What The Tough Times Are Teaching Me About Life

It’s not every day when one feels hopeful or excited about life, right? Hope—that elusive magical thing might suddenly go amiss.

Some days, the cup we are drinking from, may be empty. With not an ounce of hope to look forward to, we may feel despondent and lost. That’s when we must channelise our inner strength, and force every tissue, nerve and sinew within our being, to lead us on—to show up, and be ready to face whatever comes our way, irrespective of whether we feel brave or not.

These days, I’m focusing on learning to ‘generate’ hope, (mostly out of nothing!) and I do it by connecting to the Universe on a daily basis. My meditations and the affirmations greatly help and so do the workouts. Some days, it is the walking that does it. This is one connection that has now come to be my lifeline, one that I keenly look forward to every day, but more so, on the days, when the challenges feel insurmountable and I feel like hiding into my shell and never come out to face the big bad world.

If there’s been one lesson that life is teaching me these days, it is learning to be more patient—way more than I ever thought I could be. I’m learning that not all problems in life can be resolved the way we’d like them to be, and even if it is rather difficult to accept, I’m learning to be more accepting of this reality. I must say that I’m getting there, slowly.

Often, things do not seem to change even for days or months, but here, again, I’m learning to look beyond the immediate circumstances and patiently wait. Pray and wait. And hope for things to pass and better days to come.

How does one do that?

The one silver lining in life that brings me solace is that nothing stays the same. Nothing at all. Neither the good times, not the bad times. There’s such great comfort in this thought, when you’re going through difficult times. This fact alone makes the pain points more bearable. It instills hope, when all is lost. When the past is gone and the future is doubtful, being mindful of the moment really truly helps.

In learning to be mindful, one also learns to savour every little good and blessing that comes our way, the little nameless moments of joy, however fleeting and short. One is filled with gratitude because one realises that nothing can be taken for granted any more. One learns to live in the moment alone. And more importantly, one learns to let go of things that do not matter—things that do not speak to one’s heart and soul anymore.

As I continue to grapple with the slings and arrows that come my way, I often wonder what life would have been like, if things were a little easy for me.

For one, there could have been an infinite number of possibilities that could have happened in life. But, would that have made me the person that I am today? I think not.

At the end of the day, though, what really matters to me is that, the person I see in the mirror every morning, the one who stares back at me, a tad bit sleepy, tired, worn out and still managing to smile, is STILL standing there—resilient, hopeful and ready for combat, no matter what lies ahead.

Maya Angelou’s wise words ring true, now more than ever before:

I can be changed by what happens to me, but I refuse to be reduced by it.

—Maya Angelou

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Written as part of our #SoulfulSunday free writing exercise, along with my friends Vinitha and Shilpa.

12 thoughts

  1. We need to find our sunshine someway to keep moving forward. I am so proud of you for doing just that despite the difficult circumstances, Esha. I know it is not easy. There is no one size fits all formula either. Your mindfulness and enjoying what’s worth in the moment is leading you from one to the other. Today I happened to hear something which stayed with me, “ Shine enough light to see the next step. That’s all you need.”
    I wish you abundance of light in your path so you can see the next step as it emerges. You are growing beautifully, Esha. 💖

  2. Di, please teach me how to generate hope? I am in a perpetual state of hopelessness. So much so that even in “good” days I feel no hope or joy.

  3. I really admire the way that you show up, Esha, finding hope even when there is none to be found. Making time for the small little things that help to pull us up is always helpful, as is the reminder that change is the only constant. Sending you much love as you navigate through this time.

  4. Nothing stays the same – the one fact that is both hopeful and terrifying. You are brave to face life with so much grace and thoughtfulness. I love the thought of generating hope. I believe we have the power to manifest our own reality if we given enough thought to it and don’t let go of opportunities.
    It was wonderful to read your post after a long time.

  5. I think as humans we often resist change and that’s what irks us the most. But seldom are we aware that change is the only constant thing. I struggle coping with sudden changes whether good or bad, and hats of to you to calmly tackle it by finding several means

  6. Such words of wisdom, Esha. There truly is comfort in the thought that nothing remains the same, however long tough times seem. I often get overwhelmed and anxious. I hope, like you, I can get to a Zen state one day.

  7. I salute your courage, Esha. Sometimes some events and experiences really wreck and it takes immense strength to face it and come up trumps. I also turn to meditation and exercise when the going gets tough.

  8. Thank you so much, Shilpa! Especially for those kind words of appreciation and for being there in my life. <3

  9. Your words here are proof of your courage and resilience in the face of uncertainties and challenges, Esha.
    You are my hero.

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