She asked me how I did it.
And for about 30 seconds I had no words.
I always have words. Words are my thing- but this time I couldn’t think of much to say.
She’s been a client of mine for a couple of years, now. We’ve had email sessions, Q&A’s, and conference calls about life, love, God, business, brokenness, loneliness, greatness.. and she’s heading toward the end of a long season of hustle and sacrifice. This last leg has been hard on her. I can literally feel the heaviness she’s been carrying. At the end of our last session she says, I have one more question. I’ve been waiting to ask you this. I waited until I saw that you were on the other side of it all… How did you get through it?
At first I didn’t understand the question, so I asked: what do you mean?
She answered: I imagine there has been some seasons that weren’t easy on you, but you just keep going… you just keep getting through. How did you get through it all?
It took me quite a few seconds to answer her for 2 reasons: 1. I had to think about all of the things I had been through in my lifetime (It literally took my breath away.) 2. I didn’t know how I did it. I just did.
When you’re in the middle of a season of sacrifice and hustle, you don’t have much time to think about how you’re going to get through it. You just do what you have to do. You dig deep into your arsenal of faith and push through, you feel me?
So of course, I gathered my thoughts and came up with some words.
I thought about what I had actually done everyday, and realized that I have taken a very strategic approach to getting through
Here was my advice for getting through hard times:
1. Identify what you are going through and why you’re going through it. Hard times could be part of the process of achieving your specific goals. If that is the case, trust that you can handle it. But sometimes, Beloved, we sign up for unnecessary struggles. Some of the hard times we face are optional. Know the difference.
2. Create a list of affirmations and say them out loud, everyday. Words give life, or causes things to die. You need to speak words that breathe life into your season of difficulty. Just because it’s hard and overwhelming and frustrating and lonely and tedious… doesn’t mean your faith has to waiver, or your dreams have to fade, or your hope has to be less… Speak words that affirm what you want to happen. Words that light you up… Prayers that keep you going. I actually pray for wisdom before creating my affirmations. My favorite affirmation is:
I can and I will
I even have those words tattooed on my wrist.
3. Protect your heart. Your heart holds the key to everything you will ever have in life. You must protect it. This means you have to set boundaries. This means you have to build a wall, or put some distance between you and anything or anyone that poses a threat to your faith, your purpose, your deepest desires… basically, your whole life. Be careful of who and what you allow into your space. Protect your heart. Protect your magic.
4. Stay plugged in. I don’t know about you. But, the first thing I want to do when times get hard is retreat. I spent almost 2 years on the couch. I watched court TV and the Food Network from 2002-2004ish. It was the loneliest, most depressing, unfruitful, and fear-filled, 2 years of my life. Thank God I recovered.
Since then, I have experienced the value of maintaining a routine, getting out of the house, staying active, and engaging in healthy relationships, during hard times. Staying plugged in as much as possible will keep you from drowning in your own negative thoughts and emotions. It will distract you from doubt and fear. It will keep the good hormones flowing and the bad hormones under control. You will also notice that life is much bigger than the moment of difficulty you may be facing, right now. Staying plugged in keeps you powered up. And you’re going to need all of the power you can get, to get through this…
I told you I came up with some words. Whew! That just gave me a little boost.
Look, I’m totally over hard times. I believe both you and I have had enough. But, I don’t know what life has planned for us. What I do know is that every time I have ever been face to face with something hard, I’ve made my way through…
Trust that you can and you will, too.