Whatever is going on with you, whether you a struggling with depression, anxiety, a personality disorder, addiction, or other mental or emotional illness, you might feel like you’d like to just start all over again, fresh, with a blank slate, to embrace change, grow, live and love.
You might daydream about starting fresh or you might feel that thinking that way, feeling a flicker of hope, is just too painful–after all, haven’t your hopes been shattered many times before?
It may seem that you’re weighed down by your life situation, your family, your job, your lack of job, your looks, your city or town, your physical or mental health, and that if you even dream about starting over you’ll talk yourself out of it. Or, if you share with others what you’re going through, you’ll be talked out of it by them.
Today I (CR) got an email which made me think a lot about the value of a life. In the email, the writer told me that they had always felt like they had a special life mission which they’d like to discover, except that their therapist told them it was “grandiose” to think this way.
As long as you also believe everyone else has an equally valid, unique life mission, than it is not grandiose at all to believe you do.
It is healthy. Believing that your life and other people’s lives matter, is human. Wise, kind, and true. If you don’t believe that every human life is important, every person has a unique mission, you are denying yourself not only joy but also the chance for spiritual growth.
Sure, proving this with logic or scientific studies isn’t possible, but that’s the point. We are each so unique that only empirical observations or expression can argue the case. There is something higher than human logic. A kind of belief that rests on faith and the feelings of our heart. If the Creator had our level of intellect and logic and power, than there would be no Creation. Fortunately for us, He’s greater than us, and has imbued within each of us a genuinely special yearning to understand–ourselves, each other, and all of Creation. (Whether we can ever do this is not possible, but that doesn’t stop our desire to.)
If we’re here for a reason, if humanity is important, if we believe that each life has value, than our own life has value too. If we believe that each person has something unique and vital to contribute to this story called the Universe, than we must believe that about ourselves, too.
If we believe that, than we just can’t give up. We can have a quiet chat between me and me, telling ourselves that we can start over, hard though that may be. We can stir up hope, and embrace those nascent wisps of possibility without feeling like we’re kidding ourselves.
We can try to find like-minded people and connect with them. It may be difficult, but so what? This kind of difficulty may be a test, and might be in our lives to strengthen us. Often, faith-based friendships are a good source of encouragement (but not always, because no one is perfect.)
Surround yourself with friends, co-workers, colleagues, co-religionists, and if possible, family members, who believe in you and believe that your life is valuable. How to tell? If they believe in general that every human life is valuable, than yours must be included in that everyone! If they treat you kindly and with respect and don’t shoot down your positive beliefs about self.
Make connections with those who see your inherent worthiness, even though it might seem to be outnumbered by your flaws, weaknesses, shortcomings. Give yourself a talking to, too.
If you believe you have a built-in worth, you are more likely to believe you can and even should start over again, taking it slow, step by step. And when you fall, because you will fall, because we all fall, pick yourself up and remember to look for the spark of goodness inside. Once you get in the habit, starting over will not seem impossible. Difficult, yes. But impossible? No way.