Cheryl Strayed wrote that from the depths of the despair she’s lived through, and it’s worth focusing on for a bit.
The worst things that happen to you may not be something you should have to deal with. Most often, they are not. What you have to remember, though, is that your brain’s job is to protect you from pain, to ward off the unpleasant realities that threaten to suffocate you. But what your brain doesn’t understand is that, even if you didn’t cause a problem to enter your life, it’s still a problem you must embrace. The problem, whatever problem it might be, is yours to face. There’s no escaping it. You weren’t put on Earth to live a life free of all complaints, heartache, and misfortune. You were put on Earth to live a life, a life full of the good and the bad that blend together to create meaning.
Because when you say or think, “I don’t want to deal with this anymore,” you are having a reaction once-removed from your immediate experience.
You are better than that, more resilient than that, and tougher than the reactions your brain tries to trick you with.
For hidden in the thoughts that you’re having is your true self, the one that has made it through so much so far, the self that has created meaning out of monstrous circumstances.
So much of mental health is about meaning–and finding it when all seems lost. You can’t create meaning living in your head. Meaning isn’t one-sided; it’s multidimensional.
And only you can find meaning because only you can live your life. This is it. This is what you get, and you need to live it, because it’s all you or any of us can do. W
hen you choose to fully accept whatever it is that’s hurled at you, you choose yourself. You step into the role that’s been given to you. It’s a great privilege to accept who you are.