clichesYou have to take the bad with the good.

Nothing matters as long as you are doing the best you can.

Everything works out for the best if you don’t give up.

Everything happens for a reason.

We tell ourselves – and our friends, sometimes – a lot of these simple things when times get tough. When we need to be comforted or reassured that things are going to get better soon. When we struggle to see a way out of a difficult situation. When, more than anything, all we want is to not feel like this any more.

We say things that we’ve heard. That someone has told us when we were struggling.

We say things that our parents told us when we were really little. Back then, it worked because we trusted our parents. Because they were the people who knew what was going on. Because they were the ones who gave us food and shelter and warmth and love. Because they were the ones we turned to every time something was hard. So if they said it was going to be okay, that meant it was going to be okay.

Now, we’re used to those sayings cheering us up. We feel, like we did back then, completely reassured.

Even if what we’ve just been told is completely hollow. Even if it’s a meaningless, comforting phrase that doesn’t have any depth.

It’s just nice to hear. It’s something you want to believe – that everything will work out and you’ll be fine. So when you hear someone else promising you it, you fall for it.

But, once upon a time, those sayings meant something. They were important. They were someone’s driving force.

If you hear something too much, you stop listening to it. You nod, smile, agree, and then it goes away. It fades. That feeling of being reassured doesn’t last. After a while, you find yourself asking, how?

How are things going to work out for the best?

How does this have a reason?

And those are the questions you’re supposed to ask yourself.

Don’t just take these words as true, as if they are the laws which govern the world.

Instead, think about what they mean to you. To your situation. To your future.

When you’re told that things are going to work out for the best, what do you picture? What world do you see when you think of ‘the best’ out of this situation?

That’s what they’re for. To remind you that things can be better. But you’ve to got to make the most out of that positivity they inspire. You’ve got to hold onto it and use it to fuel you into that better circumstance.

Taking these sayings as true, no matter how little effort you put in, won’t make things any better. You’ll struggle for longer. You’ll sit back and do nothing while the world throws all kinds of abuse at you.

But reminding yourself that this isn’t all there is – reminding yourself that you deserve better and that you have the power to do better – can be the most important thing you do when you’re stuck. It can be the decision you make that pushes you away from all your problems.

As long as you’re prepared to truly think about what those words mean to you. To apply them to whatever you’re going through. To stand up and carry on to make them come true.

Kirstie Summers,

Daily Zen.

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