Becca Rose
December 01, 2014 12:12 pm

We’ve all been there—at the end of our rope. If someone tells you they haven’t, they’re not telling the truth. Life is a wonderful, beautiful thing, but it can be a harsh mistress too. We have so much opportunity to experience everything the world has to offer us, but that means there’s ample room for us to go through the hardships and suffering that life can hold. When you’ve been beaten down, stomped on, and feel like you just can’t catch a break, here are some affirmations to help get you through it.

Nothing lasts forever. This may seem like the opposite of what you want to hear, when you’re in love or you love your job or you’re just generally happy. But when life hasn’t been treating you kindly, and it feels like it’s been that way for longer than you can survive, it’s helpful to remember that nothing lasts forever. Whatever it is that’s suffocating you in this moment, or month, or year—it won’t be forever.

Tides turn and seasons change, and so will this. It helps me to remember that there’s a bigger world out there, when I’m particularly miserably ensconced in my own small world. I have to have faith that there are seasons in life, just like in nature, and that there will one day come again a time in which I can breathe easier.

It was better before, but it will be better still. This one’s a bit more complex. As an example, something I struggled with a lot through the college years was money. Really, the struggle was that I didn’t have any. I was supporting myself through school and working three different jobs but the ends didn’t always meet. There were times when I had to rely on friends for groceries. When I was in that place, I would hop back mentally to the time when I didn’t have to worry about what I’d eat that week. I would end up pining for a time when things seemed so much easier. What I had to remember was that I had survived worse, and that I had been able to get through challenges before and come out the other side better for it. I had to make myself hold the memory of all the times the future had turned out better than I thought it would, in order to believe that it would turn out to be that way again.

You are stronger than you think. No, really, you are. A few years ago I was faced with a situation that, at the time, I considered to be unsurvivable. I really believed it would break me completely, and that I would never recover. It didn’t get easier overnight, certainly. I spent a lot of time crying on the bathroom floor in the middle of the night, so hurt and so spent that I didn’t care if my roommates overheard. I kept believing it would break me, until I realized a whole year had passed, and my situation hadn’t. I wasn’t okay, but I was better than I thought I’d be. And I was still there, still growing, and still whole. You are always stronger than you think you’ll be.

It’s okay to ask for help. That situation that didn’t end up breaking me after all? Well, it might have if I hadn’t asked for help when I needed it. That help took different forms, according to what and when I needed it. Sometimes it was calling up a friend and knowing that when they answered, I’d be crying, and I’d have to explain why and ask if they could just sit with me for a while. At one point, the hardest thing to do was sit in a chair and explain the whole thing to a therapist, and continue to do that every week for years. I was so programmed to keep what I was going through to myself that it was painful to even reach out for help. But when I did, I was always supported and better for it.

Looking for other options can’t hurt. There was definitely a point when I was considering dropping out of school, a year from graduating. One of my scholarships got reduced and I didn’t have a way to make up the difference. I remember reaching a point where I was like, “okay, well, this isn’t going to work.” Sometimes we can get so set on life working out the way we want it to that we put on blinders to all the other choices we could make to get us out of that situation. When I realized that I did indeed have other options, it took a weight off my shoulders. Luckily, I was able to finish school through someone close to me helping me pay that difference. But the moment of peace I had when I consciously chose to see what else could be in front of me is something I’ll hold on to.

There are better things ahead than any we leave behind. This one isn’t mine—it’s actually a paraphrased C.S. Lewis quote. But it’s an affirmation I’ve held tight to when nothing else brings comfort. What startled me the most is when it turned out to be true. Just a few years out from the hardest point of my life so far, I’m living in a new city, surrounded by friends who support me, working a few jobs I really like, and just generally in a place that’s so much better than what I could’ve imagined. There will be better things ahead, for all of us, always.

(Image via Shutterstock)

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