It’s raining. The tears are streaming from my glass panes and I cannot see clearly. I knew there was a forecast for difficult conditions, but I wasn’t expecting this downpour.
It’s not the unpredictable that I don’t like. Give me sun, snow, rain or wind, and I can stand tall and adjust my layers accordingly. Any element that surprises me is just another opportunity to show strength, perseverance and flexibility.
But there is no layer that can protect me from this sadness. The shell of my skin and bone shield my broken heart, yet the empty spaces beneath are overflowing, hardly able to hold this flood.
Was it love that brought me to this? Yes. And it’s love that will keep me going. Love for myself and the love others give me.
But how do you push through pain to hope? How do you wake up and start a new day, a new chapter in your life?
Commit to yourself first.
You will never be able to commit to someone else until you give yourself the love you deserve. If you’ve hit a difficult time in your life, try to give yourself extra attention — even more than you think you need. Take more time to engage your physical and emotional body by immersing yourself in the things that make your soul sing.
Aspire to meet goals that focus on you — not work or someone else. How many times can you go to yoga this week? How much longer can you be out on your hike or run? What’s your favorite thing to cook or eat? Your favorite movie that always makes you laugh? Nurture yourself with what life has to offer.
It’s okay to be broken, as long as you allow yourself to heal.
Your strength is defined in your most vulnerable moments. Let yourself cry and let yourself smile. Embrace a friend who makes you do both — helping you laugh as you choke on the tightness in your chest.
Let it go.
Breathe. Through discomfort and fear you will always have your inhale and your exhale. Take it in, let it out — your breath with not leave you, even when it feels like it has been swept away.
Don’t ever be ashamed of your own sadness over loss or your passion for life.
Everything you’re feeling is exactly what you should be feeling. Don’t push it away — accept a difficult situation as something you are working through, rather than fighting it and getting stuck within it.
Have enough compassion for yourself to show yourself the love, understanding and patience you deserve.
We asked experts, authors and readers like you to share their stories of Hope. Every day for the next month, you’ll find new tips for optimism on Gaiam Life, the Stream of Consciousness blog and our social media sites: Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. And don’t miss the GaiamTV.com Hope Film Festival, with FREE films all month long.