The holidays have a tendency to stir up all kinds of emotions. For the most part, we try to focus on the joy, but for some of us, it is hard to do that if we’re having to spend it without someone we love and care about. Some of you may be experiencing anger or sadness because you’re missing someone. Maybe it’s because they left intentionally or maybe it’s because they’re just gone too soon. Either way, it can be incredibly difficult at this time of year.
Maybe I’m just weird when it comes to missing people, but it gets to the point where I literally just stop missing them, especially if it’s someone who has done me wrong. If it’s someone that’s passed on, I grieve for awhile, but then I’m okay because I’m at peace with knowing they’re in Heaven. I know that, one day, I’ll be able to see them again. Just because they’re not here with me on Earth doesn’t mean that they’re not with me everyday. They’re my guardian angels, and they’ll never leave my side. They served their purpose in my life while they were here with me, and now, they’re continuing to do just that, but from a different place up above.
When someone leaves us, whether it’s expected or unexpected, we’re always left questioning why. Why did this have to happen? Why are they gone? Why is life so unfair? You’ll question it over and over again, but the truth is that you’re never going to get an answer. That’s because I don’t think we’re meant to know what our future holds or which cross God has chosen for us to bear. We just have to trust in Him that he knows what he’s doing. Questioning everything will only make it more difficult on yourself.
Harboring anger and sadness will not help you either. Don’t get me wrong, it is completely okay to feel sad and angry when you need to. Trust me, I’ve been there, and I definitely still have those moments sometimes. I’m only human. I’m just saying that you shouldn’t let these 2 emotions consume you all the time. If you continue to look at life with a could’ve, should’ve, would’ve point of view, then you’re always going to be sad and angry. You’re always going to be left guessing and ultimately, you’ll be missing out on the one life you’re meant to live.
However, if you can find the strength and courage to start thinking differently, then you’ll notice a complete change in your life. I’ll share with you a few things that have helped me do that for myself. The fact of the matter is that rebuilding your life starts within you, and it always will:
1. Rid yourself of all negativity.
If there are things or people in your life that you feel are constantly weighing you down, then you need to do something about it. Sooner rather than later. You need to remove the negativity from your life completely. If you’re someone like me who loves to have a positive outlook on the world, then having any negative energy in your life is just outright toxic and unhealthy. Get rid of the negativity and better things will start happening for you.
2. Stop focusing on the past.
It’s called the past for a reason. You shouldn’t keep looking back. Whatever happened is over and done with. If you keep going back, then you will never ever be able to move forward. You will hold yourself back, so don’t blame anyone else when you wake up one day and find yourself stuck in the same situation because you didn’t have the strength to move on.
3. Don’t be afraid to try new things.
Do things that you’d have never pictured yourself doing before. Re-connect with old friends. Make new friends. Go out and enjoy your life while you can. Embrace your freedom (if you’re in a situation like mine and can do so). You only live once, so you might as well make it worthwhile because, after all, tomorrow isn’t always guaranteed.
4. Believe in yourself.
Know that you can do anything you set your mind to. Never stop making new goals for yourself and your life. Never stop learning and never stop challenging yourself. STOP FILLING YOUR OWN HEAD WITH DOUBT. Instead, fill it with hope and optimism. Stop worrying so much about what other people think about you. At the end of the day, you’re the one who has to live with yourself and your decisions, so you need to make sure that you do whatever makes YOU happy. Always try to be open-minded. Be a positive person and try your best to be an inspiration to others.
5. Forgive others.
Not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace. Honestly, I can’t sit here and say that I’ve reached a point where I’ve forgiven every person in my life who’s ever hurt me because then, I’d be lying. However, I do have faith in myself that, one day, I will be able to forgive them. I’m already headed in that direction, but I just know that it will take some more time. Once I’m finally at peace with forgiveness, then I’ll reach a point where I’ll be truly grateful for all of my downfalls, setbacks, and disappointments that I’ve endured throughout my life.
Now, I know some of you may not be that religious, so this can work for some and not for others. I’d be a hypocrite if I said I attend church every single week because I don’t. However, I am trying to make more of an effort to do so. I do pray everyday. I am constantly asking God for guidance every night before I close my eyes, first thing when I wake up every morning, and every time I’m driving somewhere in my car. I’m always thinking about my life and where to go from here, so it’s in those moments that I really seek His guidance. This is something that I seriously lost sight of over the past 7 years. Finding it again has been very eye-opening and comforting for me.
7. Don’t be afraid to talk to someone.
Whether it be a family member, a close friend, a professional, or a complete stranger, it is so incredibly important that you talk to someone to help you through whatever you’re going through. This is something that I’ve always struggled with because I try to keep things bottled up inside in hopes that it’ll all just go away, but I’ve learned the hard way that that isn’t going to work for me anymore. Do NOT for one second think that you don’t have any support from people. You’ll always have a shoulder to cry on, as long as you’re willing to reach out to them and let them in. Chances are you’ll end up helping them through something, in addition to helping yourself.
There are so many people who have reached out to me and offered words of support and encouragement over these past few months. I’ve had people who have thanked me for finding the strength to share my experiences because it has helped them evaluate their lives in several different ways. Everyone tells me “you’re just so strong. You always have been. How do you do it?” But the truth is, it isn’t strictly strength. It’s the mere (and extremely difficult) decision to finally let things go. To finally let go of all of the hurt and sadness of the past. I simply cannot keep myself stuck there anymore. It is NOT worth it anymore to keep tormenting myself that way. It’s a conscious decision that you cannot force or rush. It comes with time and acceptance, and it is something that I am continuing to work on for myself every single day.
Letting go will finally allow you to move forward with your life, and I promise you, it will be worth it. You’ll be able to find happiness in your life again someday, but only if you’re willing to take the first step forward and look.
“People spend a lifetime searching for happiness; looking for peace. They chase idle dreams, addictions, religions, even other people, hoping to fill the emptiness that plagues them. The irony is the only place they ever needed to search was within.” – Romana L. Anderson