We’ve all been there….and then we’ve all decided, we don’t want to talk about it.
Hash tag, I’d rather not.
Disappointments. Pain. Rejection. Sadness. Setbacks. Failures.
One, after another.
Whether, you lose your job, a person, a relationship, money, any setback can feel like you’re never coming back.
And, you never truly do.
But, I’m here to tell you, you will come back, you can come back, and this time, you’re coming back even stronger.
I’ve been there. I’ve been to that place that we don’t always want to talk about.
Let’s be real, we have ALL been to Setback Ville, we have ALL visited sorrow lane once or twice, and been like, yea, namaste over here…..in a positive space.
“A place where the beer flows like wine where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano.” – (Dumb and Dumber quote, if you didn’t catch my humor flow)
But, avoiding life’s problems? Will never solve them.
Pretending problems don’t exist? Only leaves you with a false sense of livelihood. The truth about turning your head away from pain? Is that the avoidance will never heal you, and, before you think this article is all shadows and darkness, I’m here to tell you that the light can only truly shine in the dark.
That, those terrible moments, are meant for your growth, no matter how painful they may seem in the moment.
So, let’s talk about expectations, dreams, and beliefs. A belief that life is one way and you’re only as good as your “proudest” moments. Your accomplishments. Your degrees. Your pictures online. What you post on social media, which, for the most part, is complete bullshit.
It’s not all bullshit, but, it is mostly bullshit, because your real life is not a series of your best moments. Great strength comes from great pain. Wisdom comes from enduring life’s lessons.
Not your greatest accomplishment. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to share, review fun old times, but, this can leave you feeling like your life is not “complete”. It can also leave you feeling like you’re “competing” but, for what reason?
The reality is no one is in a rush to posts their failures online.
The tantrum your kid threw in the store, the huge fight you had right before your wedding, the crazy amount of weight you gained that you hide with filters….
We don’t rush to post that online so, why are we in a rush to post the good times? What makes us stop the present moment of enjoyment to post pictures for virtual strangers?
Connected….while, disconnected….from true presence.
We say it’s for connection but, we end up feeling even more disconnected. In fact, I’d give you a million dollars if you could honestly say your social media “watchers” are your friends in real life.
Your real friends.
In real life. The ones you call crying because you’re ending a long term relationship and you don’t know how it fell apart.
That one person you call because you’re going to jail for a DUI, and you need a lawyer.
That’s your REAL friend. That’s reality. Those people that just popped into your mind, that’s your real life soul tribe. Those are your real people.
I know plenty of successful people that have failed catastrophically, live extremely cold lives, yet, they live seemingly perfect lives online.
The truth is, there is no such thing as a perfect life. Your life will have ups and downs. Setbacks and comebacks.
There is not one golden pony child out there that hasn’t been bad. There is not one (seemingly) successful person that has it “all” together. That has a perfect relationship. There is not one person, whether they are social accepted or socially degraded, that has successfully escaped the depths of darkness. It is (and will always be) a major un-discussed part of our life.
These “darker” lessons we keep avoiding? Are actually meant to teach you something, and if you let it, you will BLOOM from these painful experiences. The ones that embarrass you, make you more confident. The ones that cause you pain, make you more down to earth.
I type this from my heart when I say, it’s in these challenges that you are changed. Transformed.
It’s in the dark, that you find your light.
It’s in the darkness, that you realize how brave you are….how strong you are. It’s here that you awaken.
Life is a series of lessons committed to spiraling us around until we get the message that is intended for us. Until we get OUR lesson. Until we learn THE lesson. Until we realize, this whole experience on earth, is much more than anything we ever thought life to be.
Until we realize we’re not even looking children in the eyes when we pass them in the store. Until we realize, it’s insane to not smile at a stranger when you pass them. To not stop for the squirrel to cross the road. To not just accept people for who they are. To live and let live.
That is the shadow work, that we, collectively, avoid. That we collectively say, no, life is one way.
That we bury in our “connections” telling ourselves, we’re connected, when we don’t even truly connect with one another anymore. But, I can tell you, there is beauty in this lost feeling.
