Yesterday night I was ‘people watching’ on Reddit, and I came across a post that hit me in the gut. It was a simple question without much detail, but it resonated with me as if I knew exactly what the poster was going through. The question was posted under the subreddit category of Empaths, and he/she wrote: “I am completely broken lost love, job no money completely broke plus in debt don’t feel like doing anything.”
I know this feeling too well, mainly because I’m currently living in it as I type. It’s a heavy feeling and one that is unmistakable. My response to him/her is the following:
Hey there, I’m in the same boat. I’m broke, in major debt, might have to sell my house (still working this out), have extended family issues, kids to feed, bills to pay, etc… but things have been looking up a bit.
I know it feels debilitating. We can’t give up on ourselves, though. I’m trying to make the best of my challenges and grow where I’m planted- there are days when it’s tougher than others, I get it. I don’t know if you also have other little humans to take care of, but it can be tough when they depend on you to show up. So I can resonate. I also recognize that it’s even harder to accept when things that happen are out of my control, like dealing with identity theft that was caused by your own family member, which prompted credit scores to plummet – ya, this is a true story, and it’s my life right now.
I was mad at life, along with all the underlying problems that these life events brought up. However, after a huge vent fest at life, I realized that the disappointments I had were my own feelings and expectations to own, life didn’t make me any promises.
This also means that I am not life in itself, I can’t control the fact that my Asian dad was going to commit identity fraud and leave me with thousands of dollars in debt. However, I should have known and drew boundaries of how much assistance I was willing to provide him, it was hard for me, and I didn’t listen because of the conditioning that I was living by – such as filial piety. But see, life includes all things and all people, and I am the experiences within life. Some things aren’t within my control, and I can only control myself.
Looking at life in this context allows me to understand that what I make of my situation will define me. And with the things that I can control, I choose to focus on that to move forward and make proper adjustments for myself.
I acknowledge that these curveballs life sends out are to see what I’m really made of. Although sometimes it feels like life really stretches me thin – but it’s also a challenge to see how strong I really am.
I also believe that life is cause and effect, which means everything happens for a reason, and perhaps this is a nudge for you to head in a better direction for your life. At least that’s what I’m thinking for myself anyways. A realignment, if you will. And if everything happens for a reason, this also means that that there’s a reason why I’m here, on this planet, walking this earth and that I belong. We all belong.
Don’t let the rise and fall of your emotions inhibit you from seeing things clearly – nothing is stagnant. Which means this too shall pass. It feels heavy now, but it’s not forever. You’ll get through this, I know so because I refuse to believe in 5 years, I’ll still be in this same exact spot in my life.
Negativity is louder by nature. It’s hard to see the positive in anything when our mind is so focused on the loudness of all the negative sh*t. Allow your emotions to settle, choose to also see the good in things to balance the crap out, and you’ll find that instead of reacting, you’ll be responding from a clearer space with more emotional capacity. For me, this meant smiling when I saw that my fridge had a variety of fruits in it today, after a few weeks of struggling to get by. Gratitude is super powerful, and the biggest positive emotion there is to balance our current situation – and only we can see it and feel it.
Sending you so much love, and I want to let you know I feel you.
On occasion, the randomness of the universe will take everything away from us, but for the most part, when we find ourselves back at square one, it’s a result of the choices we made and the lack of foresight of how those choices will impact us down the road.
We often want someone, or life, in particular, to help us climb out of the hole that we’re in, but the only person that can really help us out of this is ourselves. Some people can help guide us, but we need to be the ones doing the heavy lifting.
It’ll take time, hard work, and a tremendous amount of patience. But it is achievable if we believe we can achieve it.
Start by exploring how you came to be in the situation that you’re in now. Start asking yourself some tough questions. What decisions were made, or not made along the way? Be careful about blaming others for your problems and try your best to take some accountability with a good dose of self-compassion – because this makes acceptance of your situation a lot easier.
Were there unreasonable expectations set by you or someone else in your life? Were expectations even set at all? Do you know what you really want to get out of life? If so, were you on the right path to achieving that life before you got knocked down? What kind of relationships do you gravitate towards? Are those relationships healthy or toxic?
With some deep introspective and some reflection of your past, you may be able to recognize the moment(s) that led you astray. You can’t change any of that, but you can use those wrong turns to help guide you to make the right turns in the future. If you dwell on the past it’ll keep you in a place of unhappiness.
Don’t lose hope. Give yourself permission to be sad for a bit, but don’t overstay your welcome. Pick yourself up and guide yourself in a new direction without the pitfalls of your previous direction. One step at a time. You can’t live a positive life with a negative mind.