sadness giving up depressionWe all at some point face what feels like an insurmountable challenge. Despite the best of intentions, strongly set goals, or a divinely inspired dream, sometimes life doesn’t deliver what we want. Things come to a screeching halt or fail to show up at all. We find ourselves hitting wall after wall, slogging through the mud, making no headway.

It’s agony.

Even us glass-half-full kind of folks get worn down with time. Our glass, once stable and strong, teeters on the edge of breaking into a billion pieces that can’t be repaired. Our faith wanes, our strength weakens, our belief that something good is coming begins to wither.

We feel like giving up.

I’ve been in this place several times. I know how painful it is. I’m still navigating through it at times as I deal with infertility. Five years of trying to conceive and three miscarriages later, it would be so easy to throw in the towel and simply say I’m done trying. I give up.

But I can’t. I won’t.

Instead, I do my best to lift myself out of this impulse to give up. What helps me the most are the following three simple actions. I’ve turned them into practices that I rely on in times of need. They create a sacred space of sorts to wade through all of the inner turmoil that drains my peace.

pain sadness giving up depression worn downWhen you feel like giving up:

Feel what you feel.

And feel it fully, 100%. Emotions are simply energy in motion. You can’t control them, but you can choose how to interact with them. You can resist them and become emotionally constipated (which will only prolong and amplify your pain) OR you can embrace how you feel with love and acceptance. So be grumpy. Be pissed off. Be furious. Be in despair. Give your pain a voice and watch how it begins to release.

Remember that pain is inevitable but suffering is not.

Eventually, pain passes, if you allow it to. Suffering creeps in when you keep yourself stuck in a story about why things are happening or why you feel the way you do. Pay attention to the thoughts running through your mind. Are you placing blame? Are you judging yourself or others? Each thought either adds to your emotional chaos or alleviates it. Choose to drop the drama. Let the story fall away. Simply focus on trying to feel better in this moment.

love sadness giving up depressionAsk yourself, “What does love say? What would love do?”

These questions interrupt the cycle of fear that most of us default to in times of stress or heartbreak. Fear will bombard you with all sorts of thoughts and judgments: you don’t deserve what you want, you’re a victim, you’ll never achieve your dream, you’re being treated unfairly. But is all of that actually true? Turn inward and ask yourself what love says about your situation. What would love have you do as a next step to move forward? When you get quiet and really listen, you’ll receive simple yet profound answers that will ease your burden, lift your spirit, and give you peace. There is great power in these quiet whispers from your higher self. Tune in. Listen. And see where you are led.

You are more resilient than you may think. You’ve faced hard times before, and you know what? You’re still here. You got through them. And you’ll get through this, too.

Whatever it is that you’re facing, it has a purpose. Maybe it’s to make you stronger. To teach you patience. To build your trust muscles. To have you surrender and find peace amidst chaos.

When you embrace this idea, and practice the 3 actions above, that mountain you’re climbing doesn’t seem so insurmountable. Don’t give up. Give in to the adventure. See where it takes you.