When our worlds feel upside down—whether due to isolated personal circumstances or societal challenges, it can be difficult to keep our heads up. This is of course compounded when added pressures, such as financial strain, are added to the mix.
During these times, how encouraging it is to remember that history is full of women who walked through situations that also felt hopeless. But it was the walking through that left them with greater strength and the ability to encourage others. The same will be true for you.
As I prepared to write this piece, I sought out several ladies who have exhibited abundant strength and grace through difficult times. They shared a few tidbits that I hope will encourage you. Some are related to money, most are not. But they’re all good for the soul.
“Be curious, be kind and give yourself permission to change your mind.” Sometimes moments of upheaval give us the nudge we need to make a change. Give yourself permission to consider what changes may be best for yourself, your wallet or your future.
“Beauty comes from the inside.” A friend shared that her grandmother and mother always told her it was most important to be beautiful on the inside because your heart would show its beauty on the outside. The difficult times may scar our bodies or our bank accounts, but they beautify our hearts.
The Psalmist says “ye though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.” It’s a valley, not a pit. And you will walk through it. There is a light of hope on the other side—so keep walking forward, even if one step is all you can muster today.
“Don’t look back—you’re not going that way.” We can so easily get ourselves caught in the what-ifs, especially relating to our finances. And while there is value in learning from our mistakes and sharing with others the lessons learned, it can be easy to get caught on a hamster wheel of the past. A wise woman once said to me, “you are not a rodent. Get off the wheel.” It stopped me in my tracks, but she was right! Remind yourself what you’ve learned, then mentally put it down and take a step forward toward a new goal.
“Feelings are facts. Give yourself an allotted amount of time to feel sorry for yourself. Then pick yourself up and move forward.” This one is from my Mom. She has never told me the way I’m feeling is wrong. But she always challenges me to feel it, then move forward. Sitting still can be restful but it can also become detrimental. Feel what you’re feeling, then identify a next step and take it.
When tomorrow feels daunting and yesterday weighs us down, let’s reflect on the collective wisdom of those who’ve gone before us. And let us not forget that these experiences will strengthen us and will allow us to encourage those who come behind us.
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