Nobody ever says when we’re growing up that life will be easy, but few people ever tell us just how hard it can get. Of course, why would they? Who can look a child in the eyes and tell them that they will know pain and loss and heartache beyond anything they could ever imagine now?
But to feel pain and to experience difficulty is part of the human condition.
It’s as much a part of life as feeling love, joy, and wonder.
The truth of the matter is that being alive in a human body is a non-stop rollercoaster of duality. We, as human beings, are capable of feeling the most unbelievable highs of beauty and brilliance and the most soul-crushingly awful lows. We go through life not knowing what to expect next, and worse, carrying the weight of the burden of knowing that deep within ourselves is the capability to be as awful and nasty as the worst among us are.
It’s important to realize that loving yourself is about loving yourself completely, even those parts of yourself that you might not like.
You have to learn how to forgive yourself for being human. You have to realize that those parts about yourself that you feel are negative or imperfect are as much a part of you as your love, your kindness, your laughter, and your compassion.
True personal growth isn’t about eliminating your dark side; it’s about coming to accept it. It’s about learning to love it like you would a sister or brother. Every rose needs manure, and every person needs their animal instincts in order to survive. Having these instincts sometimes means that we do things we end up regretting, and that’s okay.
It’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to be depressed, to be sad, to be angry, to feel guilty, or remorseful – it’s all just part of being human.
Life becomes a much more peaceful and enlightening experience when you can feel all of these negative things without feeling ashamed at yourself for feeling that way in the first place; when you understand that you are only human, and that you’re set up to experience pain and sadness and fear from the very start.
You don’t have to force yourself to be happy. You don’t have to feel any other way than how you feel right here, right now.
You are an infinite soul. You are the sum total of all possibility. You exist in multiplicities. You will feel pain again, but you will also feel happy. You will feel hope. Despair. Joy. Anger. Ecstasy.
You’re a balancing act. And that’s okay! You were never meant to be anything else.
And that’s the truth of the matter; the thing beneath the surface that’s so obvious but that so few of us truly recognize – that there would be no love without loss. There would be no happiness without sadness, no truth without lies, no fullness without emptiness. We exist to feel all of these things, good and bad, and we feel all of these things because without black you cannot have white. You can’t have light without dark, or heads without tails. Polarity is the essence of all things, like yin and yang.
And this is what no one tells you, what no one talks about.
Life is both beautiful and terrible, uplifting and depressing. Being a human is a difficult and messy, but manageable, situation. You have to recognize that we would not be able to appreciate the smooth without the rough; good and bad go hand in hand to give us the depth of experience that we wake up and take for granted each day.
Being human and being at peace takes effort, determination, compassion, persistence, and a whole multitude of other traits, but most of all it takes courage. It takes bravery to get up every morning and keep going when all you want is for everything to stop. Courage isn’t the absence of fear, but being able to feel it and carry on regardless.
You are strong; much stronger than you realize. Nothing lasts forever, not your pain, not your sadness, not your tiredness. This too will pass. And on the other side of it is the rest of your life – bad times, sure. But good ones, too. Love, laughter, learning, green fields, blue skies, and beyond.