Written by guest author Aronica Cole, The Crunchy Mama
If you’ve gone through life without once feeling like you’ve hit rock bottom, this is not for you. This is for the people that have had dark times that have left them wondering, “Why me?” For some, this may have only happened once or twice in life, and it may often occur for others. Before we get into the inspirational piece, let me share some of the dark times that I’ve had—we’ll start with an experience I had in college.
I wasn’t one of those college students whose parents bought them a car and had the freedoms that went along with it. During the years in between my junior and senior years, I interned for Philip Morris. They gave us a stipend for our living expenses which helped me buy my first car: a 1991 teal Honda Civic SI. It was a stick shift, and the emergency brake didn’t work—no biggie. When my summer internship was over, I drove back to Atlanta from Virginia to my new apartment, about 30-45 minutes from my college campus. It was $300/month for a one-bedroom/1bathroom, and it was perfect.
Well, I was back a week before my emergency-brake-free car rolled down a hill and totaling itself. I was heartbroken and left to walk a mile to the nearest bus station to get to school and then another mile from the train station to campus. This was fine until I sprained my ankle and couldn’t walk. After that, I was mad, sad, and in pain. Unfortunately, I didn’t see then how the experience was affecting my development.
Then, in 2009, I filed for divorce from my ex-husband, got laid off, got pregnant, became homeless, and had to move in with my mom. This was probably my darkest moment because I just had no idea how I would dig myself out of the hole.
But here’s the thing: when we plant seeds, we dig a hole, put the seed in, and then bury it with soil. It’s in the darkness that the seed grows roots and then pushes through to the sunlight, where it has the opportunity to bloom, create fruit and nurture others. However, I’m sure that if seeds could think, when it was dropped into the dirt and then buried, it probably thought things were over - and they weren’t. The darkness is a sign that you’re just beginning again.
But how do you change your viewpoint to see this as an opportunity instead of the end? If you’re anything like me, you have to do A LOT of internal coaching coupled with taking something that can help too—like Anxiety Free. So here are five affirmations that I repeat when I feel like I’m heading to darkness and I don’t want to have a Chicken Little “the sky is falling” moment:
- Every breath is a miracle for me, and I can take more.
- Happiness surrounds me even when I can’t see it.
- I am choosing to feel great amidst the struggle.
- I know this situation is challenging, but I am determined to rise above it.
- I am a strong and capable person.
- *Bonus* I am ready to receive the lessons from this time that will make me a better person.
I’m not going to lie and tell you that this will immediately alleviate all of the anxiety that comes with being planted. Still, I will say that reframing these moments of darkness (that may feel like forever) into seeing myself as being planted versus being buried helps a lot.
Bloom where you’re planted, my friends.