“You Are Not Alone”
5 minute read
There is absolutely no hiding from life.
We can try. We can hope. But no matter what we do, life is life and it will deliver us some crushing blows.
It can be so easy to believe that if we follow the safe path and if we do all the right things, then everything will work out just great. But life just doesn’t work that way.
Very often we see good people being dealt cruel blow after cruel blow, yet at the opposite end of the scale we see those who always seem to come out smelling of roses, despite the unacceptable and despicable things they do.
Why does this happen? I wish I had the answer.
Where is the logic? I don’t know if there is any.
Life is just being life, and some things that happen are simply beyond reason and are devoid of any explanation.
There is no right way or wrong way to view the major events that happen in our lives and we all have the freedom to pin whatever belief on it that we may choose. At the end of the day it’s about applying whatever logic we can so that we can cope with the hand we’ve been dealt.
I try not to think too much about why bad things can happen. I just think that life is being life and that this time the bad thing happened to us rather than somebody else. Next time, it will be somebody else’s turn.
But what I do think about is how we can choose to react to the things that happen to us.
The fact that we have freedom of choice is never apparent at first. Hell, we’re too busy dealing with the pain, the shock, the anger, the hurt, the whatever-the-hell-it-is we’re feeling about what just happened.
These emotions are natural. These emotions are essential. But these emotions can eventually be contextualized and we can fight to find meaning. How long this takes will depend upon the character of the person and the severity of the events; there is no timescale to this process and everybody is different.
But once we’re there, we can try our very best to take lessons from what’s happened.
I know that sometimes this may feel beyond the realms of possibility, particularly when we’ve been subjected to the cruellest of acts. But what is the alternative? Do we allow ourselves to remain broken, or do we find some way to get ourselves back on to our feet? Do we live with our teeth clenched and shaking one fist towards the sky, or do we try to find the strength and the courage to work through our pain, our grief, and to move only forwards?
Life is both beautiful and cruel.
And life is short. Life is way too short.
This doesn’t just mean that our own lives are short, because it also applies to every other person on this planet, including those that are closest to us.
I know this is a hard thing to hear because it’s a hard thing to say, but it is something that most of us know already. People can be gone in an instant. One moment you have somebody in your life and the next minute they’re gone, leaving you in complete shock that the space in which they stood is now empty.
They’re gone, and they’re never coming back.
This is a reality that we are all guaranteed to face at some point if we’ve not done so already. And if you have already experienced this then you know it’s going to happen again. That moment you feared, the phone call you never wanted to receive; they come to us all.
So what can we do about this?
With regards to bad things happening, well, there is nothing we can do about that. Life is life, remember? But there is a hell of a lot that we can do about making the best of all that we have in our lives while we still have it.
Pick up that phone and call the people that matter. Hear their voices.
Jump in your car and go visit the people you love. See their faces.
Remember those friends that you always love seeing and who love seeing you, yet for some reason you all just seem way too busy to get anything sorted? Kick yourself and your friends up the backside and get something arranged. Get together, have a meal, have a drink, look them in the eyes and talk to them.
Don’t let the days keep slipping by.
People often say that you should live every day like it’s your last, but I don’t buy into that. Seriously, if you only had one day left to live then you’d be likely to do some crazy shit. Don’t do that. But live your life with the knowledge that you have no idea how much time you have left. Understand that the people around you will not be there forever.
And don’t see this knowledge as something depressing. See it as something enlightening. See it as something empowering. See it as the motivation you need.
Open your eyes and really see the things that are around you. Put an end to silly arguments. Throw away pride and call that person who you really miss.
And this isn’t just about other people, because it’s also about you and your life.
Stop putting off all those things that you dreamt of doing (read this article – What’s Stopping You From Starting). Face your fears. Approach the girl or the guy that you want to talk to. Start learning to play an instrument. Book that flight and go see the places you always wanted to see. Make the commitment that you’d been scared of making. Get up early and watch the sun rise. Read books. Sing. Dance. Paint. Write. Run. Jump out of a plane. Climb up a mountain. Help those in need. Share your gift with the world. Make a difference. Do whatever the hell it is that you always wanted to do.
Stop worrying about how many Facebook ‘likes’ you have, and start caring about how many happy memories you’re actually creating with the people who really matter in your life.
Stop living your life the way you think you should live it, and start living your life the way you really want to live it.
Stop fearing the judgement of other people, and think only about how you’d judge yourself if you were to look back over your life. Did you do what you wanted? Did you live the life you dreamt of?
Did you even try?
And one last thing; don’t forget that you are not alone. When we hit times of hardship, when we experience pain, when something happens that gives us an emotional gut punch which is so hard that we can barely stand on our feet, the instant belief is that we are alone in our suffering and that we’re the only person that this has ever happened to.
We look around and see other people getting on with their lives as we sit, crushed by the heartbreak we are currently feeling, and we believe we are alone. We believe that nobody could understand the pain we are going through.
But you are not alone. You really are not alone. Pain and suffering is something that we all experience, and as such it’s a commonality in life that binds us all together.
Nobody escapes this. Nobody gets a pass out.
Everybody, every single one of us, we all feel this at one time or another. And the older we get, the more of it we experience. That’s just a part of life, as are the moments that fill us with joy and with excitement, and which leave us laughing until our belly hurts.
And this is why we need to always look for the best, to keep our glasses half full, to remain positive and resilient, and to try to find meaning wherever we possibly can.
But as you look around, and as you see people walking around the supermarket, people sat in the cinema, people driving in their cars, and even the people we see on television and in movies, and even the voices on the radio; every single one of these people have been hurt and will be hurt, just like you.
You are not alone.
We are all together, and we are here for a short time. Remember that.
Remember it every damn day.
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