Beauty in this realization and it doesn’t have to aggravate your soul forever. Your dark moment doesn’t have to keep replaying.
Watch it. Learn from it, admit to yourself where you need to grow and then let it go. Let it teach you.
Let is teach you, how to be strong. How to be patient. How to be kind. (even when you don’t feel like it) How to pause when you’re angry. How to make the best of each moment. How to accept people for who they are. How to live and simply, let live.
Let life teach you. Let children, teach, YOU. Let everything you encounter expand your limited horizon. The darkness? Is meant to shine the light on the parts of yourself that you hide. That you refuse to look at.
That’s ego. And, I mention this, because our ego is the only real connection happening online.
The real you? Is seen by few.
Your true few. Your genuine soul is only seen by the souls that genuinely connect with you. Without ego or judgement, and with love, acceptance, and kindness.
That’s the real you. That’s the real connection you crave. When you awaken to this, it’s the shadow work that’s terrifying. The realization that your job would replace you in 2 weeks if you died. That most people online, wouldn’t even cry.
The real you, the real you….that’s dying to just be themselves. Needs to be themselves. Needs to express. Needs genuine connections. Your soul awakens to express yourself the way you want to, and understand, and create, and soar. To experience it all. The good, bad, ugly, in between, these are all the emotions meant to teach you, your own individual lessons and provide your own interpretations.
You may disagree. You may say, pain doesn’t serve us, but, FEELING it all, is truly, the most beautiful part about life. And it’s only through pain, that we experience pleasure.
If, not? How would we ever appreciate how fragile life is, if we’ve never experienced the loss of someone we love? How would we appreciate how warm the sun feels, if we’ve never been borderline freezing? How could we assess how soulful someone makes you feel, if you’ve never felt lost laying next to someone else?
It’s the polar opposite of our feelings that make life worth living.
The Yin and yang of life and it exists to build you UP. Positive and negative feelings are meant to teach us what we may have missed on one side. So, come alive. Experience your life, and let life happen to you.
The good. The bad. The weird. The ugly. The mess. And, open yourself up to just SIMPLY BEING, again. Free to be who YOU want to be. To live life on your terms. To express and feel every inch of life.
If you are feeling down right now, it’s because you were hurt and now you are hiding.
Your creativity is suppressed. Your passion has died. Whether it was something you choose to hide or something that deeply hurt you, I know from experience, the only time you hide is when you’re in pain.
When you don’t want to feel pain, you close your door. But, I’m here to tell you, there is beauty in standing in the rain while you wait for your rainbow.
So, come alive, again. Let your creative passions soar. Let your heart open to new experiences because no one pain should prevent you from living your life again. Sure, life gets rough. But, it’s also so beautiful that it makes all the heartache worthwhile, as long we allow ourselves to feel and heal.
It’s only when we truly feel again, that we can actually begin to heal.
I hope this article helps anyone that has ever felt lost or shut off from the world, life is very much what YOU make it. You can let defeats defeat you, or you can let them teach you. This is life.
Let your life be weird, people.
That’s the beauty of it. Let it be messy. Let it be unplanned. Undirected. Unscripted. And stop thinking you need to have it all figured out. Really think about where great times come from….or where those ridiculously funny stories are made…..those moments are ALWAYS found in the chaos of life. In the unknown. In the weirdness. And sometimes, even in the darkness.
Where something painful can suddenly be your funniest story. Where something romantic, becomes a blooper, becomes your favorite moment to tell everyone about.
Life is actual chaos. Life is very weird. So, follow your weirdness, enjoy your life, be yourself, and just know, none of us know what we’re doing. And if you do, you’re lying. Hash tag, god laughs when we make plans.
Good or bad, you are right where you need to be and you don’t need to be anything other than yourself. So, Relax. Enjoy the ride, make the best of each moment and when in doubt, just celebrate where you are here and now.
Life is way too short to take it so seriously.
For more soul chats, motivation, health advice and perspective, listen to my podcast on Apple Podcast or Spotify app. Search: Chelsea Swift | To listen to; The Weekly Podcast
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