Crying Woman

Hitting rock bottom has taught me a lot. Life situations like having to scratch together money for a coffee or to buy gas to get to work was less than memorable. The sadness over the loss of a loved one, a pet, and the disappointments over broken relationships can rock any world. We are durable creatures. Humans have an innate way of surviving against odds and tragedy. It is God's tool given to us to take on the storms without withering. What else can be done? Sometimes the only thing you can do is stand with your feet planted. But if I can do it so can you!

Is there a blessing hidden in a total life mess? Yes, there is good news about hitting the bottom and it has a few tools that can help, although often hidden. Some attributes to look at are that you become stronger, wiser, and learn to become more empathetic towards others. Work to do your part and keep your joy, and one day you can say "I survived."

Trusting God when you feel betrayed or when you are wounded is harder during trials that seem endless. There are times you need to enter the "no hands zone." Meaning, all has been done, now you have taken your hands off of the matter. You can say: "God, I've done all I can do, it is up to you to move. Now, I will just stand." Even if you are weary and can barely stand, release of control brings solace. Not to say things come together exactly at the moment, but this frees up emotions that will lead to rest. This letting go will become an asset in the future during other challenges.

Hitting the bottom will allow you to make changes needed that you have put off. Maybe it was a life goal or dream that has not come true and circumstances keep getting in the way. The disappointment can be overwhelming. But you try to keep doing the same thing with little or no change. Hitting bottom will make you reassess your job, dreams and life goals to look for detours and other avenues to reach your destination. God maybe trying to nudge you in another direction, be open to it. If we are not open to the change or other aspirations, the bottom can seem endless.

"If we didn't hit the bottom, we wouldn't know how to extend ourselves to others, hurt when they hurt, or show compassion."

Bad times teach us to empathize more with other people. We are not put here on earth to just collect material possessions, and praise from others. Helping others will get your mind off yourself, and give your emotions a vacation. If we didn't hit the bottom, we wouldn't know how to extend ourselves to others, hurt when they hurt, or show compassion. However, sometimes when we are so grieved, we become hardened to other people and their needs. This hard heart will keep you not only at the bottom, but will rob you of having peace, or enjoying life.

Another lesson that can be learned is to accept that being alone is fine. I remember when my boyfriend, now husband, moved cross country to return to college. He was not ready to get married, and I was just starting my career at a newspaper. It didn't look good, and we almost broke up a few times. I had to accept that I might never get married, and made peace with it after many agonizing moments. When I reached that moment of clarity, I had more understanding. If that didn't happen over the course of several years, I don't think our relationship would be this strong now.

I learned I did not have to be loved by everyone to have self-worth. Spending time at the bottom might mean that your friends are gone. You don't need people to prop you up. In the world, people will not always stand with you. It is vital for you to believe in yourself when there is limited applause and when you are amidst slander. Being rejected and misunderstood will teach you to stand up and be counted for. This also taught me to refocus and to learn to survive without a pat on the back. If a situation is out of your control, let it go. In life there will be situations that you won't be able to manipulate--pick your battles. The lesson here is to be your own cheerleader.

Losing a loved is devastating and depending how you work through it will depend on how long you remain at the bottom of your emotions. You will never get over the loss, never. I realized after losing three people in the span of two months, I needed to also cherish the ones still living. It feels like that line is overused, but out of grief you are more aware how fleeting life is. With this, we will live it with more gusto than ever before. Allow this to re-energize you to live again, and to pass onto others what loved ones have taught. By doing this, you continue their legacy.

Enjoy the small things as they are often overlooked when we are struggling. Enjoy a walk through God's magnificent creation--it clears the mind! Nature has a way of calming us and bringing perspective. Also, hang out with people who will lift you up, help you grow, and encourage you to focus on how God is working in your life. Delete the ones that live for drama. Enjoy having your favorite coffee, cuddling with your dog, or reading a good book for relaxation. Also, are you an all or nothing person? This can add to stress in life and prevent you from embracing happiness in tough times. When we don't treasure the small things we miss out.

Face it, hitting rock bottom really sucks. There are things that are out of our control. Realize you can't control the world around you, as much as you believe you can. We can see the blessings if we reassess, and take a moment to reflect on what we can do. Focus more on the thrill of the chase, not just the journey. Maybe you are there today. What has helped you cope and find peace on the way up?

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