Here's the thing - I want this post to give you hope for the life you can have, but I have to be honest and tell you that moving on is not easy and there's no quick fix. With that said, however, it can be done!
Maybe you have an inkling of hope right now, and if you do I want you to hold on to that and never let it go. If you don't then I hope you will after reading this post. We all need to believe that things will get better otherwise there's not much to hope for. Let me tell you the reason I get up every day even if I'm feeling a little down and out. And yes, I still get down and out sometimes but that doesn't mean that life isn't still good overall. There's a difference between having a bad day (or even a few) and being in a deep depression. So I get up every day because I never know what good that day will bring me. Have you ever had one of those days where everything is normal and then maybe you get an email or a phone call with some great news and it just cheers you up for the rest of the day? It's best when it's something completely unexpected too. Well, that's what gets me up every day. It's that hope of possibility.
Another thing I do when I wake up each day is tell myself that I'm grateful for another day. We're not guaranteed tomorrow; all we have is right now. If you're reading this right now then I am grateful that you are choosing to spend your time with me. Learning to understand gratitude is something that has really helped me put things into perspective. Don't get me wrong, there are still things that I want to change about my life right now, but being grateful for how far I've come really helps to keep me grounded.
I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing if you have things that you want to change because that just means that you are growing and you want more for yourself in life. As long as you are grateful for any accomplishments you've had thus far then I think still wanting more is a healthy sign. The problem people run into is when nothing makes them happy and they could have everything they ever wanted and still not be satisfied. What I like to do is think of one thing each day that I'm grateful for, beyond the day itself, and tell someone. It's easiest if it's someone you're living with and see every day, but if not, then anyone you feel comfortable telling is fine. And ask them to do it too, and you'll both benefit from it. I'll write more about gratitude in future posts.
Now when it comes to moving on from the past it's not about burying it and forgetting it. No, we have to face it and acknowledge it first. If you don't do this then you can't deal with it properly. This can be scary at first, and certainly not easy, but it can send you on the path to recovery. You can do this on your own or with someone else. If you feel you are ready to face what happened then it might be a good time to consider therapy if you're not seeing someone already. And the thing is that you don't have to start talking about it right away in therapy. You can focus on any current problems you might be having first. You'll know when the time is right. And if your therapist is supportive they won't force the issue.
You know the saying - "those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it?" Well, there's definitely truth to that. If we forget the past without dealing with it properly then we can't learn what we need to from it. The past always has something to teach us; we just have to be willing to listen. We have to focus on what happened to us and how it made us feel so that we can better respond to it. If we understand what being bullied has done to us and what long-term effects we are experiencing as a result, then we can deal with that.
Another difficult thing that we have to do in order to move on is forgive. Hear me out on this one. Believe me, forgiveness was the last thing I ever wanted to do, and I didn't think it was even possible. It's all a matter of perspective here. And just to be clear, I'm talking about forgiving those who wronged you and about forgiving yourself! This topic deserves a post or two all to itself, but for now I just want to mention how important it is. Until you forgive you're going to experience anger and resentment and that will get you nowhere. An important thing to remember is that the bullies did what they did because of their own issues. Now when I think about the people who hurt me, I have empathy for them because I realize that they were hurting for one reason or another to the point where they had to act the way they did.
Once you start feeling better about yourself and want to make connections with other people, then I highly recommend you surround yourself with people who are going to help you reach your full potential. You've probably heard this before but it is so true. All you have to do to understand this is ask yourself how you feel when you are around people who try to bring you down. Do you feel good or do you feel frustration. If you're feeling like no one understands you then you're not hanging around the right people. Seek out the people who will "get you" and it's as if a weight is lifted.
One final thing I am going to mention in this post is that you have to take care of yourself, both mentally and physically. The two go hand in hand. I personally feel my best when I'm focusing on both. If I'm feeling down and out it's because I've neglected one or the other, if not both. It can be a challenge to maintain mental and physical health at all times and it is normal to falter. The important thing is to recognize when this happens and make the changes you need to in order to get back on track. For me it's about sticking to a pretty set schedule each week, but it can be whatever works for you. I also have to workout on a regular basis, eat right, and get enough sleep. That may sound like a given but those are usually the first things that get sacrificed when you're not feeling your best.
To wrap things up, I want to remind you to never stop striving to reach your full potential and never give up on hope. There is always hope to be found somewhere if you will only look for it. This is your life to live and you deserve a great one. Ask yourself - do you want to lose your future to your past and to people who don't matter or do you want to live the life you have a right to live? It's entirely up to you but I'm going to be here to help inspire you along the way.
Please leave a comment and let me know if you have any stories or questions.
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