3 Things to Remember When You're in the Trenches of Life
I’ve always had a bent towards optimism. I’m an encourager, a brightside-seer, and I want to see the good in our everyday dirt. That’s a good thing; it’s a gift. But it means that sometimes I water down my feelings. I take my realism with an extra pump of vanilla syrup, because sometimes reality doesn’t appear to be all that positive. A lot of times, life’s not terrible, but it isn’t great either. And I don’t know what to do with that.
Whole seasons of my life, important lessons I’ve learned, have taken years to sink in because I was so busy tidying them up. I had no respect for my own process, no acknowledgement of the journey I was on. This denial wasn’t intentional, but it became instinctual. I’m still learning how to sit in the unrest that life often brings. If you, too, have a hard time settling into the trenches and naming the shifty, uncertain feelings you’re experiencing, some of these thoughts might help.
1. Reflect on lessons you’ve already learned.
When I feel myself buckling under the weight of a new season, the most encouraging thing I can do is look back and see the good that comes from seasons like this. Life is cyclical, which means we are constantly moving through seasons of growth and change. Seeing how the cycle has played out in the past gives the present clarity and value.
2. Be honest.
Tell the truth to yourself and people around you. Name the fact that you are in process and feeling uncertain. For me, this is important because it means the process is something I can share. Even when there aren’t a lot of words to describe the place you’re in, try. Start by writing it down or speaking it to yourself in the mirror. Tell just one person that you’re not as sure as you seem. There’s freedom in honesty.
3. Stick it out.
A lot of times lately I’ve wondered if there was a drop date for life lessons. It’s been a year of New and Beautiful, but also Difficult and Exhausting. And even though I’ve wanted to surrender all my self-awareness for blissful ignorance, I’m glad I’ve made it this far. Naming these trenches and owning this season of process has changed me for the better. My future self is already thankful for my willingness to be present in this season of growth.
We’re all in process, but some of us just haven’t realized it yet. I hope today you realize the gifts that can be found in your trenches. Stay with it, friend.
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