Is everything going to be okay? Many have asked this question to themselves during challenging times in their lives. To say everything will be okay, is meant to provide reassurance and hope. But those words can sometimes ring empty.
That’s because when you say everything is going to be okay, the hope is that everything is going to be resolved and there won’t be any major heartache or disruption.
Even if today’s problem resolves itself simply and easily, there will be other challenges tomorrow or the next day. Jobs are lost. Relationships fail. Illness happens. Loved ones pass. Sooner or later, every one of us will have moments of pain.
But that doesn’t mean you have to tiptoe through life, breath held, shoulders tense, wondering when it will be your turn for things to not be okay. It doesn’t mean you have to live in despair.
When you hit those inevitable moments of not okay, it means one thing: you are alive, you are brave and you are human.
In being vulnerable, you discover your own strength. In facing down your worst fears, you find your own power. In standing up to external opposition, you learn to silence the internal opposition that says you can't and you are not enough. You become the best version of yourself one choice at a time. You make mistakes. Things don’t work out. And you show up and keep trying anyway.
It’s that kind of everyday courage that changes lives. That matters. And it doesn’t come from everything outside you working out smoothly. It comes from claiming your own power right in the middle of the complicated, imperfect present.
You don't have to feel courageous to be brave and you don’t have to feel strong to have grit. Some of your most valiant decisions will come in the shadows and in the quiet moments.
You don’t have to be cocky to claim your power—in fact, it makes it harder. Remind yourself that regardless of what happens outside of you, you can still choose your response. You can create meaning and purpose and joy even when things don’t work out. That’s your superpower. You can build up truth, positivity, and hope inside yourself.
Being present means being brave enough to show up fully, even though it scares you to let people see that you are less than perfect.
Feeling like a victim (even when unfair things are happening), on the other hand, siphons away your power. If you tell yourself that you can only be okay when other people treat you well, or when circumstances unfold in an ideal way, you cut your own determination, strength, and resourcefulness out of the equation.
And those are exactly the qualities that can make things okay—not at some future, magical time, but right now, on this messy, beautiful, ordinary, irreplaceable day. When you’re feeling scared, the real reassurance isn’t that you will dodge every problem, and the real hope isn’t that you will never struggle.
Comfort comes from getting honest with yourself: You will make mistakes. Other people will make mistakes. Things will sometimes just go wrong. And all of that is okay. It's okay because you are brave enough to make your way through imperfect circumstances.
It’s okay because setbacks don’t define you or your future. And It’s okay because there is room in your great big heart for sadness and joy, discouragement and faith. You are strong enough to sit with pain, learn from it, and let it go.
Know that on the days when challenges loom large as well as the days when things work out, on the days when you feel scared and inadequate as well as the days when confidence comes easily, you are enough. Keep going. You have a beautiful life to live.
As I write this blog post we are about 4 weeks into sheltering at home and school closings. Updates are happening on a regular basis and new information, so much has shifted in our lives in just 3-4 weeks In addition, there is some uncertainty that many of us are thinking about.
There can be many ups and downs with how we are feeling.
One hour, I’m so incredibly grateful to be working and to be safe and healthy, as well as glad that friends and family are ok. Then an hour later I can feel sad for people who have lost family members, empathize with educators who have made massive shifts on the drop of a dime, and think about the state of the economy and the health of the men and women who work in essential services.
The next hour, I’m feel excited that the earth is healing and this is an opportunity for rest, reflection and making shifts that are important. I and enjoying the slower pace of the world and love working from home as well as being with my dog.
Then the next, I would love to go hang out with friends and have a delicious meal or go to the coffee shop for a few minutes, run with friends or go to the mountains. I am excited and looking forward to connecting with people in person one day and have hope we will get to the other side of this.
We Can Hold Fear and Hope—At the Same Time
Those of us who have more sensitive souls can experience feelings of fear, stress, sadness, and worry—while at the same time catching glimmers of hope and happiness right where we are. There is room for all of our feelings.
One thing we can do is carefully watch our thoughts. Our brains are going to be more tempted than ever to go down negative spirals, to dwell on all of the stress, fear, and heartache around us.
Our dominant thoughts can create how we feel and our experiences. We are all entitled to experience our own feelings and have our own experiences, however we have an opportunity to give our brains different thoughts when we find ourselves in a downward spiral. We can shift our thoughts to those that are more supportive and build our residency muscles.
Here are a few to practice if it serves you:
I would love to hear- do one of these resonate for you? Please share!
Life and Leadership Coach, Licensed Counselor, outdoor enthusiast, yoga lover and passionate about wellness.