When The Going Gets Tough
Nicole Iacovoni, LCSW, Founder & Executive Clinician at Willow Tree Wellness & Counseling, LLC
We have all experienced times in our lives when we’ve asked, “Why is this happening to me?” or thought to ourselves that things can’t get any worse. You might even be experiencing a difficult struggle in your life right at this very moment, feeling hopeless that things will look up. Life is filled with ups and downs, but when we take a fall, we often feel defeated rather than seeing the purpose of the experience.
When we encounter devastation in our lives, be it in the form of a job loss, relationship issue, financial burden, or any other way that negatively impacts us, we feel the pain of it. We feel heartache, worry, and fear, all of which are highly uncomfortable and unpleasant. As human beings, we are programmed to constantly seek pleasure and avoid pain. In every decision we make, we assess what will bring us the most pleasure and prevent the most discomfort. Because of this, the concept of sitting with the pain of a hardship in our lives is foreign and often rejected by us. In turn, we see no potential for positivity in what we are experiencing. The falls we take in our lives are perceived whole heartedly as negative misfortune.
To help us ease our own suffering, we must consider how each moment of our lives, both good and bad, shape us, guide us, and propel us in the directions we are destined to travel. The low points in our life carry a significant energy that drive us in a different direction than the were originally going, and without this shift, we would stay stuck. Imagine how boring life would be if it never changed. In a way, we owe gratitude to hard times, because without them, we wouldn’t experience the things in life that make it exciting, stimulating, and fulfilling.
Our whole concept of the world is based on opposites. Without bad there is no good, without ugliness there is no beauty, without rich there is no poor. It isn’t always easy to see the good fortune hidden in misfortune, but it is always there. Without misfortune, there would be no good fortune at all. We wouldn’t have any idea what good feels like, had we never experienced bad.
One thing that will always remain true is the bigger your purpose in life, the bigger and harder your falls will be. If you find yourself feeling the pain of a devastation in your life, try not to push through it and avoid seeing the purpose. No storm lasts forever; each one always passes in it’s own time. Remind yourself that the worse it feels for you now, the better it will feel for you once you get on the right path again.