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5 Truths to Cling to When the Days Are Painfully Hard

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Are you looking for some truths to cling to when the days are just downright hard?

As I sit writing this the world has welcomed in a new year, but what if while the world celebrates around you all you can think of is how you can’t even being to think about celebrating.

As the world welcomes in a new year, what if the year ahead of you doesn’t look all that great? In fact, what if the path that lays out before you looks downright awful?

What if you are facing days, weeks, or even months of great trial that you have no way of seeing beyond?

There are plenty of things to read that speak to some ways to help turn things around when you are in a valley – I’ve written plenty on that subject. However, today my purpose is not to provide you with any tips on how to look at things differently or even how to start working toward a better place.

My purpose in sharing five truths to cling to is to meet you here, right where you’re at. My purpose in sharing these things is to meet you in the midst of your pain, in the midst of your trial, in the midst of your hard.

While there is a time and a place for some inspirational words to help change your perspective including in what I wrote with 3 Things to Turn Your Life Around, today I want to tell you that it’s going to be ok. You’re going to be ok.

When the days are painfully hard, when the days are long, and then the days seem void of hope, cling to these five truths.

hard days

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1. It’s ok to not be happy all the time

I think one of the hardest things about walking through a storm in life is having to put on the happy face. You put on your happy face to go to work. You put on your happy face when you are caring for your kids. When your friend asks how you’re doing you smile and mutter some sort of surface answer that gives no window into the pain that you are feeling in the depths of your soul.

This is why I’m telling you that sometimes, most likely when you are alone in the quiet and stillness of the night, it’s ok to not be happy. It’s ok to allow yourself to give in to your emotions at times. It’s ok to allow yourself to just hurt sometimes. Of course you can’t dwell there for too long. But, letting the tears come every once in awhile really is ok. Sometimes, you just have to be real with yourself…and that’s ok.

2. It’s ok to not have a plan

It’s ok to not have all the answers, and it’s ok to not know how this season will end. It really is ok to just take it one step at a time. As I’ve walked through trials there have been times that I have talked myself through absolutely everything just one step at a time. I would say something like, “You have to go get dressed. That’s all you have to think about right now, but you do have to get dressed.”

After getting dressed I would then talk myself through the next basic thing. It could even be something like, “You have to go downstairs.” Sometimes when life is really hard, it’s ok to just focus on breathing.

Have you ever been in a place where you felt as though you had to remind yourself to just keep breathing? I know I have. In these times, I have intentionally given myself permission to not have a plan. No plan at all. The only plan I had at that time was to just do the next thing. Whatever that thing was…that was the extent of my plan, and that was ok.

3. You’re stronger than you think you are

Sometimes we just need to hear this don’t we? In the midst of great trial we so easily feel weak. We so easily feel as though there is no way that we can walk through this season of hard. During these times you can cling to this truth that I am telling you right now.

Lean in close and listen…you are stronger than you think you are.

4. This season of hard won’t last forever

I know it can feel as though it will and some seasons truly are dreadfully long. However, the truth of the matter is that any one season will never last forever. I live in Michigan, and I am not a fan of the winter. But, I do love how the climate in which I live constantly reminds me that there is always a new season around the corner.

I find that when I am in a valley, it can be impossible to see the way out. Have you ever felt that way? It is during these times that you must cling to the truth of knowing that your season of hard won’t last forever. Even though it feels like it will.

5. No one season defines you or the story of your life

Your life is a complete story comprised of chapters, paragraphs and even sentences that together make of the whole. Just like no one chapter in a book covers the entirety of the storyline, so no one season defines the story of your life, either.

It can be so easy to let a bad relationship, a bad business move, a large financial mishap, sickness, or job loss make us feel as though we are that thing. We are not someone who is that event that happened to us. Rather, there is only a set of circumstances that occurred around us.

There is an important mind shift to make here so I want to say it again in a slightly different way. You are not your circumstances, your circumstances merely happened to you.

Do you see the difference? 

We so often internalize the things that happen to us. We allow them to change the way we see ourselves, and this is almost always in a negative way.

The truth is, that this season doesn’t define you any more than it defines your life. It is simply a season. It is simply a set of circumstances that happened to you. This season isn’t really who you are. When everyone seems to have it all together around you. When family and friends seem to live on Easy Street. And, when something happens that collapses your entire life right before your eyes, cling to these truths. It’s ok to not be happy all the time. It’s ok to not have a plan. You are stronger than you think you are. This season of hard won’t last forever. No one season defines you or the story of your life.

Powerful stuff right there.

For more on surviving the hard times, this is one of the best books I’ve read:

The Hardest Peace: Expecting Grace in the Midst of Life’s Hard

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