I wasn't sure if there would ever be a right time for me to share these words with you, or if the words would ever make their way off of pen scratches on a notepad, onto a computer screen. But today marks TWLOHA's 7th year of spreading the message of hope, faith, love, healing, and recovery, and I would be remiss if I didn't share these words for anyone else who may be travelling down a dark road today.
I wear TWLOHA to remind myself of many things. Today, I wear TWLOHA to remind myself and others that pain is temporary and recovery is possible. Hope is powerful, and so is the strength of our goals and our dreams.
Don't confuse things not getting any easier with things not getting better. Sometimes we dismantle to repair and break to build. Pain reminds us that we're alive, and if we're alive, there is much to be hopeful for.
It's only natural to hurt, even if it's for reasons that we can't or don't understand. Joy and happiness and pain and suffering can coexist. Just because you're hurting now, doesn't mean you'll hurt forever. The light exists whether you can see it or not. Visualize it, reach for it, and let it mark your path.
Allow yourself the time to grieve, lament, or cry over whatever it is that may be hurting you. But ultimately, channel those emotions into reflection. Spend a short amount of time asking yourself, "What if?" and "What could I have done differently?" and a longer amount of time asking yourself, "What now?" Find the answers within yourself, set a plan, and set it to action.
Finally, remember that some things require patience and time. Sometimes it's the waiting that seems to hurt the most, and it's unfortunately one aspect of the process that we can't control. But what you do have control over, is how you choose to spend that time. Focus on and surround yourself with the positive things and people in your life, or in life, in general, and stay strong. Sit upright, lift your chin, brush that dirt off of your shoulder. You don't need to count the days, weeks, or months. Just focus on yourself, and with patience and reflection, time can and will make you whole again.
There's no need to rush. Everything will be okay.
Keep the faith, it gets better, your story is important.