I worked hard to build my life into something I loved. Then it fell to pieces. It was bad. It was hard. It still continues. But this is what I've learned:
1. You are enough
Who you are is not what you do. Worth is not dependent on your job, relationship status, waist size, degree or any title or position. Your worth is solely derived from who you are as a human being and who you can become.
If I take away all the accomplishments and hobbies and titles and adventures, I am just me. And that is enough.
Trials enable us to discover who we really are. And that is a discovery that changes everything.
2. Until you learn to receive, you can't fully give
For me, it's much easier to serve than to be served. Asking for help and accepting help is extremely humbling and difficult. But as you learn to receive, you somehow learn to more fully give. Brene Brown, Ph.D., said it best: "Until we can receive with an open heart, we are never really giving with an open heart. When we attach judgement to receiving help, we knowingly or unknowingly attach judgement to giving help."
3. It's okay to feel
Another thing I better understand after my life came crashing down is that it's okay to feel sad. It's okay to feel things. You can't always control your emotions, so it's fine to feel angry and frustrated and upset. Enduring well through trials doesn't mean that you'll always be peachy and happy and cheerful. It means that you'll move forward and have hope despite those feelings. That principle is incredibly comforting and empowering.
4. Pain is part of the game
When you choose to live and love, you choose to open yourself up to the possibility of pain. You run the risk of disappointment and heartbreak and grief. Pain hurts. A lot! But when you lose your tolerance for pain, you also lose your ability to feel joy. Trying to numb the discomfort will also numb the happiness. Pain is just part of the game.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh said, "I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness, and the willingness to remain vulnerable."
We all suffer, but we must respond with a special perspective if we are to learn anything from adversity.
6. You write your story
What narrative have you been telling yourself and others about your life? It matters! How you frame your trials and experiences determines if you emerge as the victim, the survivor, or the hero.
Alyssa graduated with a degree in Middle East Studies & Arabic and continually adds to her list of random life experiences as she faces one adventure after another. With too many hobbies to count she especially loves hip-hop, soccer, and photography.