Don't Stop Believing
May 08, 2017
Journey had it right when they sang this soulful, deeply passionate song. Along with my life-long crush on Steve Perry, my appreciation for this song has gone on and on.
Here's a link just in case you want to take trip back in time and listen.
When it comes to reality, though, it's not always as easy to keep believing. Sometimes life gets to be a struggle and sometimes things happen that make it hard to keep getting up in the morning, much less keep believing.
I've personally gone through some difficult challenges, some within just the past 5 years. Though I feel like I am a very resilient person, there have been times when I felt like I had the rug completely pulled out from under my feet, and I didn't know how to stand back up. I thought I'd share with you some of the things I've learned that may help someone else who's going through a struggle.
1. Forgive. Forgiveness seems like you're doing someone else a favor, and one that maybe they don't deserve. But forgiveness is really for your own peace. Forgiving someone doesn't mean you want or need to talk to them or spend time with them again. It means, instead, that you've made a conscious, deliberate decision to let go of your feelings of resentment or anger toward a person who you feel has harmed you in some way. Resentment and anger only hurt you, the one who feels those negative feelings. Letting those feelings go, then, helps you. The other person... once you've forgiven them, and let go completely, they aren't hurting you anymore.
2. Be grateful. When we have negative things happening in our lives, sometimes it's hard to feel like we have anything to be grateful for. But if you'll look around you at what you do have, rather than what you don't have, you'll see that you are rich. Focus on what friendships you have, and be grateful for friends. Focus on where you live, where you sleep, what you have in your daily life that works FOR you, rather than focusing on what's working against you. Chances are, you have more to be grateful for than you have to miss or regret. Check out tonight's sunset and tomorrow's sunrise, and be grateful for that beauty.
3. Have hope. If you've been hurt, or let down, you may feel like there's no hope left, or nothing to look forward to. Instead of focusing on what hurt you, look closely for a long list of things you have to look forward to. If you can't think of anything, create some things. Put things in place in your near future to plan for and look forward to. Realize and remember that no feeling lasts forever - if you have an amazing day, and are feeling on top of the world, you know that tomorrow you may feel just average. So, if you're feeling down, you have to also realize that that feeling is temporary. Tomorrow you may feel completely different - better. Hurt, anger, resentment, are all temporary feelings if you let them be - if you focus on a purposeful and positive future, you will hold on to hope.
4. Be happy. Happy feelings create more happy feelings. This is actually a brain chemical reality. In short, thinking happy thoughts makes your brain chemicals work to create more happy thoughts. So, if you're struggling to feel happy, purposefully train your brain. Watch silly videos that make you laugh aloud, read funny quotes or stories, write positive thoughts (even if you don't think you feel them at the time), and just keep focusing on happy things. This actually, really, trains your brain chemicals to more easily, more naturally think happy thoughts. You've heard of "fake it till you make it?" This is it. And it's truly beneficial to you in so many ways. It's not immediate, so be patient, and stick with it, because it works. Try to involve yourself in as many happy-feeling activities as you can, as often as you can.
Above all... Don't stop believing.