Thank you to each and every one of you who read the words I pull together here. Thank you for following this blog and for writing your own words of wisdom. It is a beautiful thing to see so many people that care about others, about the world, and believe we can overcome anything that stands in our way.
We will encounter difficult situations in our lives. We have the tools to have difficult conversations with others, and with ourselves. And if we don’t yet, there is a way we can find the appropriate tool by doing a bit of research and finding the right people to ask. Maybe these people will even find us.
For me, when I find myself in a situation which causes me pain, be it physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, social, or otherwise, I pray. You may have your own process around how to safely work through a difficult situation. Knowing this is a good thing. Praying may not be something you feel comfortable doing, or know how to do, or you may be dead-set against it. That’s OK, find what works for you. If you don’t currently have a process I maybe try a process of prayer. Saying things out loud, working through the situation outside your mind might shed some light on things in a different way. Think of it like writing: sometimes words can seem perfectly sensible when we go through them in our head, but if we say them out loud we might find there is a better way to organise them. (Advice I would probably do well taking as I write these blog posts!)
I pray about all manner of things, often trying to work through one thing at a time to help me focus and, for me, help me to listen to the response in whatever way that comes about. As with any living situation, in my flat I am finding differences in acceptable levels of involvement in keeping the house clean. Communication works to ease these to an extent, but I pray about the things in this situation which cause me stress. Not that my flatmates would change, but that we could learn to be better together. I pray about the longing I have had since I was twenty two, to be married and living with this person in a place I know is “home.” I pray about my work and how I can continue the goodness the people around me provide. I know God has a plan, not necessarily the one I see, but the most sound plan there can be.
So whether you pray, or journal, or engage in conversation, keep a diary, write a blog, go on adventures, make sure you have a way of engaging with your difficult situations.
Be open to learning. Be humble. Be thankful when someone points out something they think you can do better. The fact they let you know means they believe in you, they believe you can change for the better. Not every change suggested will be worth making, but we need to be more open to listening and honestly thinking about these suggestions. There is a temptation to become defensive because we think our way of doing something is under attack. We might even think we ourselves are under attack. There is no secret to getting out of the dungeon of apathy and making the good changes. The way out really is right there in front of us:
And like that friend, relative, flatmate, teammate, your heart, dance partner, or friend you haven’t yet met does, believe you can be better.
I believe you can.
I believe I can.
I believe together we all can.
Life does not always go the way we think it will, and we will all experience loss, pain, trouble, and hardship. It’s OK to allow ourselves to feel the emotion that comes with these. The way we can overcome them is by acknowledging the way we feel, communicating about it with someone we trust, and knowing the way things are is not the way they will always be. Working together to manage our own experiences breaks down the discrimination – which can sometimes be subtle – we can receive for feeling these difficult emotions. When we engage with these emotions, find and pass on ways to manage them, we help the world become that little bit more inhabitable, for everyone.
Peace, and hope to you, wherever you happen to be in your journey right now.