Be Brave and Take Risks: You need to have faith in yourself. Be brave and take risks. You don’t have to have it all figured out to move forward.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
“Go back?” he thought. “No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!” So up he got, and trotted along with his little sword held in front of him and one hand feeling the wall, and his heart all of a patter and a pitter.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, or There and Back Again
“The Little Engine That Could” by Watty Piper tells the story of a small blue train that has to make it up a steep hill to help a bigger train. All the other larger trains have refused to help, but the blue engine with her “can-do” attitude persists and succeeds.
“I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…” This line occurs as the little blue engine is pulling the train full of necessities (and goodies) for the children of a town over a mountain. She volunteered to do this after several other powerful locomotives refused to help. However, the little blue engine was less experienced than the others that refused – she had never been over the mountain! Yet, she believed in herself, that she would be successful in delivering the supplies to the children (and kept repeating to herself that she could). Ultimately, she was successful and the children received their food, toys and candies that the engine was pulling.
I know we all can relate to the little Blue engine story, we have been in situations where we have tried everything we can to perform our duties, while we thought we gave 110% someone said that it was all useless, I know that some of the people reading this blog have been let down, some have had relationship break ups, I know someone reading this probably can identify with relatives who are never happy with what you do for them. I know it is a painful experience, I have been there many many times. I know that the emotions of feeling of drench through toxic experiences is daunting and very hurting. As human beings, we all want to be supported, to be appreciated, to be honored, to be trusted and to have loyal friends, family by our sides— and, moreover, we want to be treated with respect and love. This is the situation that the little Blue Engine went through, she needed all this support but it did not happen, the thing with her is that she did not give up…she believed in herself, and in her determination she said: “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…“. Are you in a place where you feel let down, are you going through pain of breakup or a toxic relationship, do you feel bullied by someone in your life…do not give up yet. Here below are a few thoughts that could help you in your situation:
- If you’re not ok today, remember: today is not forever & things will get better . I know when my world is going upside down, it’s very difficult when your in that mindset to think of things to help.I always go for a nap and see how I feel when I wake up . But always remember “Today is not forever.” This is a phrase always repeat to myself whenever I find myself struggling with something or a situation. When you’re having a terrible week or even the worst day of your life, remind yourself that that day, that situation is not forever. Tomorrow is always a new day. Tomorrow always come. Tomorrow is always a new chance. Tomorrow is a clean slate. Well, I know I have a hard time with that! Reminding myself that today is not forever always keeps myself encouraged; looking forward to tomorrow.
- Let Go of Painful Feelings and the Past. With every broken relationship comes baggage. The (a) longer and (b) more intense your relationship was, the more baggage you’d have accumulated. The length of time when G and I were in close, active communication was about 2.5~3 years in total. Not very long compared to others, yet there was so much baggage to be cleared in my head! If your relationship was longer, I can imagine there must be a lot more for you to deal with.Our baggage will be a mixture of sadness, regret, hope, wistfulness, melancholy, disappointment. If the relationship was intense, your baggage will probably include hate, grief, anger, fear, shame and other deeper emotions. It’s natural to feel these. Whatever the emotion is, open yourself to the emotion fully. This means if you hate the person, feel that hatred. If you feel sad, soak in your sadness. If you feel the need to grief, then please grief. Cry if need be. Take time out for yourself to process these feelings. Don’t block them away. Embrace them and accept them.Don’t bottle them in, because as we all know they will explode in the future when least expected. You might have heard of people who claim to have moved on by shutting off / avoiding their emotions altogether. They may feel like they have moved on, but what’s really happening is the issue has just become so deeply buried that it doesn’t cause any immediate reaction. It’s like having a cut that is healed on the surface but still has impurities underneath the scar. To complete the cleansing process, all the dirt has to be cleansed. To do so you need to first acknowledge and accept your feelings.As you connect with these emotions, slowly let them go. Feel them, understand the source, then release them. Some suggestions would be to talk to a good friend, journaling or meditation. Sleeping helps to clear mental baggage too – but just be conscious that you don’t turn to sleep as a source of escapism.Close your eyes and engage all of your senses so that you can condition each belief into your nervous system. The best way to change your beliefs is by identifying what it is you want in your life to create your ideal life and the person you want to become. Visualize it. Think about exactly what your life would look like if you had already achieved your dream. Act as if. Always act in a way that is consistent with where you want to go.Take action towards your goals. Do not let fear stop you, nothing happens in life until you take action.
