Sometimes in the deepest, darkness places, where lurk the demons Confusion, Doubt, Depression and Despair; you may find at that single moment when you feel resigned to give in, give out and give up; a hand reaching out and offering a way out – if you’ll only reach back and grab it.
Don’t you sometimes feel that although you know not everyone has it easy in this world, you really do believe that no one knows the depths to which you’ve personally sunk? Don’t you feel (if you haven’t succumbed to the numbness that your own decline has brought) that no one really gets you and therefore no one can really help you out of the pit you’re in? It can be like that. If you feel that way right now take heart if for no other reason than you haven’t lost your ability to feel; even if what you feel is an encroaching pallor of blackness.
When it comes to being trapped in a dead-end job, I bet I can take an educated guess at some of what you’ve experienced or are experiencing. If you loathe your job, I’m guessing you’ve thought, “Is this it? It’s a pretty sorry existence when I was brought into this world, told I could be anything I put my mind to and I’m stuck here doing this! Is this it for the rest of my working life? This is how I’ll leave my mark on the world? What a joke!”
Or if you haven’t got a job; are fraught with indecisiveness, feel like you’ve got so much to give but nobody cares to give you a break, you’re left feeling hopelessness and isolation. All the rejection from employers is like dead air on the other end of a phone call when you’ve used your last change and you know if you hang up no refund is coming so you’re hanging on with less than a slim hope that Life will give you a chance. If you had any energy left your last words would be, “All I asked for was a chance…”
Take heart. When you’ve got no sound reason left to believe in Hope; when all the logic in the world suggests you haven’t got a prayer and you hear Despair whispering in your ear that quitting would be so much easier and that yes the world is such a cruel place for someone like you…breathe…and have Faith.
That hand that’s reaching out in the darkness in your direction offering you a way out of the enveloping darkness has always been there and will continue to be there for you – always. All you have to do is put yourself in a place where you can see it, recognize it for what it is, and then have the wisdom to reach back out to it and hold on for all you’ve got until you’re able to stand on your own and move forward with confidence.
I’ve been struck silent 6 times this week if you can believe it by 6 different people who shared their stories with me. Each conversation had the same theme; the person was in a very private dark period in their life, and the darkness was all around them day after day and appeared to have no end. What each of them held onto was exactly the same thing however; I had believed in them and saw something of value in them when they couldn’t see it for themselves. That was all it took to sustain them until they began to believe in themselves. I’m sharing this with you not because I value self-praise, but because in sharing their experiences perhaps you might give the hands reaching out to you the opportunity to help with your own burdens. Perhaps there is a way out of your own dark places.
I don’t know why 6 people over the course of 2 days felt now was the time to express their thanks for seeing something in them in those dark days. I’m grateful, humbled and to be honest feel exhilarated to know that I played a big part – without knowing it at the time – in helping them become the people they are. In all 6 instances, they have made positive changes and feel greater self-esteem, confidence and inclusiveness when it comes to the people around them. Those same 6 I can say with absolute certainty will pay it forward, and without intending to do so, be the hand that reaches out to help someone else.
If you work in Social Services you understand my message. You’ve been the hand in the darkness yourself, looked and found redeeming qualities in those you come into contact with. These were my 6 and I might go for long stretches before the next person thanks me for believing in them. But you; you’ve had the same impact on people in your circle.
If you’re struggling; really teetering on packing it in and just surrendering to the void, look at least a few more times in your bleakness and grasp the hands of Help and Hope that surround you. You must help yourself by making yourself visible and ask for help. YOU are far too valuable, significant and important to give in to Confusion, Doubt, Depression and Despair. If you can’t at the present believe in yourself, believe in those who believe in you. For now, hang on to that.