Becky Talks How to Get Through Hard Times - This Isn’t Forever
If life is a series of mountains, plateaus, and valleys, we’re bound to end up spending time in the valley from time to time. And what makes time in the valley so challenging is it feels like it can last forever.
When my husband tells me about a certain hardship, whether a work problem, a relationship conflict, or a toothache (literally), I try to bring some perspective and often say, “This isn’t going to be forever.” To this he usually replies, “But maybe it is.”
Three days later when the toothache is gone, I’ll ask, “Do you think it’s realistic you would have a toothache for the rest of your life on this earth?” He will say no, but I also know that when we was in that moment, in the valley, he believed with his whole heart that it might.
We’ve all been there, right? Our feelings are real and powerful, and in the midst of struggle they tell our brain that there’s never been anything before the pain in our tooth, and there will never be anything after.
However, that’s usually not true. I can’t make any promises, and I don’t intend to because I know there truly are things we will endure our whole lives.
But chances are you won’t feel as bad as you do in the valley for the rest of time.
Because I work with families who are often experiencing hard times, I offer reminders on how to stay sane during the lowest lows.
Remember the good times.
When things are tough and you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, it’s helpful to recall times when life was different.
Especially if you’re going through a challenging time with a child, it’s important to remember the positive interactions you’ve had. Maybe that was yesterday for five minutes while you played together, or maybe it was three months ago, but remember nonetheless.
Give yourself grace.
If you’re anything like me, the script running in your head is something like, “You should be doing more. Try harder. Other people can handle this much capacity, why can’t you?” (Any Enneagram Type Ones out there?)
But it doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing, and comparison doesn’t often help us in life. You are your own person with your own gifts, talents, flaws, and hardships. Nobody else is wired like you or going through exactly what you are.
So if you need a break, take one. If you just need to remind yourself it’s okay if you don’t have it all together, and it is okay to be weak, do it.
Get out of your own head.
Stop obsessing about your current trials. Does that mean pushing it down and pretending it’s not there? No.
However, try to find hours in your day that aren’t the worst. Look forward to the good things. Don’t let whatever hardship you’re facing snowball in your brain into the worst-case scenario. Take your life one day at a time because that’s what’s in front of you now.
So the next time you find yourself in the valley of life, I encourage you to focus on some or all of these things. You know you better than I do, so you know what works for yourself, but for your own sanity and the loved ones around you, find hope and clarity and hold onto it.