How Much Longer Can You Hold On?
Keeping a dream alive is tough work. Choosing to believe in yourself, your dreams or someone you love dearly, means choosing to walk a path. A painful, lonely, cold path and only a handful endure it well.
Sure, you can learn about betrayal, disappointment, pain, heartbreak, failure and loss from a book or a poem. You can learn about the concept in school. But you can only live it when it cuts to the core of your being and attempts to permeate every fibre of your existence.
The moment you decide to commit to a dream, it will seem as if everything around you is somehow designed to force you to fail, to give up , to throw in the towel and go home.
If it isn’t your finances, it’s your relationships. if not that then your job or business. People will disappoint you. Trusted ones will let you down. Just as you leave one crisis you’ll find yourself making your way to another.
Every once in a while the storm will abate. You might think it’s going to be smooth sailing and things will even go according to your plan.
Which is when you’ll run into a wall.
You will cry, beg, plead, hope, promise, negotiate…whatever it takes. You’ll be forced to your knees in tears. You will be driven to the point of defeat. You’ll negotiate with yourself. You’ll try to convince yourself that you can’t go on anymore. You’ll come up with reasons why you don’t need to continue. You’ll question why you hung on for so long.
Maybe we’re never sure whether to abandon our dreams or not because we’re reminded of how much we’ve already invested in them?
So what should you do? Should you give up or continue struggling? Should you pursue a dream / cause / relationship because motivational posts on Facebook & Instagram tell us to “never give up”?
I think the key here is to learn how to struggle.
When you struggle with purpose, you leave a situation with more answers than questions.
If you know what you’re struggling towards and you’re getting there in 1% increments every day, then unless you become deeply unhappy you should pursue it until you achieve it.
If you struggle without purpose, pain visits you to effect a course correction. It will continue visiting until you adjust the path your life is taking.
What is the pain teaching you?
It’s a known fact that everybody has to endure hardship, difficulty & grief at some point or the other. There’s no escaping that.
What’s important to note is that a few will absorb the pain and channel it into something meaningful. And that’s what you want to be doing when you feel pain gripping your heart.
You want to be looking at the value it’s adding to your life by teaching you lessons you can learn in no other way.
Here’s something worth writing down: When your heart is shattered and you question how much longer you can hold on, you are in a unique position that’s not going to present itself cheaply. Because, the more painful an experience is, the easier it becomes to look for life’s lessons at that point.
Notice how when you’re hurt, you don’t care whether you eat or not, whether your clothes are fashionable, whether your car is faster than your neighbour’s or whether you get more followers on Instagram.
Because pain strips away everything else, you will be able to assess your life with unparalleled clarity.
So what does pain say? I don’t know… that’s something only the whispers of your soul can answer for you.
The heartache is telling you that your spouse isn’t going to become the person you had in mind
The pain is reminding you that you will face disappointment and sometimes nobody will support you, but you’re not here for fan-clubs.
The grief is telling you that your soul needs you to walk-away from a relationship that’s taking more out of you than it’s putting in
Life is asking you to dig deeper and get more serious because you aren’t 100% committed to your success/marriage/career/health and the only reason you’re “failing” is because you aren’t willing to take the massive action that’s needed to give a goal wings and get it off the ground
Grief is reminding you of what matters and what doesn’t. It’s helping you separate the people, things and activities that will add meaning to your life from those that won’t.
Sometimes, pain enters your life to tell you the things nobody else will. Listen carefully.