Finding Lessons In The Darkness
Finding the Lesson In The Darkness.
Finding the lessons in the darkness can be a serious struggle. It is too easy to let suffering consume us and ask questions like "why me?" and "what have I done to deserve this?" However instead of focusing on the pain begin to ask the question from a positive perspective "what can I gain from this?" “what am I being shown by the universe? " it can be hard to start with current struggles and that is OK because pain is real be it mental or physical suffering trust me I know the struggle of both. So maybe let's take a look further back, try to think back to previous times of suffering and see if you can recognise the lessons that came to light from those times. Grab a notebook and take your time think back to the positives that came from those times, did you meet someone important, learn something about yourself or find a new direction to focus your energy? Think along the lines of everything happens for reason, if I had not have done this I would not have gotten there.
Let me give you all some examples from my own life, as some of you may know I suffered a huge set back a year and a half ago when my ankylosing spondylitis (a painful auto immune disease that is trying to fuse my hips and spine joints together.) flared up after a serious virus, I was taken into hospital for intensive physio and hydrotherapy. Now initially this knocked me completely off my feet I was weak, in pain and feeling so low, it hit me not only physically but mentally. I was suddenly faced with just how serious this disease was and for the first time I saw how easily joys I would take for granted could be stolen from me. I let this drive me down to some of the darkest places I have felt because of frustration and fear that my health could destroy me. I later ended up having to quit one of my jobs as a make up artist and then eventually quit catering after 14 years of working in the business. I had quickly realised this was going to take a long time to recover from and I am still putting the pieces back together.
That struggle like many others seems like just life being cruel and I most definitely felt angry at the world initially but over the past year and half I have come to learn that life gives us struggles so that we may grow and learn things we would never otherwise learn on our own. So, what have I gained from this you ask? Well during my stay in hospital, I was introduced to an occupational therapist to help me learn to live with a life long disease, but she taught me so much more. This amazing woman lit a fire within me starting with recommending me the amazing book, the monk who sold his Ferrari, the book is based around gratitude and enjoying the small gifts in life. This woman and my amazing best friend Natasha where both slowly introducing me to an entire world of motivation and positivity. I realised that I not only needed to learn these powerful qualities but re-evaluate my entire direction in life, I had spent so many years running in the wrong direction, chasing dreams that didn’t belong to me and only something that would knock me on my back was going to awaken the power deep within me and for that I am eternally grateful to the universe, Emma the occupational therapist and by friend Natasha.
I have learnt so many lessons from that one struggle, but I don’t want to overwhelm you all with information. But I can say truly with all my heart I am grateful for that flare up because if It hadn’t of happened, I would still be chasing the wrong dreams down unfulfilling paths. This does not go with just this one time of struggle but every pain, every downfall, every pit I have clawed my way out of. I am grateful for every single one of them, because without those parts of my journey I most certainly would not be the person I am today. I have gained valuable experiences from each hardship, been guided to people I needed in my life and slowly gifted the qualities I need to fulfil my purpose here on this earth.
A great way to look out for the lessons during current struggles, is to take a step back and just breath. Sometimes when we are in the midst of a hard time we become completely consumed by our thoughts, try a guided meditation video or even some painting or journaling, something that allows you to let thoughts pass by without engaging. Once you have gained a little calm in your brain you can start to look on from an outside perspective, what has happened recently? Have there been any major changes, new relationships or ends of old ones? Trust your instincts during this time, life will show you what you need to see and trust that what is happening is a chance for you to bounce back and take on the world again with a new outlook and valuable lessons. Find small things you can be grateful for, such as the joy of an inspiring book, a peaceful walk outdoors or just taking time to stop and rest.
When we run away from our struggles we miss the lessons and rush back into life with the same views and are likely to find ourselves right back where we started with the same problems. Take your time through hardships look out for what is being shown to you, try to engage with your thoughts and understand what led you here and the best way to pick yourself up, heal and learn. Surround yourself with positive people, listen to inspiring podcasts and fill your day with things that give you strength and motivation. If your finances allow maybe see a therapist, a great way to seek advice from an outside perspective, there are also many other support forms online. It is also a time to rest and take time for yourself when you can, let the world go by and just relax.
If things ever become too much for you to handle alone, always reach out to friend or family member, if that is not possible see your doctor, a medical professional or seek out help from helplines or services in your country. I will leave some UK ones down below.
Know that you are loved, you are worthy of love and happiness , and you matter! I believe in you.
CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably)
116 123 (freephone)
24-hour emotional support for anyone struggling to cope.
0300 304 7000 (4.30pm–10.30pm every day).
Helpline offering practical information and emotional support in a crisis.
App with help and resources for people who feel suicidal or are supporting someone else.
0300 330 0630 (10am–10pm every day)
LGBT+ helpline. Provides listening services, information and support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.