So what is living your best life anyway? Are our best lives filled with absolutely everything that makes us happy? Are there never any worries? Having all the money you could ever need? Or is it being surrounded by people who love us unconditionally? Living your best life seems to one of latest sayings we use to show others how great our lives are. This got me thinking, what does it take to live your best life? As I sit on my pool deck, watching four of my five children swimming I believe this is a slice of my best life. Add the adorable, but stupid Lab puppy (who some idiot decided to add to our family of seven last year)…I was that idiot by the way. Life is pretty great right now, but that’s not to say it’s easy. Life is full or ups and downs; often more downs than ups. I have come to appreciate that nothing is easy or free for that matter. Living your best life takes some sacrifices, it takes hard work and it take a while a 'lotta' love. I love my life.
As corny and sickening as this sounds this is life I dreamed of. Rewind 10 years and you would find me alone, sad and terrified what the future held for me. I had just graduated from my MSW program and couldn’t find a job. I was hanging on to a toxic, dead end relationship because of my fears that it couldn’t get any better than this. It seemed impossible then that I would ever been living my best life. I stumbled, and even at times fell while making my way to my best life.
It took ten years …TEN years to get here! Those years are filled with tears, doubts, successes, heartbreaks, happiness and sacrifices. Will my best life today last forever, probably not. I will probably stumble again, I may even fall. This time though I know I can and will get back up. I know we will survive this and that we will most likely thrive. Living our best life involves risks and scarifies that mean that sometimes life will be scary, heck it will be terrifying.
These experiences are just as much apart of living my best life. The downs make the ups even sweeter. The times I have struggled, I have cried, I have doubted the future make the life I am living now even greater.. So why do I share this with you? I know some of you out there are struggling. Some of you in crazily similar situations as mine. Some of you many be thinking life isn’t worth living at all, and some of those folks are actively thinking of ways to harm themselves. I share this because I wanted to give all of you out there struggling, the hope that life will and does get better. Life is unpredictable. This is both comforting and terrifying for me. During some of my darkest times I clung to the idea that these experiences would change. That life had some sweetness left to give me…it totally did. I completely understand that life is hard and there are times that we drown in the heaviness of our most troubling experiences. Listen to me now, hang in there because I know your best life is yet to come.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or having thoughts of suicide know there is help available 24/7 at the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. Please call 1 (800) 273-8255