For the past months or so, I had been feeling down. Things weren’t going well in my life and although obviously I know that life isn’t always a ride in the park, my first few months in the so-called “adult world” had been pretty rough.
I almost lost my best friend to suicide. My parents are stressed out because of unpaid debts. I didn’t get hired for the job I really, really, really wanted. I was rejected for the scholarship I had applied for. And on top of all that, I am bothered by the news of all the awful things happening in my country.
Yes, I know that my problems aren’t that big compared to what a lot of other people go through but, despite trying my best to keep smiling and moving forward, I couldn’t help but worry about everything.
And whenever I worry, I write.
Writing has always been my therapy. Ever since I was a kid, whenever I was feeling sad or lost or stressed or anxious, I’d write. I used to write only in my private journals but as I grew older, I became more open to sharing my writings with the world.
It can often be hard for artists to share their art because they fear rejection and/or judgment but I want to share my works because I like thinking that perhaps there are other people out there who are going through the same things I’m going through. Perhaps those people also need to hear these words that I’m writing for myself. Perhaps other people also need this reminder:
DON’T BE TOO HARD ON YOURSELF.
Yes, you. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
Everyone goes through difficulties and hardships so don’t blame yourself for everything. If you feel helpless or hopeless, it’s okay. Things will be okay.
Once more, I repeat: Don’t be too hard on yourself.
Life is tough, okay? Challenges cannot be avoided. There are plenty of things we can’t control. The only thing we can really control is how we respond to our situation.
When we run into an obstacle, we ought to keep moving forward.
But before moving forward, don’t be afraid to FEEL your feelings. Allow yourself to feel the hurt, the pain, the sadness, the anger. Take it all in.
We are only human. No matter how hard we try, we can’t be happy 100% of the time. Negative emotions are part of the package. Don’t avoid them. Don’t keep them inside.
Breathe them in… and breathe them out.
Once you’ve allowed yourself to feel, REFLECT. Do not linger on what you’ve lost but think of what you’ve gained. Remind yourself of what you’ve learned from the situation. Have the wisdom to discern what you’ve done well, what you could’ve done better, and what was out of your control.
What’s next, you ask? Well, here’s the hard part: We keep living.
We are human. We feel, we hurt, we stumble… Then we keep going.
I know I need this reminder. I know you need this reminder. Whoever you are, wherever you are in the world, I don’t know what you’re going through… but I believe in you.
Do not despair. We can do it.