Life is a b*tch. I’m not going to sugarcoat it. Just as it seems life is going swimmingly, someone up there exclaims “Oh hold on now sister, don’t go getting ahead of yourself… Here’s some lemons!”. And they’re not even Sicilian. Cheers. Could have at least chucked in some tequila…
That opening paragraph has been brought to you by my former, less positive self. Let’s give her a small wave and bid her a fond farewell as she’s not someone I’m keen to drag back into my life. “Toodles darling!”. Truth be told, I used to be quite the pessimist. There was a time that appeared as if I were being drawn the short straw over and over again in every area of my life. My relationships, career, family and health were all affected in a very short period. I hated my life. I hated myself. I hated myself for hating myself. One bad experience seemed to attract another and I was essentially living in a destructive downward spiral. The more I tried to fix my life, the more shit things became.
So I gave up.
I gave up and gave in to this negative mindset that I wasn’t destined for good things. That I must have been a serial killer in my last life and was only now getting my comeuppance. I allowed myself to become even more miserable and started closing people off to wallow in my negative little bubble alone. Needless to say, things got worse. I’d drag my feet through each day, looking forward to flopping back into my bed and pulling the duvet over my head to escape my own thoughts, and to be honest, myself. But do you know what happened? I got fed up with myself. I got fed up of being fed up. Literally overnight. I woke up one morning (for once actually being grateful that I had) and said out loud to myself “Enough”. I was young and this was no way to be existing – as the word “living” doesn’t really seem appropriate.
I can’t really tell you what it was that brought me out of my nega-coma, but I’m highly grateful to whatever it was. From that peripheral moment I decided to change the way I viewed life and the events that were thrown at me. Mostly because I didn’t really have a choice. Either that or stay on self-destruct mode. Don’t get me wrong, it was a process. I obviously still have my ‘blue’ days in which I just want to curl up into a ball on my sofa with three tubs of Ben and Jerry’s and a string of car crash reality TV shows, but all in all I’m now an extremely positive person. I exude positive thoughts, even from the shittest of situations.
You’ve all heard the cliché phrases such as “Everything happens for a reason” and “What will be will be”. I can practically feel your eyes rolling, but I genuinely believe in them. Here’s another one to throw at you as well for good measure:
“Everything in your life is a lesson”.
And I mean, everything. I believe that our life paths are set out for us, and the events and obstacles that seem so unfair are put there on purpose to redirect us. How are you supposed to appreciate love without grief? Gain without loss? And even, life without death? We have to experience all of these in order to truly live. They help us develop character, discover who we are and grow stronger as individuals. Can you imagine having never had to deal with a negative experience in life until the age of 60 and then BAM! Grief hits you like a train and you have absolutely no idea how to process it. You would be a complete wreck, as if a rug had just been pulled from underneath you. These lessons are so important for us to get to where we’re supposed to be. We don’t know where or what that is, but we have to have complete trust in that we are heading there.
Every failed relationship teaches you what you do and don’t want in a partner. It also teaches you what YOU need to work on yourself. You will keep going through failed relationships feeling unloved and that you will forever be alone, but the truth is you keep going through them because you still have something to learn. Life will keep throwing these lessons at you until you heed to them. Maybe you keep going for the same (wrong) type of person. Maybe you need to prioritise other things in your life before you can truly commit to a relationship. Ask yourself what you learnt from your last failed relationship. I guarantee you will find something. Be grateful for it. Whether you realised it or not, it has shaped you in some way.
All negative situations have a positive. Some may be harder to see than others, and some we may never be able to see. Death, for instance, may seem impossible to take a positive from. I understand this. There really is no feeling like bereavement, but it’s also life’s biggest lesson. If you can make it through the other side of that, you can literally make it through anything. And unfortunately, death is inevitable. We cannot stop it and it will come when it’s going to come. But the strongest people I know are the ones who have experienced it earlier, rather than later in life. Take from that what you will, but it’s what I’ve used as a coping mechanism.
At the risk of sounding like my former negative self again, life is going to be shit sometimes. We cannot always win. You should of course grieve for the situation, whatever it may be, as it’s part of the crucial healing process. But trust that it is moulding you. You are destined to have an amazing life, but in order to receive that you have to be ready to appreciate it. Trust me, you will become a far happier, content person once you can start living your life in this way. And if not, I’ve got a negative little bubble in storage somewhere that I can loan you. But I warn you, it’s pretty dark, lonely… And there’s no wifi connection in there. That ought to do it.