So you’ve had a “bad” day. A rough week. A hard year. And yeah, yeah, you know that this too shall pass, but at the moment, your situation seems bleak and almost impossible to overcome. We’ve all been here; human beings all share these troubling experiences, whether spoken of or not. Remember, you’re not alone, and many of us can help if asked. But most importantly, those of us who choose to reflect on the Bigger Picture make it through the dark valleys with our heads still high, with our eyes focused forward, and with our guts intact.
How do you view your life? By the day, the week, the month? If you’ve had turmoil this week, can you not see the whole month and say, “Overall, I’m up.” If this month has proven difficult, can you not look at the rest of the year—all the lessons you’ve learned, the tests you’ve surmounted, the progresses you’ve made—and proclaim, “All in all, this year, I’m looking good!” And if this year has been arduous, filled with worry or confusion, can you not quell the trepidation to some degree by veering at the expanse of your life to remind yourself: “I’m still here! I’ve known so many wonderful people, learned so many invaluable lessons, gone through such a wealth of amazing experiences… Overall, I’m proud.”
Take a moment during a day, a week, a month of hardship to contemplate, or perhaps even to write down all of your accomplishments—large or small—that comprise your bigger picture. All of the things for which you deserve a pat on the back, all of the stuff for which you should be applauded. Read over the list, then go ahead and give yourself that pat. If you’ve made it this far, you’ve survived. You’ve traversed ups and downs, highs and lows, and you’re still moving forward, still breathing, still fighting. You’re a wiser person, a better friend and family member, and you’re making healthier decisions for yourself every day. For this, you deserve a standing ovation. Look at the big picture and applaud yourself. And don’t worry, next month will be better; next year will be great. Today, you might feel down. But if you’re still kicking, moving, learning, growing—indeed, if you’ve made it this far in life, then trust me… You’re up!