Sit in the Pain & Know That You'll Be Okay

Hey, listen:

Here are some words for you if you feel like shit today. If you feel panicky, alone, afraid of life or afraid of the world in ways that seem irrational, if you feel like a failure for your lack of "success" or worldly accomplishments, if you feel stuck in a job, paralyzed creatively, like you are going through the motions, like each day you tell yourself you'll try harder tomorrow and don't. Here are some words for you if you constantly fall short of your own impossibly high standards. Here are some words if you tangle yourself up in your own brain with crazy, self-deprecating thoughts and forget how to just set all that neurotic shit aside and just be, just live, just enjoy, just be thankful.

Hear me: I am sorry you're there and I know the weight of these emotions, thoughts and lies we make up in our brains to define how we see ourselves. I'm there today too.

You need to know that you're not alone. Perhaps you are in a literal, physical sense, alone at your desk, alone in that the people in your life don't listen or don't understand you, alone in that you may not be in a relationship. But you are not alone in your "craziness." You are not alone in your hurt, or your fear or in the thoughts that you internally try to destroy yourself with. You are not the only person to ever have the terrifying, difficult, entrapping thoughts you have had. You're not the only one having them at this very moment.

This world is full of trouble, of things to be concerned with or fearful of, of possible harm or loss of freedom, of outside forces that want us hurt or dead. There are loud voices all around telling us what we ought or ought not to be doing and how we're not good enough or not conservative enough or not liberal enough or not open-minded enough or are too open-minded. There are emotional opinions being thrown out by fools in droves at every single passing second and we have stages with which to witness every one of them if we like. Sometimes it's easy to be convinced those opinions are fact or representative of the whole.

It is easy to lose one's way in all the voices, especially when we some of us are already battling our own internal monologue that often, in counter intuitive fashion, seems to want to destroy us, its vehicle.

But let's move away from all that mess for now. Quiet your mind. Take a deep breath. Sit in the pain for a minute and know that you will be okay. Sit in the pain and know that you will be okay. Sit in the discomfort and know that you will be okay. You need to believe that. I'm preaching this to myself as I type it. The worst thing we can do is be overtaken, overwhelmed, bogged down by the negativity in our own minds, to remove ourselves from the equation, to deny our gifts, to be shy and pull away, to not engage, to be afraid and be literally quiet, to stay isolated out of fear of what others might think. Please don't do that. Please relax, know that you bring something valuable and unique to the table, know that others need to hear from you and that they need to be heard, take time to listen well, know that you can deliver beauty and joy in small, mundane, seemingly-insignificant moments, encourage and compliment others even if it is considered strange or not well received, know that you can have an impact on someone else that you may never know about.

Don't let your own brain hold you back. Many of us are hurting whether we realize it or not. We ALL need to be seen and heard. We are ALL afraid and unsure of ourselves sometimes, it's just a matter of how aware of that we are or how much we're willing to acknowledge it.

If you feel like shit today and are scrambled up in your mind or are just dealing with some physical hindrance, I am sorry you're there. I mean that. I've been there. I am there. I may not know you, but I love you. I want you to thrive. I want to thrive alongside you, not in some self-serving way that brings more attention to me, but in a way that means I am at my best, walking in a way that is humble yet confident, in freedom, so I can be aware of others and be mentally, physically present to see, hear and care for them well.

Believe you are loved. Believe you are accepted as you are in all your inconsistency and mess. Don't dismiss this as froofy or overly sentimental. We need this sappy shit--it does wonders--and what's more, it's true.

Love ya.

-Josh