- Remember When People Are Unsupportive, do not get down on you. As you start to carve out a new or different path for yourself, it can naturally cause imbalance for others. After all, they are used to you being a certain way and doing certain things, so if you’re not doing the things that are expected of you, this means they might go through a period of major resistance to letting go of the “old” you—and some will have a tighter grip than others. It’s normal.Sometimes you have to go outside the ones you most love in order to find the love you need right now. That is completely okay and a very common theme for many people. Once you surrender to this and open up in readiness to receive that support, you will find that new people naturally flow into your life (through synchronicity and coincidence – look for the signs!) who are the exact type of people you wanted and needed to “get you” and support you.
- Focus on the future. Every storm passes. And this too shall pass. After a period of quarantine or isolation, you may feel emotions that include relief and gratitude, or even feelings of personal growth and increased spirituality. Just as fear was once spread, hope and security can be transmitted socially too. Looking at crises as opportunities to rethink and reorganize our priorities will prove beneficial. Crises bring opportunities for improvements that are not always possible in other conditions. The analogy of a diamond may apply here. The beauty of the diamond comes about from the extreme experience of pressure and heat. The same is true for us. We will emerge stronger from this situation and the complex challenges we have faced and are still facing. Let’s focus on a future that is filled with hope.
- First, we can adapt, making changes to ourselves to deal with circumstances. Perhaps you’ve had to brush up on your parenting, teaching or math skills to facilitate learning for a child in your life.
- Second, we can shape the conditions themselves. You may have organized a charity drive to feed the hungry in your neighborhood or pulled together a musical group to spread socially-distanced cheer to the elderly.
- Third, we can select out of a situation. You may have moved to obtain a new job or ended a relationship that wasn’t serving you. These three options—adapting, shaping or selecting—are important because the reinforce the choices we have and the ways we can express our autonomy even in the face of long odds or significant challenges.
- Set Up Emotional Boundaries.There’s nothing wrong with making people happy but it should not happen at the cost of disappointing ourselves. It’s OK to say no. It’s OK to take time for yourself. It’s OK to step away from friendships or romantic relationships. It’s OK to set boundaries with yourself. When you set a boundary with yourself, you’re saying: “Here’s the line between what’s okay for me and what’s not. Here’s the line that I won’t cross.” And we set boundaries for ourselves because we love and respect ourselves. Boundaries keep us safe and healthy. They keep our lives running smoothly. This may mean cutting off the downers from our lives. You know that friend who always was to remind you of that time in middle school when you didn’t get asked to the dance? Or, do you have a hard time saying no to that work colleague who loves to invite you to lunch and complain about how nothing is every working out for her? Well, these people are not likely to send you the encouraging messages you need to be your best self. Let Negative Nancy find a new friend while you are out with that new mentor you’ve been meaning to find.
- Find the miracles in our situation. When life gives us lemons, why do we always settle for just lemonade… Why can’t we make gourmet lemon sandwich cookies or lemon panna cottas…Why is it always so easy to complain about our misfortunes, and not think of what miracles we can do with what we have? Don’t just exist. Live.What if this moment was enough? What if, above your struggle, there was joy? And beneath your pain, there was peace? What if, in the middle of everything…there’s love? I think there is. Enjoy every moment of your life, even when you don’t have much.
- Stop worrying and trying to plan your way out. Instead, look confidently to God.Worriers often live in a continuous cycle of fear and anxiety—the paralyzing by-products of worry. This continuous cycle is like running on a hamster wheel. You can’t get off even though you’re completely exhausted! This kind of worry goes well beyond healthy concern and places you in a constant state of painful uneasiness. The anxiety disturbs your mind and there is complete turmoil in your thinking. Thoughts become obsessive to the point where you cannot function or even think about anything else.Thankfully, God has provided a way out of obsessive worry—it is through Jesus and through prayer. When you turn your worries into prayers, it’s not that your worries go away, but they are transformed from “destructive worry” to “constructive concern.” You’ve now handed over your heavy worry load to the Lord, and He has control over everything.
At one point or another, we’ll encounter people who let us down. But have hope. There are people who will accept you for you who are. There are people who are eager to pick you back up. You just have to let them in. And just like the Little Blue Engine, encourage yourself because Yes you: “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…” And if we keep on going there are possibly happy people waiting for what we have to share. Do not give up because others are discouraging you, there is so much in you and you have what others over the mountain of our lives are waiting for.