Life is Just Damn Hard Sometimes
Rev. Dr. Steven Koski
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If life feels hard and you are struggling today it doesn’t mean you are doing something wrong. It just means life is just damn hard sometimes.
Our culture rewards success, achievement, strength and overcoming obstacles. Parents say they just want their children to be happy. I wonder if a better goal is to teach our children how to be unhappy with resiliency and grace because sometimes life is just damn hard.
We don’t give ourselves room to struggle. We are quick to judge our day and ourselves as good or bad. If we are struggling it means we are failing life.
A friend slogging through the thick and sticky mud of grief said, “I’m failing at grief. I can’t stop crying. One minute I’m fine and ‘wham!’, I fall into a heap and I’m a blubbering mess.”
How can you fail at grief for God’s sake? It is not a test or a race with winners and losers. Grief is the sacred human experience of having had the courage to risk your heart loving.
Another friend shared over coffee, “I am so sorry. I’m not myself today. Life is just so damn hard right now.”
What kind of culture are we living in where we have to apologize for being human? Life is just damn hard sometimes. It just is. Struggling doesn’t require an apology.
Elizabeth Kubler-Ross said many misinterpreted her stages of grief – shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. Many treated these stages as linear where you have to “succeed” at one stage to move to the next. If you don’t succeed it must mean you are failing grief. No. Kubler-Ross said she was naming common experiences of grief. They don’t necessarily happen in a linear fashion. Not everyone’s experience is the same. You can experience all the stages of grief in the same hour.
One of the greatest sources of stress is the picture we have in our heads of the way we think life is supposed to be and the expectation we hold of how we are supposed to be.
If you are struggling and life feels hard today it doesn’t mean you are doing something wrong. It may just mean life is just hard. Try not to judge the day or yourself as good or bad. What is, is. Breathe. Be tender and kind to yourself. Be kind to others because chances are life is damn hard for them too.