On Those Bad Days...

There will be bad days in life.

They are inevitable. They cannot be escaped. Even after walking a smooth path for a while with the sun shining down, a storm is going to blow through and you will face a bumpy road. Stay calm. Be patient. The storm will pass and all will be smooth again. Remember that now, this trying time, is only a moment. It is one day in the lifetime of many. If today is as bad as it gets, understand that by tomorrow, today will have ended. If it lingers into tomorrow, remind yourself of that fact again. Keep doing it until your today is the beautiful tomorrow you envisioned yesterday.

Stop and reflect.

You have faced these days before. Your track record for getting through these days is 100% and that is pretty good. You can get through this one too. Step outside. Feel the sun on your skin. Feel the wind in your hair. Place your hand over your heart. Feel it. It is rising up and down. Hear it. It is beating. That there is called purpose. You are alive for a reason.  Open up your palms to the world. Let go. Loosen your grip on the things of pain and sadness you are carrying around. Release them into the world. Let them fly far away, float into the sky to disappear forever. Then take your empty hand and brush off your shoulders, removing the stress and burdens in your life. Lift off the weight of the world you are carrying around.

Be gracious.

Let people in to help. Grab onto the lifesaver people are throwing you. You deserve the help and love. When people extend a hand, a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen, eyes to see, accept them. Allow them to pull you back from the somewhere you feel you cannot escape. Allow them to lift you up when you fall into a deep hole, trapped and in the dark.  Grab a hold of them for support. Open yourself up to receiving kindness. There is no need to hide behind “nothings” and “I am fines”. It is okay to express yourself. There is no reason to hide your pain. Get it off your chest so it is no longer weighing you down. Fight your instinct to put up the façade. Be honest. Say how you feel with no guilt or remorse or with the belief that you are a burden. Fight the thought that nobody understands. Accept that you are wrong in this belief. On some level, every person has endured their own pain and suffering. It may not be in the same way as yours, but everyone knows what it means to have a bad day. The feeling of despair, the moments of defeat, the times of complete exhaustion and exasperation, the overwhelming feeling of sadness have been felt by all. That pain is part of being human. We bond in that, making us united. We are never alone in our suffering.

Be patient. Be diligent. Keep your eyes open to truth.

The dark clouds looming over head are trying to blind you. They are trying to keep you from seeing that the sun still exists. It has not left your life. They are keeping you from the light in life, trying to make you forget that hope never leaves. It is your job to persevere, to overcome, to remove those clouds and let in the light again. They will only move so much on their own. Do not give up if the rain doesn’t let up right away. Do not get discouraged if the storm strengthens. Be persistent. Be like the flower growing through the cracks of the cement, beautiful because it doesn’t know it is not supposed to grow there.

There will be times you crave an escape.

There will be those days that the storm is so strong and long, it will leave you looking for a way out. There will be times the drought of joy seems unending, replaced with a flood of depression. There will be moments you spend pretending the sun is out and everything is alright when clearly you are sitting under a dark cloud. Look up and see reality. Stop acting like all is perfect and be okay to admit that you are struggling. Know that behind that cloud is love and hope. Believe that it is still there ready for you. Every nightmare has a beginning, but every bad day has an end.

Be steadfast in calm.

Position yourself to fight the storm. Create a place of peace and security for yourself. Prepare yourself for what is to come. Life is going to come at you with monstrous storms. There will be torrential downpours trying to wash away your joy. There will be winds attempting to blow away any traces of faith. There will be lightening trying to strike the love in your life. Life will be relentless. But remember your strength. Never forget what you are capable of. Use your voice as your umbrella, speaking your needs and giving a voice to the struggle. Silence breeds silence so speak and be heard. Express yourself, word by word, and if you think nobody is listening, think again. Everyone has been blessed with the ability to listen. The deaf will hear you with their eyes. The blind will see you with their hands. In some way, you will always be heard. You will never need to feel silenced, unheard. Someone somewhere wants to help you. So admit to the bad days, the sleepless nights, the moments of weakness and vulnerability. Keep your own ears open to the words of those who have been there but have come back. Their words are what hope sounds like. Listen to it and carry that tune in your heart with you forever.

Protect yourself.

Build a shelter of positive thoughts, things of hope, people who love you. Remember that as the storm passes over you, it exists now as then. It is over and there is a clearing in the distance. The rays of the sun are peeking through. You survived. You always will. But never forget that moment, that bad day.

It was there for a purpose.

Do not regret it or wish it away. It taught you something. It helped you grow. The bad day was there to cleanse you. It was there to water the dry land for new things to grow and more beauty to surround you. Let the bad days change you for the better. Do not let the storms erode your spirit. Do not let them destroy the essence of who you are. Let it be a reminder for the future when another inevitable bad day comes. When you face another storm, reflect back on that day. Remember how in that moment you felt like giving up believing it was all too hard but you didn’t. Remember when you could have hit quit but pressed continue instead. You stand here as a survivor and can do it again. Be forgiving of yourself and that moment. It is not living when you are carrying around the burden of anger. Putting all of your attention on hate will leave you absent of what you need. Let love be the one you feed. Let it grow with each passing day, strengthening so that you can better survive each oncoming storm.

Move on.

We are not meant to live in the storm forever. We aren’t meant to follow the cloud around. So be certain the pain that the now takes ownership of will belong soon to then. It is a bad day, not a bad life. The sun is on its way. You have the strength, you possess the determination, you hold the ability to see it and bask in its beauty. Do not give up at the sight of rain. It will never last forever.

Hope, love, and blessings,

J.L.