“Keep Going. Your hardest times often lead to the greatest moments of your life. Keep going. Tough situations build strong people in the end.” -Roy T. Bennett.
When the going gets tough, I often ask myself, “Why is this happening to me?”. At times, I know I have the answers, mostly I don’t. But, through all the knocks and the grinds, the heartaches and the tears, I’ve almost always come out stronger with the knowledge that fighting through the bad days has earned me the good days of life.
I’m confessing I’m not the kind who gives up easily. Through all the difficult times, no matter how challenging, I’ve stuck at it, trying to make my way around those difficult situations, whether working through my broken relationships, working through the rough patches of my marriage, braving ill health and physical problems, or even charting a path when I’ve reached a dead-end.
It has never been as easy as it sounds now, let me tell you. There was a time when it felt things would never ever change, the roller-coaster ride of emotions and the unexpected turn of consequences, was a lot to bear, as I grappled through these situations suffering emotional breakdowns ever so often. I find it difficult to talk about those days but I’m beginning to open up slowly. There was a time when the stress and the emotional upheaval I’ve suffered were enough to make me physically sick. As a result, I saw myself sliding down into a tunnel of depression from which recovery became a herculean task. We’re talking of years of trauma and stress here. What came to my rescue was my inner reserves of positivity- something I believe, not only kept me going through it all, but also pulled me out of the crises, as they came in quick succession. A sense of unease is still hidden somewhere within me even today, because let’s face it, you never know what life brings us tomorrow. I have my apprehensions and the fear of uncertainty comes knocking every now and then.
When I look back at those days, I can say, that without all those difficult people and the trying times in my life, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I am grateful that I’ve made peace with my battles now, I feel blessed because those testing times have taught me to rise and come out stronger and braver as a fighter.
None of us wish to struggle. Who doesn’t want to project his/her life as a perfect picture of happiness and success? I don’t. I find it all a sham. Having seen it all, I am happy being myself as I am, with all my flaws and imperfections, because that is what makes me ‘me’. Having neither the patience nor the inclination to fit myself into any bracket or compete with others, I firmly believe our battles and our victories are all unique to our situations. No two lives or for that matter, no two situations could be the same. Where is the question of comparison, then?
The biggest plus from being in this situation is when you’ve gone through tough times, you can say with conviction that these often lead to the greatest moments in our lives.
And why not? There are some essential life-lessons that we are only taught through difficult times. Like testing who our real friends are. Sometimes it’s comforting to know what/who actually does stick, after the world goes awry. This has definitely helped me to streamline my friendships in life. I know who is with me. To hell with those who no longer matter. Ask me. I’ve been there.
Then, of course, hard times are very good in testing our grit. You never know how strong you are until you’re dipped head to toe in hot water. Ask me. I’ve been there too! Tough times build character, yes, but that’s also when we discover our inner reserves of patience and strength, like never before. When you survive something, it gives a positive boost to your efforts. You suddenly find something to cling onto, in the midst of uncertainty. I did, trust me.
I guess more than anything, what I’ve personally taken away from such hard times is the wisdom to shift the focus away from the petty things since our concern now lies with those significant issues in our life, that really make or mar us. I’ve learnt to choose my battles. Trust me when I say that not all battles are worth losing your peace of mind.
After every difficult chapter in life, I keep coming back with a deep sense of gratitude for this life. Difficult times alter us and change the way we view everything around our lives. With the knowledge gained about what really matters, we have a greater appreciation for all the blessings that come our way. I’ve learnt to enjoy every moment as it comes now. Mindfulness – that art of living in the moment, has been the biggest blessing that hard times have taught me.
When something bad happens, you have three choices. You can either let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.
What has been your learning from the tough times you’ve faced in the past? What advice will you will give to someone who is struggling to cope with such moments in their lives?