Pit of Despair – PART 1
Hello, my name is Cindy and I’ll be your guide as we begin our climb up and out of the Pit of Despair! I know you’ve probably gotten used to life in ‘the pit’, but I promise you that you were not meant to stay there. You were meant for greatness! I realize that right now it’s probably almost impossible to imagine the kind of life where the sun shines almost every day, however, imagination is actually where the journey up and out begins.
So often we sit in our Pit of Despair (PoD) each and every day and think about how hard life is right at this very moment. We might think about how nothing we’ve done has made a real difference. We base our future happiness on our current situation. Since our current situation is pretty dismal, we automatically think we are stuck in this dark place forever. But that’s a big, fat lie!
I’ve visited the PoD more often than I’d like to admit. I have a ‘frequent visitor’ card. That’s OK though. As long as each visit is shorter than the last then progress is being made. If you’re like me, then you know you have your reasons to be down there. Can it be worse? Ugh! Always!! However, hard is hard, and stress levels are all relative (but that’s a blog for another day).
Life can be a struggle on a good day. However, those difficult days can turn into months and those months into years. It’s exhausting! When you are this tired, how do you come upon the energy to imagine that escape is even possible? One thing to keep in mind is that we expend energy thinking. It happens whether our thoughts are positive or negative. So, with a little imagination, we have a choice: We can expend energy thinking about how horrible things are right now and nothing will change; or we can direct our energy to upward movement and positive thoughts so we can take control and change our future.
When we allow ourselves to focus on the problems and not the solutions, we are doing ourselves a huge disservice. We are dooming ourselves to setting up permanent residence in the pit. Here’s my tip: When sitting in the ‘Pit of Despair’, make the choice to climb out every time. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME!! It will be worth it. Remember, you can better control where you end up when you use your energy to climb. When you choose to use your energy to plummet back into the pit, who knows where you’ll end up. Control your actions and thoughts!
Pit of Despair - PART 2 Follow Me Out ~ I’ll Be Your Guide
A friend asked me if I just wake up thinking these thoughts. Honestly, these thoughts usually reveal themselves over a period of time. Sometimes they are years in the making because some pits are deeper than others. Sometimes, darn it, I’ve almost been ready to climb out when back down I fell for one reason or another. I usually fight a good fight and I never ever give up. However, even when you win most battles, it doesn’t mean that it hasn’t exhausted you. So, here I was again, falling to the bottom of the pit. My view of the sun was slowly being blocked by the craggy, gray walls and I was feeling hopeless. It was past the time for me to make a move! But I didn’t know it yet. Everything was dark so there was no contrast to catch my eye.
So, what changed? What prompted me start the climb once again? Someone shone a flashlight down into the pit. It made me realize just how dark it was there. The contrast of light and dark that I needed came from my family at our Fourth of July picnic. Everyone was enjoying themselves taking turns in the kayaks. They wondered why I wasn’t interested. I explained that I wasn’t sure. It didn’t even seem like an option. I decided to shake myself out of my hopeless mood and I chose to get up and enjoy myself.
So, I climbed into the kayak and used the oars to push off shore. Before I knew it I was gliding through the water in the middle of the lake. It was peaceful and it calmed my mind. It allowed me the clarity to dream for a moment. Suddenly, this amazing idea snuck its way into my thoughts: What would it be like if I could kayak at least once a week? What if I could share this amazing adventure with my kids as well! I let my hope rise to the surface. Ten minutes on the lake and I had already used my imagination to build on a dream. Once I had a happy focus, I was able to begin my climb out of the pit. It was amazing how easy it was once I took action.
Well, don’t you know… the doubts set in: How will I ever be able to kayak once a week? It’s ridiculous! I don’t have the money or the time for this type of activity. I felt myself stumble and my climb was halted. My negative thoughts were pulling me right back down while I was in the middle of that beautiful lake. The rays of light were gone! How dare they steal my light! I would not consent to their bold request that I willingly journey back to the bottom of the pit.
I allowed them to make me focus on what I didn’t have instead of what I could have. So, I had to delete those thoughts instantly the way I delete those pop up ads that sneak past my pop-up-ad-blocker. When I went back to the positive thoughts, I felt my soul smile again! Suddenly, I saw a sliver of light come back into my line of vision. I was back on the lake imagining ways that I could make this dream a reality. Now that I knew the way, I could help others avoid any pitfalls (no pun intended… OK, maybe a little bit intended) along their journey.
So, follow me if you will. I’ll be your guide out of the Pit of Despair. I can only offer suggestions that worked for me. Some are so small that you won’t even think that they’ll make a difference, but they do. Trust me, I’ve had lots of practice climbing, slipping and beginning the climb all over again during my life. I don’t pretend to be an expert, just a skilled climber.
Here are a few tips:
Cindy Gagne Teixeira
Just like you, I wear many hats. I'm a mom, a teacher, a friend, a daughter, a sister, and a writer. I choose to laugh (and talk... and write) about my problems because crying takes too much time.