7 Ways to Gather Strength When Life Is F*cking Hard.
It’s been a rough year. I’m sure I’m not alone in this and it’s not over yet, so it is time to gather strength.
I took my head, heart, pen and paper to the park. I didn’t leave until I had rounded up my best options for gathering strength to continue on with.
Some situations go on and on in what seems like an unending heartache. Each day starts anew with the hope for a shift in emotions. Some situations mean we have to start over again, day after day, gathering strength and choosing once again to be courageous.
It is exhausting, but our focus needs to be on the care we give ourselves and the courage to work out exactly who we are in relation to the circumstances. We take our time and we love ourselves while stuck in the unknown. We look to see what we can do differently to shift this experience.
We gather strength!
I decided on the following.
1. Disengage from the old story in my mind: There is probably a story in your mind haunting your waking hours and stalking your nightly dreams. No escape! So we take the waking hours and we disengage from the story that haunts us. Every time it appears, we take deep breaths until it passes. We don’t run from the pain — we feel it, watch it but don’t engage in the storytelling of the past.
If you’re going through the same, then breathe through it, and if you can stop and look around, take in the small details of your surrounds. Focus on these until the anxiety passes. Do this repeatedly and a small shift towards sanity will start to appear.
2. Charge ahead with the heart as boss: Charging ahead does not mean speed, there is no hurry. To charge ahead means our focus is steady and resolute on the direction we must now take. That direction should look like love and freedom from the pain. The direction includes seeking the help needed to un-fuck this situation. It is about clear and deliberate decisions based on self-care and healing.
It is about knowing what you desire your life to contain, and either starting or getting back on track with that.
3. Have a trusting heart: The hardest thing ever asked of the human heart, yes? Trust doesn’t come easily. We can place trust in our own life experience. We will need to call on all we have learnt along the way. We will need to know how to go within for answers. Sometimes we have to stay in the unknown, waiting for our efforts to bring to fruition the joy, release and healing we desire.
4. Keep exploring my inner world: There is no escaping the internal work that must be done after heartbreak of any kind. There are our own fears, grievances and anxieties. There is also our own shortcomings, denials and the places that are easily triggered by hurt to explore. There is work to be done, no matter the circumstances. Find healthy ways to dig deep in the dark places.
Seek help and advice when needed. Most of all, go easy on your tender heart.
5. Create, play, explore: Live an engaged life, please don’t curl up on the couch in a ball of tears every night. It’s a tempting offer and I’ve done it too many times.
It’s obviously okay to have days like these, there is no judgment in my words. There is just the knowing that the heartbreak is probably not leaving any of us soon. It will take its time with us so we can explore the pain, discover new aspects of ourselves, and finally heal.
In some of our spare moments, we should create, we should play, we should give ourselves a break from the exhaustion of our inner work and outer circumstances.
6. Be grateful for the small beauties: Amongst all difficult situations, life is still showing us beauty and love. I have experienced some of the most extraordinary moments of love and connectedness while in the depths of depression. So we stay open to life as best we can.
We seek beauty in whatever way brings genuine joy. Some days it produces a small miracle, and on others it won’t even scratch the surface of our pain. Still, each day we can move through it being thankful for the small joys and friendships that light the way.
7. Stay curious and keep dreaming: Simple — we have dreams, desires and creations in our hearts that need to take form. Do these things.
What would you add? Please let me know!
Rachel Fry is a writer, mother and creator, who is currently embarking on a new career of writing both non-fiction and children’s picture books. Rachel is passionate about sharing stories, writing, travel, fitness, wellness, children’s education, cultural diversity, art, sustainability, music and contributing in any way she can to add more love and beauty into our world. You could contact her via her website or Instagram.