“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” — Winston Churchill
By Dawn Onley
This has been a tough year for me.
Property damages from several storms have been significant. Time estimates have run over. I’ve had to take a troublesome tenant to court. Transitions have not always run smooth. I’ve lacked focus and even motivation. I’ve felt defeated. I’ve faced uncertainty about the way ahead.
When you have a lot going on, it can be tough to stay hopeful.
But then I remember something Gayle King, Oprah’s sidekick bestie, said on her news show once that continues to stick with me. She said it’s important to keep everything in perspective; that the hard times and challenges we experience in life won’t last always.
During stressful times, Gayle said she asks herself whether whatever she’s going through will matter a year from now. Of course a loved one’s death or learning you have a terminal illness will still matter. That’s not what she was referring to, although with time, even a tragedy loses some of its sting. She was talking about the vast majority of things we stress about on a daily basis: what a co-worker said that left you miffed, intentional (or unintentional) slights, family squabbles, break-ups, misunderstandings, disagreements, even more challenging scenarios that can find us grappling with crime or a loved one who has made bad choices.
Although each of these things has the ability to unnerve us, the truth is most of the things that trouble us now won’t matter much a year from now. All the things that have stressed me out this year won’t matter much next year. Heck, maybe not even next month.
In the grand scheme of things.
We all know this, yet still hearing it was life altering for me. Worriers know that worrying solves nothing and that things have a way of working out the way they are supposed to. Yet still we worry.
Stop right where you are. Think about what is bothering you, if anything, at this moment. Realize that this too shall pass.
This doesn’t mean that all of our days will be happy ones or that we won’t experience trials. Throughout my life, I have experienced many ups but I have also experienced the throes of pain and heartache. I could write an essay on dealing with stress. I have had days where I didn’t want to get out of the bed, let alone talk to anyone. I’ve been in deep funks, despondent and sad, anxious and worried. For myself. For people whom I love.
Ultimately, it was when I stopped worrying and started trusting the process, when I allowed myself to grieve, to scream, to pray and to work through it, that things got better.
I believe that things work out. If not for good, things work out in ways that we can learn to deal with – ways that won’t break us. Eventually.
If you are going through something, hang in there. It gets better.