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Going Back to a Hard Place

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Imagine revisiting a place you’d been long ago during a hard time in your life. Maybe that time was long, long ago, and the place far, far away. Or maybe it was last week, and the place is the coffee shop down the street.

Whatever the story, you experience an unpleasant flashback as soon as you arrive or walk into this place. You remember what happened when you received terrible news, or you relive that thing that someone said to hurt you. Maybe your time in this hard place was even traumatic, and you can’t help but by reminded of it.

And it’s not just about the memories. You can feel it. The anxiety tightens, and maybe you’re short of breath. Perhaps this was a good place for other people, but for you, it sucked.

There’s no doubt about it: that thing was hard! Not just a little hard, but hard in a life-changing way. Back then, during the time of the hard thing, you had no idea how you’d recover. You couldn’t fathom ever being “okay” or normal again.

But maybe there’s also something good about this experience, the one that feels so unpleasant at first.

That hard time is in the past—maybe not entirely, but a big part of it is. Some of it has made you better, wiser, stronger. You made it through, even though you didn’t feel like you ever would. (It’s okay if you’re still making it through. It’s a process.)

And now when you revisit the place of the hard thing, it has less control over you. Now you can see it through a different perspective. Here’s the BEFORE, where you were last time. Look at how weak you were; feel compassion for the self you were then. But look, as well, at the self you are now. This is the AFTER. See how so much is different?

How does it feel to wake up at 3am and not be terrified? Sure, you wish you could sleep, but insomnia without anxiety is just jet lag. You stay awake for a while. You eventually fall asleep. It’s life.

This place can not control you. That person can not hurt you anymore, unless you let them in or are unable to let them go. Now is the time of feeling proud. Now is the season of the new you.

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Image: Grace

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About Darren Webb

Hello & Welcome to my blog. My name is Darren Webb and i'm on a magical successful journey and also helping others have a more stress free relaxed life. I truly hope that you find a lot of useful information on my blog and that it helps you through your life. Please feel free to contact me at any time.

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Backpacking and traveling are predominantly arduous, uncomfortable, and anxiety-inducing. When we see those picture perfect Instagram posts of people traveling the world they represent 1% of the story, willfully glossing over the other 99% (such as the fact that blood, sweat and tears were shed to get to the top of that mountain summit – all in the pursuit of a dopamine hit from the proceeding Instagram likes). The chaos of finding yourself in an alien culture, where you’ve been stripped of all familiarity, is at the time nothing other than a test of survival.

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What should you take from this post?

Embrace life’s difficulties. Don’t feel bad for not feeling happy all the time. Reframe your attitude to all those annoying micro tasks that need to be done on a daily basis because they are ultimately contributing to your desired end goals. Your sense of fulfillment and happiness should be viewed from an overview perspective rather than a fleeting snapshot in the here and now. Nobody wants to go to the bank to fill out endless admin forms, but perhaps that act is bringing you 0.001% closer to the person who are aiming to become.

Every single person on this planet is battling inner demons, in one form or another. Empathy and compassion of this fact will go a long way to contributing to your success and well-being. The next time you see that "i have my life together" post on Instagram, take heart from the reality that what you are seeing is a surface reflection of the proverbial iceberg.

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Brian Cronin is the writer behind The Ithaca Diaries – a personal development blog documenting one man’s search for meaning, answers, and a pursuit of the good life. https://www.facebook.com/theithacadiaries/

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