On Hold

What do you do when everything in your life seems to go wrong? When the whole world appears to be against you, and you feel trapped? It can be scary. It can be demoralizing. It can be paralyzing.

But it’s ultimately human.

I’ve found myself reflecting a bit on the last ten years of my life recently. Looking back, I realized that I’ve faced financial hardships, career setbacks, fires, floods, and divorce. The possibility and reality of losing everything isn’t a new one to me. I’ve lived it both personally and professionally. I have failed. Many times over. Each time felt like a blow that I believed I would never recover from. The shame and humiliation, in my mind, were nearly overwhelming. It’s not something I like to talk about. Most people don’t, really…

But we all have days like this. It’s a universally shared trait. We live through moments that we perceive as the worst experiences of our lives, and we believe it because we can’t see past them. This is “end of the world” stuff! And maybe, in that exact moment, there is a measure of truth in it.

And yet, here I am. Somehow, I survived.

I remember during the evacuation of Fort McMurray in 2016, someone had asked me, “what are we supposed to do now? Just put our lives on hold?” Now, looking back, the question was probably asked rhetorically, but it hit a nerve in me. Instinctively, I answered, “life isn’t on hold. It’s still going.” I don’t think I truly understood the meaning of my response until now.

It’s easy to get stuck in those moments and let them hold you back. You hang on to them, carry them, and let them drag you down. It starts to feel like you’re drowning. Helplessly floating. Even with all the good stuff in your life, you can’t see it. You believe that the bad is the only stuff that matters – the only thing happening. But it’s not true. Take a look around you. You’ll see plenty of proof of that. Everybody is still going about their lives. There is no pause button – no holds. Life isn’t going to wait for you. I made it through those times because I kept going. I chose to keep going. Even when everything was telling me to hide.

I will tell you it’s not easy. But…

I can honestly say that I’m in a much better spot today than I’ve been in the last ten years. I have a great job, good friends, a roof over my head, and recently, the woman I love said yes. These are all good things.

The universe will provide. But not if you aren’t trying. Not if you shut down.

You have to earn it.

Image Credit: eychanchan

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