Life is Hard - How I Refused to Be Beat

This isn't a news flash to anyone - life is hard. We all face challenges, difficulties, unmet expectations, and even hurt and trauma because of other's actions. Sometimes the pain is agonizing and we wonder why it has to be so hard and hurt so much.

I look at the things others face and often wonder how they make it through. Or sometimes I see other people that never seem to face any challenges - but regardless of what I see I know everyone faces challenges - challenges that drive them to their knees, that wrench their heartstrings, and often cause them to feel as if they will break.

I've felt that before - my own unique challenges lately have made me want to just give up when it seemed even my strengths were working against me and causing me heartache and difficulty. I was feeling discouraged....disheartened....weary

It is amazing though what something inspiring can do. I listened to this talk - Christmas and Christ's Invitation to Become as a Little Child and it was as if the weight was lifted and my mind started churning how I would refuse to be beat.

Here are some keys my mind expanded on -

#1 - Become as a little child. Every other aspect I thought of tied to this and how being childlike would help me feel encouraged and strengthened...invincible almost

#2 - Childlike enthusiasm - be enthusiastic. Don't be afraid to be/get really excited. Too often it seems we learn to become afraid of being TOO excited because when we are excited and then things don't work out or we are disappointed - it often feels like a punch in the stomach. And we feel discouraged. But think of the joy - if it has been awhile - remember how being excited made you feel. Everything seemed brighter...expanded...beautiful. It makes me smile just thinking about how excited a child can get and how they just let that enthusiasm flow - it is a spectacular picture.

#3 - Childlike acceptance - enthusiasm comes easier for me but not acceptance and moving on from disappointment. I think of children like ducks - disappointment, embarrassment, insecurity just seem to roll off them like water off a ducks back. When they are disappointed because of something their were wholeheartedly enthusiastic about, they may pause for a moment - you may see a frown or a maybe a little tantrum even. But 5 minutes later they've moved on - on to the next possibility or something else they are enthusiastic about.

I think that I often experience that disappointment, embarrassment, heartache and then decide the only thing to do is plop down, frown, fold my arms, and say I guess I have to stay here. It is as if when those things happen I make and then accept that they are the most important emotions and should overshadow everything else....we get mired in the negative emotion - kind of depressing, right?

So let it just roll off you instead of rolling in it.

#4 - Childlike belief - Dare to believe things will work out - somehow - even if it isn't how you hoped. Children are excited about things even if it isn't exactly what they wanted. And they have this devoted belief in life and in people, which means they are disappointment but it doesn't keep them down. They are plucky and full of strength and courage.
We often let life beat this belief, pluck, strength and courage out of us and the world tells us it is foolish to believe so wholeheartedly because we are bound to be disappointed. So we wrap ourselves up to "protect" ourselves and in the process miss out on so many experiences that uplift, rejuvenate, create joy.
#5 - Childlike determination - I remember as a child wailing that it was "Too hard" but for most things children have this determination that puts adults to shame. They try often when the world would say not to, or that they can't. They try in their own personal way, which is how this innate part of us gets schooled out as society only recognizes certain efforts.
Remember that determination and drive
Remember not having the belief that you couldn't do it
Remember what you accomplished with that determination
#6 - Childlike imagination - Even the sky wasn't a limit as a child - money...time...connections... relationships...none of these things stopped us as children. We dreamed and often dreamed big - there was a whole world out there waiting to be explored and was filled with wonder and delight.
Now I know as an adult we have responsibilities that we don't have as children - but instead of running our responsibilities and given them only the amount of space they need in our lives - we let them take over our lives. 

Children really have a way of focusing on what matters most and so can we - we did it at one point. I love this video and how it shows us how to use that imagination to notice and take those moments that matter most.

I decided I want to try and live with childlike qualities - those qualities that help and allow me to live with joy but also weather the difficulties and disappointments.

I refused to be beat.
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"You Don't Belong Here!" Finding Love and Acceptance

Maybe it is when you walk into a room full of people and you don't know any of them. Awkward...out of place....alone. Or when you are sitting at home by yourself on a Friday or Saturday night and you think, "There is no one I can call. Why doesn't anyone call me?" Alone...sad...fearful. Sometimes the feelings are overwhelming or agonizing.

Most of us feel alone or that we don't belong at different times in our lives. Usually at recurring times, periods, or situations. We want to feel that we belong, that we matter to others, that we are loved for who we are. This is in fact a need - this desire for love and belonging - Psychologist Abraham Maslow stated that human motivation is based on people seeking fulfillment and change through personal growth. In research Maslow created what is called Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. After Physiological and Safety and Security needs we all have Love and Belonging needs.
No wonder we all struggle at times since this is a universal need for all of us. I've spent a lot of time over the past I don't know how many years, thinking about love and belonging. I've had too many days and times where I haven't felt loved or that I belonged and it is hard and a struggle to feel that way. Why can't people just act and treat me so I feel loved and that I belong?!
I've been fooled for quite some time. I studied needs for a long time and carefully examined and worked to understand my own needs - what they are, how to express them, how to ask for what I need, etc. So I've felt volatile when it just hasn't seemed to help me have that need filled.

But the
finally came on.
No one else can cause me to feel that I belong or even that I'm loved if I don't feel that way myself. If I walk into a room and think and really feel it then I feel I belong there. I have something to contribute and offer to this gathering and I have value then regardless of how anyone acts I still feel like I belong.
We cannot look for belonging and love outside ourselves. It is generated from within and then we feel it from without. Because if I don't feel that within, regardless of others actions I can always see or find ways that will "tell" me that I don't belong or why they don't love me.
It is like someone writing a story and we want to be part of the story so we ask them to write us in. But it isn't our story so we will never fully feel that we belong. We wander around feeling vulnerable and constantly want reassurance that they want us in the story but despite what they say we continue to feel foreign. Those aren't my trees, my world, my people - I don't fit here.

But when I tell my story it really is mine.

This weekend I realized the best and loudest voice that makes a difference?


The things I tell myself and the validation I give to myself make a bigger effect and have longer lasting results than anything else someone tells me.  

I was feeling sad about a couple things that happened this past weekend - feeling like I was unimportant and didn't matter, etc, etc. Usually at this point I would start to get down on myself and the voice in my head would start saying not so nice of things to myself. And I would feel worse and worse about the situation. Then I would want someone else to tell me that I mattered, was loved and so forth.

But you know - people aren't just sitting by their phones waiting to be able to validate you :P So it either wouldn't happen or they would say things but it didn't feel like enough because


So this time I did something different (I've been working on what my last blogpost was about - if you missed it here it is I've Been Robbed!! ) when I was started feeling all those emotions and essentially was at that crossroad of heading down the "I don't belong or don't matter road" or experiencing my emotion but feeling validated I chose the latter road.

I took some time to talk to myself. I let myself know it was ok that I was feeling sad - I had a reason to feel sad. Then I gave myself a little internal hug. I could feel myself wanting to feel angry about being sad but I knew that was just a response to protect myself. So I told myself why I mattered to me. That I was important to me - that it would be alright even if it didn't feel alright at the moment. Then each time throughout the day when I would start feeling that same response when I would think of something or something else happened I did the same thing.

This may sound odd but not any odder then when we allow that mean and harsh voice to take over and run roughshod over our feelings and love we have for ourselves.


It made the biggest difference. I was still sad but I wasn't sad about myself. I knew I mattered because I mattered to ME.

Take that time to let yourself know you matter. Let the voice when you are sad or hurt be what you would tell other people if they came to you and were hurting. We would never tell others the things we allow us to tell ourselves. Because YOU belong and matter when YOU tell yourself that you do.
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