This is the greatest advice I was ever given. It truly shaped me and prepared me for life. It gave me a deeper understanding at a young. It gave me a sense of awareness that would ward off disappointment when times got tough.
It gave me confidence and resilience to know this was the nature of things. And that’s just the way it was. I felt grounded in this knowing.
So the greatest advice I was ever given was not a sweet sentence meant to ease life. The greatest advice I was ever given were not soft spoken words that were easy to digest.
The greatest and best advice I was given that has served me and allowed me to cope with life, all of the ups and especially the downs was – “Life is tough. You have to be strong.”
It was that. Literally these eight big little words were instilled in me from the time I was a child. My mom was a strong woman who had overcome massive pain. She lost her mother at a very young age among other hardships.
It was the pain of losing her mother that forced her own resilience to forge ahead and keep going. Eventually she stopped looking out the window and waiting for her mother to come home.
Eventually she knew she’d had to try away the tears and move on with her life. And this she discovered at young age. This tragedy made her tough as nails early on.
And I had the good fortune of having a tough mother who made me tough.
And I can tell you life has required a great deal of toughness out of me. Trauma after trauma hardened me and toughened me in a way that allowed me to keep going.
Our options are few. Keep going or not. There’s really no other way.
And the beauty of my upbringing is I was taught to be strong by a very strong woman with a very tender heart. So tough didn’t mean close your heart off. It meant feel the feels and get over it, but never close yourself off to life because of the hardships.
Don’t allow the tough stuff to make you bitter. Let it make you stronger and wiser, but keep your heart soft and tender because life is precious and loving just as much as it is hard and requires grit.
When we’re down and out we usually want to hear an “oh I’m sorry. I hope it gets better and that’s awful. I wish I could make it easier. You poor thing.” And as much we want to hear this and stay in some state of victimhood it’s not what we need to hear. It does not serve us.
People feeling sorry for me maybe in the moment is what I’ve wanted and we’ve all wanted, but it never really makes us feel better. It just perpetuates the pain and keeps us in a state of sorrow and victimhood.
And while I’m not here to detract from pain and grief which I think is very necessary to truly build resolve we really need someone to say well that sucks, but that’s life and get over it to some extent.
“Life is tough. You have to be strong.”
This is what I needed to hear. This is what as a young person gave me deeper insight into life. So when hard things happen I wasn’t stumped. I might’ve been traumatized and reeling with grief and despair. Yes. That is human nature, but I was given the heads up that life was tough.
So I didn’t ponder that part of it. This knowing allowed me with all of my trauma to want to look deeper. I knew that this was the nature of life. It was tough. So I went deeper with the tough. I wanted to know why these traumatic things happen to me. I wanted to know what the lesson was in each and every trauma.
“Life is tough. You have to be strong.”
There’s something profound that happens to you in life when this is instilled in you by your mother. I truly believe I got through all of the traumatic things I’ve been through with some level of understanding and grace because I was given this life teaching early on as a child.
This has been the greatest advice ever because it taught me a great lesson. It taught me that yes life really is tough and can really truly suck a lot of the times, but that’s life.
I feel so lucky to have been given this early in life. It toughened me up for things I couldn’t have imagined I could’ve ever survived.
Trauma so horrid it’s hard to imagine. Trauma containing unnatural death, psychical assault, a physical ailment, betrayals and more.
That’s life. It’s full of ups and downs.
And I think it’s really truly getting this in some wholehearted way that you are able to find some sense of peace. Life is not all peachy keen happy go lucky fluff.
It’s the school of hard knocks. We are here to learn and evolve. And while life can be really awesome and we can have many highs in life and we will also always have many lows. We will have our own set of challenges and struggles.
In my understanding of life and my belief this is our karma. These are our lessons. This is why I do not believe in one life and believe in reincarnation.
We don’t all have the same experiences and same lessons because we are all working out our different karma and soul evolution at different stages.
So knowing early on it’ll be hard helped immensely. And I think even if it’s later in life that we come to this realization it softens the blows in some deeper prolific way.