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If You’re Handed it, You Can Handle it
A lifetime ago, I created my first blog. As the inconsistent human being I am, it fell to the wayside—I wrote all of four (!!!) posts before it was left adrift to forever roam an internet wasteland. BUT, my computer archives have deep pockets of hidden gems, and lo and behold, I found some writing.
And so, I offer you the following writing birthed back in ye olden days—2019. I offer a little back story to the life I was experiencing while writing this: the worst relationship of my life, which luckily turned into a catalyst for growth and fervently seeking the spiritual path. Yay pain and heartache.
For sentimental sake, I’ve kept the original content exactly as is and have provided further reflections at the end. I know this doesn’t matter to you, reader, but for me it feels important to differentiate in order to validate the original context of this writing.
Everyone faces struggles. That’s part of being human, abet, being alive.
In my family home, there’s a sign my mom hung up in the bathroom. I looked at this sign every single day for eight years. It said, “If you’re handed it, you can handle it.” Maybe you see that as harsh. A lot of people are handed or born into situations that have been generation-long struggles—they do not deserve that handicap. But that’s life. It isn’t fair.
We have the power to change the future for ourselves, and more over, for future generations. But in order for that to happen, we have to start with our mindset. Everyone faces struggles—small or large, everyone has that experience. It’s how we react to that experience, the struggle, is how we start to change.
When you’re faced with a struggle and it seems so insurmountable, you maybe want to cry, or scream, or get mad and give up. But remember, if you’re handed it, you can handle it. I’m not saying that it’s fair you’re facing this struggle, or even that you’re “meant” to face it. I’m saying, adjust your mindset in the face of setbacks. Tell yourself if I’m handed it, I can handle it and then make a plan to overcome your struggle.
Step 1: If I’m handled it, I can handle it.
I accept that this is a struggle that I have to face. Wishing that I was in a different situation is not going to change the situation I’m in.
Let’s say I hate the apartment I’m living in because my upstairs neighbors are noisy and like to play fetch with their dog inside the apartment. I have two options: I can either move out or I have to live with it. I can’t move out because I’m under contract with the apartment and breaking that will have greater effects than I want to deal with, so, I have to live with it. How I react is key. I can let myself be annoyed and angry all the time because my neighbors are noisy or I can accept that their noise is out of my control. While they are annoying, their noise does not have the power over my attitude and mood—I do. I have the power to control how I feel and I choose to not let their noise ruin my time at home.
Step 2: Come up with a plan.
What can I do to overcome this struggle? Looking at the big picture may make the struggle seem too big to overcome. Look to the small steps that are easy to accomplish on a day-to-day basis. That will create a ripple effect.
For example you live paycheck to paycheck due to money management (not getting into systemic pay issues here today, readers). Check in with your daily habits that may be costing you more than you realize. Maybe you’re not a home chef and find yourself reaching for the Postmates app every couple of days. That habit is costing you so much, but you don’t realize it unless you look at the balance as a whole chunk coming out of your paycheck. Make a plan. You don’t have to cut yourself off cold turkey, just make a deal that ordering in is for weekends only. Decide on a day that you’ll go grocery shopping every or every other week and keep yourself accountable. You don’t have to make it hard. Rely on some pre-made items from the store—give yourself time to get into the groove of consistently cooking for yourself. Not everyone that cooks at home has to be a Martha Stewart.
Step 3: Get to work.
Start changing and adapting your habits to overcome the struggle. Hold yourself accountable and do a daily check in with yourself.
Let’s say you really want better skin. Start implementing better self care steps into your skin care routine. See a dermatologist, understand your skin type, and do research on the types of products that are best for your skin. Don’t make this harder than it needs to be. Stick to a two or three step morning and night routine that includes washing your face and using moisturizer according to what your skin needs. Hold yourself accountable by still washing your face at night, even when you’re extra tired or want to skip. The consistency will make the overall difference. Getting yourself in the habit of doing the small change daily will create the results you want.
Step 4: Don’t give up.
Day to day, some things may seem impossible. Just focus in on making every day better for yourself than the last. Choose to put a little more effort into the healthy habits you’re trying to cultivate. While you may not be able to see the change in a day or a week, when you keep it up, months will go by until and you will see change and improvement.
So readers, if you’re handed it, you can handle it. It all depends on your mindset. Changing your mindset is not an easy thing to do, but when you work at it daily, you’ll be amazed at the things you’re able to accomplish.
NGL, this advice slaps and brought me back to life. Like, young Madi was really going through it, but she could see a light—no matter how dim—beckoning her to change. Upon reflection, the examples I offered are shallow, but very applicable to life; I had instances of experiencing all these things.
I realized that it was completely up to me to change my life. I took full responsibility, I took this to heart, I changed everything—specifically my perspective on life and how I view hardship.
At one point, I was deeply experiencing the victim mentality—the woes of why me, getting mad and dejected any time something didn’t work out as it should. No one likes me. The world hates me. I’ll never be able to accomplish what is asked. I was operating from deeply self limiting beliefs that were reinforced by the people around me. I had a program running that life wasn’t fun, everything made me anxious, and I constantly needed a break from everything life was throwing at me.
I was just at my breaking point when I wrote this, trying to hype myself through it all. And now that I’m on the other side, I can confidently say that the decision to change my mentality from life happens to me (disempowered victim where nothing is in my control) to life happens for me (empowered being who has the opportunity to choose the path I walk) changed everything. By changing my perspective, I was able to let go of what wasn’t serving me. I took the power back and chose to steer the ship of my life. I implemented healthier habits and boundaries that were in support to my growth. This changed the trajectory of my life.
I wouldn’t be where I am today without the resilience of who I was. She had dug herself into such a deep hole, then had the audacity to say fuck this, I don’t want to hate my life, I’m going to change. She is a part of my story—a girl lost in the shadow, not knowing what she deserved or how to be treated. Begging for love and a path out of misery.
Now, I find moments of gratitude when I’m faced with the contrast of experience. Like a pendulum, life is in constant swing. Balance is simply experiencing the spectrum of motion from one end to the other. You are only able to soar as high as the depths to which you meet experience.
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