. We are together, and none of us are alone, even though this moment might feel desperately lonely and dark. And even if we can't always see each other or the next turn in the road, I hear you. I'm with you. We are all fumbling together.

Grace to you, friend. The winter will not last forever.

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