You feel helpless and hopeless, like the world is against you, and you wonder what you have done to deserve it.
I think the first time I felt this way was when I was 16 years old, and my first love dumped me for someone else. Over 40 years later, I can see that what I experienced then was pretty minor compared to the many life challenges since, but at the time, it felt like the end of the world.
Whether it’s when your first love dumps you for some else, or it’s a much deeper crisis point, like the death of a loved one or your kids leaving home, it can sometimes feel like there is nothing left to live for.
Certainly, losing a dream job or business you have been working your whole life for can feel devastating. And I know there are many people going through that experience right now during our global economic downturn.
There is good news in this, though.
It’s often times like these that we begin to reevaluate who we are, what’s important, and what we really want. We evolve and become stronger, more resilient, and more determined than before. Life often takes on new meaning, and we find another direction with increased fulfilment.
These musings and reflections tend to take place after the initial shock, though, and it’s easy to get stuck wallowing in those early negative and sad feelings. Without awareness, this can go on for an extended time after the event.
Over the years, I have gathered together a tool kit of insights that I pull out at times when I feel like giving up. It has helped me move on from feelings of despair, instead feeling a sense of hopefulness that things will work out for the better.
If you are having one those “my life is over” moments, then check out my toolbox of reminders to help you get through each day. You may find something to help you, too.
1. Everything in Life Eventually Passes
Sometimes when we are stuck in those challenging moments, we forget that everything eventually does pass, even the more difficult stuff. Nothing is ever stationary because life is in constant flow.
Think for a moment about the seasons; they are never stagnant. It seems like those first blossoms of spring evolve into fruit in no time at all. This is because everything is always progressing. This means that what you are experiencing right now, even your emotions, will change in time.
2. There Is Good in Your Life
Those moments when we feel like life is over happen because we are overthinking the things that we don’t want. As we give more of our attention to obstacles in life, we can feel a sense of loss and hopelessness.
When we make an effort to notice the good, it helps us feel better. We begin to notice more of our blessings. As we continue to do this, it lifts our emotional state and energetic frequency. This allows the changes we want to manifest.
3. Nature Offers Peace
There is a reason we feel more at peace in nature, and that’s because the energy is pure and high-frequency. This therapeutic practice has been called forest bathing((Time: The Healing Power of Nature)).
When we regularly spend time in nature and allow ourselves to be fully present with our surroundings, it raises our energetic frequency.
Forest bathing is said to have numerous health benefits. Some of those are that it helps us release stress, anxiety, and depression. It has healing effects, plus it lifts our energy to the vibration of manifestation.
This means you will not only feel so much better, but you will also create a different experience.
4. You Are the Writer of Your Life Story
Telling yourself your life is over brings with it feelings of helplessness because you are not looking for the things you can change.
We are each the writer of our own life story, even when things happen that we have no control over, because we always have control over how we respond.
You may not be able to change what has happened, but you can change your story from this point onwards. It is important to acknowledge your feelings in any situation, but don’t make this your story.
Decide what you want, and focus on writing your next chapter.
5. A Diamond Is Formed Through Intense Pressure
I know this is a much-quoted metaphor, but it is used a lot because it is true. It’s the same process when a flower begins as a bulb. It fights its way up through layers of soil to eventually produce the most spectacular bloom.
The more pressure you are feeling right now, the greater the beauty it can lead you to experience. Think of yourself like a diamond. Know that the intensity you feel is an indication of the sparkle of life to come.
6. When One Chapter Ends, Another Begins
It’s a horrible feeling when a door just slams in your face. When it’s something you have wanted badly, it really can feel like life is over.
Really, it is over in a way as life as you used to know it has come to an end. However, the good thing about this is that, for anything new to begin, there is something that must end. If you continue to focus on the chapter that is over, you could miss the one that is about to begin.
When you take your attention from the closed door and look out for those openings, you will feel heaps better.
7. Every Day Is a New Beginning
During any crisis point in life, we have those days that feel so much worse than others. Nothing seems to go right, and it seems like wherever we turn, we’re reminded of what we want to forget.
We will always have the good and the not so good; it is the natural process of life. For there to be light, there must be dark. Otherwise, the light would cease to exist. This means if we want the good days, then we need to accept the not so good, too.
When you feel those darker moments, remind yourself that tomorrow is another day. Things can always change for the better.
8. It’s Not Personal
There are many things that happen throughout life that are related to us directly, so you may think that you have to take everything personally. But that kind of thinking can send you into a negativity loop.
If you hear yourself say, “Why does this always happen to me?” I guarantee you are taking it personally in a way that will keep you stuck. This is because the word “always” implies that you never experience anything better. This means you will continue to look for similar situations.
Instead, remind yourself of times when you have enjoyed more fruitful circumstances and choose to look for more of those.
9. Forgiveness Will Help You Heal
Forgiveness is often seen as letting someone off the hook. By remaining resentful, we think we’re punishing others for their wrong doing.
In fact, we punish ourselves because this only brings us more personal pain.
Nelson Mandela said, “Resentment is like drinking poison and then waiting for it to kill your enemy”((Chicago Tribune: He raised his voice for tolerance, not his fist for revenge)). He had a lot that he could have felt resentful about, but he knew the power of forgiveness.
When you forgive another person, it doesn’t mean what they did was okay. Forgiveness is a space that you reach within yourself to help you let go.
As you allow yourself to do this, you free yourself from your own hook as forgiveness brings you personal peace.
10. Challenges Are Gifts
Yes, it is true, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time. It’s often much later after the crisis has passed that we notice the gift. However, knowing there has to be a precious jewel in the pain can often help us bear the harder moments.
Some of my greatest life challenges, including losing my parents, losing my home, and going through divorce led me to where I am now. I can see the growth and changes in direction I made because of them. It’s these changes that have created the beautiful life I live now.
This insight probably helps me the most whenever a new challenge presents itself. It helps me trust in the process of life.
Always remind yourself that, however miserable your current circumstances are, there is a gift in it. You will notice it when you are ready. Trust that all is unfolding with perfect timing.
Those feelings of helplessness and hopelessness will begin to dissipate in time. You have done nothing to deserve what you are feeling, and your life isn’t over; it is really just beginning.
Start the reflection process.
It’s easy to think about what we don’t want when in pain, but we rarely think about what we want instead. We extend our negative feelings by holding onto that which has already passed, and thinking we never want to feel like this again just makes us feel it more.
Begin to move your attention forward. Decide what’s important to you and what you really want from life now. Decide how you want to feel. It will change your life.