Saturday, 09 March 2024 12:12

How to Find Strength When All Seems Lost

The human mind is more powerful than we can ever fathom. When you start to filter in positive thoughts, your life will begin to transform. ~Buddha

Life tends to either build you up or knock you down, and we never know which one it will be at any given moment. The latter seems to be happening to me lately. I am caught in a chaotic swirl of the universe’s energy that caused a series of bad luck events. All of them happening within a three-month span knocked me down for the count. I didn’t want to get back up. I wanted to lay on the ground, hiding from the world so that nothing else could get me.

When one negative event after another gives you the proverbial punch in the face, it can be hard to think clearly or rationally. Emotions tend to take control and make everything worse. The mind starts spiraling into a paranoid view of the world. “What else is going to happen?” haunts your thoughts, despite your best efforts to remain positive.

These seemingly unrelated events started a few weeks before Christmas when I lost my job. It’s never a great time to lose your source of income, but somehow the sting is worse around the holidays. I spent the next month searching, applying, and submitting applications to jobs I thought I qualified for, but to no avail. It seemed as though “ghosting” was alive and well in the job market too. I had no choice but to return to my parent’s home to conserve what resources I had left. Up to then, I was living on my own in a small apartment in Florida. But then a glimmer of hope: my partner got a job across the state. He assured me that we could make it work on one income until I found something. I wanted to stay in the state I had lived in for eleven years, so I believed him.

We packed up all of our belongings and moved four and a half hours away into a two-bedroom apartment that we hoped would be a welcoming space for ourselves and our guests. For a few weeks, I searched for employment but my bad luck streak still took precedence. With the help of a recruiting agency, I finally landed a part time temp job working remotely. Finally, things were happening in my favor!

However, right around that time, my partner started having some medical issues. Because of them, he could no longer work. We had both spent so much of our savings on moving and getting set up in our new place, but now we couldn’t afford to stay. I felt we had no choice but to separate until we could build back our resources.

Another punch from life. I hated the thought of moving again, of giving up everything I thought I had and wanted. I felt farther away from my goals than ever. How did I lose my job, home, and partner within a few months? I was not in a good state of mind.

Life was moving forward with or without me. I knew I needed to get back on my feet, albeit shakily. I didn’t want to go back to the house where I grew up. It felt like a step backwards, like starting from the very beginning again, like failure. But beggars can’t be choosers. I had to move on, say goodbye to the life I imagined for now, and accept my piece of humble pie.

There are two types of failure: permanent and choice. Permanent failure is when there’s no coming back. Choice failure is when you have the endurance to keep going, keep taking risks into the unknown, and keep choosing to never give up on your dreams.    

I found the strength to move forward because I had to. I changed my attitude and instead of focusing on what I had lost, I focused on what I still had: my mind, body, and health. I still had a family who welcomed me back to their homes. As long as I was still capable of challenging the bad things life was throwing at me, then I would choose to fight back. Each day is a reminder that I am alive and still have choices. Each day I choose to change the thoughts in my head. That is how I find the strength to get me through the rough times.

And when I notice the negative thoughts starting to creep in again, I remind myself that nothing lasts forever. As a writer, I know this isn’t the end of my story; I’m just in the middle of a chapter with a lot of conflict.

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