Head down, chest tight, breathing just not happening, mind racing… Sometimes we can get so consumed in the struggle to survive. When we are actually trying to live this life (as opposed to giving up on it) amidst whatever difficulties it might present, we can end up feeling defeated before we even start the day. This often happens because we have let our thoughts be consumed by the challenges that we think that we are about to face.
Hopefully, somehow, we can find more tranquility. If we let the struggle to survive consume us with fear and panic, then life has a better chance of overwhelming us. There are certainly places where we can go for help if we come to the point where life is truly overwhelming us, but I believe that we would all agree that it would be better to never become so overwhelmed in the first place. I’d rather find gems of wisdom that help me as I persevere in the midst of surviving.
One very unwise thing that I do amidst difficult seasons of life is continually run ahead of myself without looking over my shoulder. I become so focused on surviving every minute of my life (and preferably surviving these minutes with enough finesse that other people won’t notice how badly I’m struggling) that I don’t stop and notice that I am here, safe and sound, on the other side of so many moments that I thought might be so impossible to endure.
Have you ever noticed yourself making the same mistake? Sometimes there will be an upcoming event in our lives that seems threatening, insurmountable, or maybe only difficult. For whatever reason, we don’t know how we will make it through this event (be it a job, a trip, a difficult conversation, or any such thing). Yet, so often we do live through the difficulty without any significant tragedy. Even if some tragedy does occur, if you are reading this post, then apparently both you and I have survived all the trying events in our lives up to this point.
But what do I do on the other side of these significant moments of survival? I just start worrying about whatever is coming next. How much would it benefit me to pause and consider that I just made it through something very significant? Perhaps instead of constantly being dismayed by the next thing that we see as a threat, we should sometimes consider that we have survived past threats.
I must admit that I remember times when I felt that I barely survived the trial that I faced. At other times, I have been completely surprised by how much unexpected strength I had in my hour of need. There is part of me that wishes that I could say that I made it through those tough times by my own strength. Yet, to be quite honest, I had a lot of help that enabled me to survive amid the difficult events of the past. I am very thankful for the support that I received in all the moments when I needed it most. (I’ve written a lot more about this help in the “about” section of this blog.) I know that more hard times will come, and I know that, when I need help again, it will be on hand.
I did indeed survive in the past. And yes, the future and even the present might seem hard, and even impossible. Yet, I believe that I will survive them too.