Sometimes life is difficult. Things happen in life that are hard, that hurt. No one is immune. No one completely escapes those painful times. If you aren’t there now, you can be assured you will go there at some point. Sorry, but you know it’s true.
The difficulties of life may come on suddenly, like that dreaded telephone call with the bad news. A period where everything seems good can be shattered in a moment. Life can change forever in a heartbeat. Such events become the fuel for our fears, and sometimes keep us awake at night.
Sometimes our difficulties seem to take up residence. They linger. We wake up in the morning and they’re still there. We may have hoped that they would disappear in our sleep, but we’re disappointed when we wake to realize that it wasn’t a bad dream.
So, what can we do when we’re in the middle of life’s difficulties? How can we cope when faced with the major hardships of life? Here are a few ideas.
- Remember that you aren’t alone (Part 1). Reach out to those who love you. Talk to people who care about you and want to support you. Give yourself permission to lean on a loved one. Let them help you. You may fear that you’ll be a burden, but that may not be the case. Would you want them to reach out to you if they were experiencing the same difficulty? If so, shouldn’t you also share with them?
- Remember that you aren’t alone (Part 2). If you are a Christian, you know the promise that you will never be alone. This is one of the most frequent promises of the Bible. We are told to be dependent and to lean on Him. You may not know the future, but you can lean on the One who does. Simple faith has carried many through a multitude of hardships.
- Don’t create a second hurt. Experiencing a difficult situation carries its own unavoidable pain. Unfortunately, we sometimes add on a second pain by blaming ourselves for the situation. Of course, we must take responsibility if we made a bad choice or hurt someone, but we often blame ourselves when we are not at fault. We assume that we must have done something, but when we can’t identify what we did.
- Be compassionate with yourself. If a loved one was going through a difficult time, you would be compassionate. You would be kind, empathetic and supportive. Why should you be any less with yourself? If compassion is the best medicine for the loved one, why would it not also be the best medicine for you. A self-compassionate response will help you deal with many of life’s difficulties.
Everyone faces difficulties at times. When you face hard times, be kind to yourself and accept a little help from your friends. And remember, some events in life are so hard, that the very definition of success is…you survived.