I know that there are times when everything looks dark, and it’s hard to see that your life will ever be joyful again. Through the years, I’ve worked with many people who have been in this harsh, painful place.
There are many ways to come through that pain, but there are two main alternatives to make things better. One is to change the outward situation, such as leaving an abusive relationship, or quitting a frustrating job. The other is to become powerful by shifting your internal focus and attitude, whether the situation can be altered or not.
It’s important to remember that life constantly changes. Everyone will have challenges in life, but there will also be periods of happiness. We need to keep moving forward through the hard times, to get to those more joyful moments.
One of my favorite books is called, “Keep Going: The Art of Perseverance” by Joseph Marshall, III. It’s a book that I recommend quite often to clients. It’s about an elder in the Lakota Tribe, who shares a wealth of wisdom with a young man, who’s full of grief and heartache.
The young man asks why life has to be so difficult, and the elder tells him that “life is a journey, sometimes walked in light, sometimes in shadow.” He continues on to say, “Being strong means taking one more step toward the top of the hill, no matter how weary you may be…Each step, no matter how difficult, is one step closer to the top of the hill. To keep hope alive for one more heartbeat at a time, leads to the light of the next sunrise, and the promise of a new day.”
Can you look back on times when you kept going — times when you didn’t give up? What did you learn from those experiences that might help you the next time a dark period comes? Whether you can change the situation, or instead need to adapt your outlook, I trust that each journey will teach you to be stronger, wiser, and ultimately more trusting of the future.
Until next time,
Thank you for the book recommendation. Everyone at some time in their life could use it.
I’m glad that it was valuable to you, Linda. It’s an excellent book to have on hand. I recommend it to clients all the time! And…it’s very small, and a quick read, which is good when everyone is so busy.
It is so true that each journey through darkness will only lead you back to the light. We have all gone through rough patches in life, but without them, we wouldn’t be the people we are today. I have learned many lessons the hard way, but in the end, I am that much stronger, more resilient, and more optimistic about what the future holds for me.
Thank you for the book recommendation. Might have to pick it up!
Lisa, your words are so true! We are a product of all of our life experiences — both the happy and the sad, the easy times and the hard — so we can be grateful for the lessons learned, and the strength gained.