The Hills and the Valleys...
Life is all about the climb. The hills and valleys we travel tell a story about the life we live, the people we are, and the moments that have defined us. As humans, it is in our nature to love and be loved. To embrace the need for assurance and support, and to reach for others when we're feeling alone and uncertain. I wanted to write this blog post today for the ones who are feeling lonely. Whether you are physically or mentally alone; whether you are trying to find your place, or trying to get out of an old one; whether you are debating whether to stick with the unhappy job, or take a chance on starting over anew; or whether you are starting a new phase in your life with someone who is no longer by your side, this one is for you.
Loneliness is an interesting feeling that we as humans experience at various moments in our life. Whether we are prepared for the knock of loneliness to come at our door or whether we are taken back from it bursting through unannounced, it can throw your life astray in so many ways. Today, I want to talk about loneliness and how it has a profound impact on either our growth or deterioration. I would like you to take a moment and reflect on the paths you've crossed while navigating through the hills and valleys of your life. When you came upon a hill, what do you see in your mind's eye? Is it green and beautiful, filled with wildlife, singing birds, and growing flowers of all different colours? Did you feel the warmth of the sun and the coolness of the breeze? Most importantly, did you feel at peace, rested, happy? Take a minute and note these things for yourself on a pad of paper, a sticky note beside your desk, or in a journal. Reflect on the happiness, the serenity, and the peace of the hills you travelled.
Now, take a moment and reflect on the valleys you have travelled. How does this image change from the image of the hills? How is the scenery different, and how is it the same? What emotions arise, and how is your body reacting? Take a minute and reflect on this valley for precisely what it is. Let it remind you of any insecurities, vulnerabilities, fears, moments of sadness, or moments of desperation. Feel this moment and picture what the image brings to mind. These are your hills and valleys, this is how your brain makes sense of the joy and turbulence in your life. This is how your mind processes loneliness.
As scary as it may seem, self-development and personal growth are challenging, not just because it is scary and unknown, but because it forces us to reflect on how our experiences have shaped the journey of our lives and have carved out the very nature of our being. It calls for us to be honest with ourselves, with the people we surround ourselves with, and the moments we let pass us by. Much like we crave the love and attention that is a human need, we also crave the feelings of security, assurance, and hope. Security for the future of our life, confidence in our decisions, and hope for more time spent in the hills rather than in the valleys. But if there is one thing I know for sure, it is that we cannot be afraid to travel the path less travelled, even if it means we will experience some loneliness along the way. It doesn't always mean its not the right track, but maybe it just means that its the path that requires more strength, more determination, and more will to try. However, it is also important to recognize that just because you're lonely, it doesn't mean you are alone. Your friends are there to pick you up, give you strength, and distract you, even if it's just for a little while. Your family is there to provide you with the unconditional love and support, the basis of all our human needs. They are there to guide you when you cannot see the forest from the trees. And lastly, you have yourself. You have a beating heart, a racing mind, and a breathing soul that is willing and ready to surrender and protect, whenever you say the word. You are strong on your own, just as much as you are strong with others. I know you may not feel it right now, maybe you're feeling quite the opposite. But, it is there, you just have to do some searching to find it.
You are the compass of your life. You have the tools to help you make the right choices, to fight for the life you want, and to become the best version of yourself. No matter what happens, the way you navigate the journey ahead will define you and propel you to new levels you didn't imagine possible. It is scary, change always is. It is uncertain, growing always is. And it is absolutely, without a doubt going to be exhausting and draining, but so is everything worth fighting for. God did not put us on this Earth to give us a free ride to wonderland, He put us on this Earth to fight, to earn our place, and to grow our souls. But even in Him, we are not alone. So again, take a moment and reflect on your life, from the beginning to where you stand today. Be proud of the person you are, and be determined to continue to grow and become better, stronger, happier, and more confident. Loneliness is a part of our journey, but it is not our final destination.