In hard times, one of my favorite writers, Glennon Doyle, frequently reminds those who follow her that we can do hard things. I love this quote because it has served as a reminder in my own challenging moments that not only are we capable of doing hard things but also that we must. In relationships there are always ups and downs. Frequently we look to others, whether it be people we know or just people whose lives we witness on social media, and wonder why their relationship always looks perfect or easy. The reality is every relationship has its flaws. People get angry, hurt, moody and sad. Life is hard sometimes and we are meant to be affected by it. What matters most is that when those hard moments hit, you allow yourself the space and the courage to work through them.
As a relationship therapist I have to remind myself of this anytime a hard moment comes up for me. I can know all the healthy things to do but it doesn’t make them any easier. Often times it feels easier to just suppress the emotion, or to want to get away from the painful feelings but then I remind myself that doing so leads to one of the hardest things of all – a “fine” relationship on the surface and a disconnected one underneath. I have been in that type of relationship before and the emptiness it brings is far more lonely and painful than tackling the hard stuff in the moment. I think we all need to remind ourselves just how courageous we can be in our moments of pain while also reminding ourselves the reason we need to face it.
So now is a better time than most for you take a look inward and ask yourself what hard conversation you need to have, what feeling you’ve been ignoring or what need you want to express. Honor your voice regardless of how hard its message is and remind yourself that you too can do hard things. In the short term it will feel really hard, in the long term it will be really healing.