Bad days are inevitable. If you don’t have bad days, how do you know when your good days are good. I mean, we can’t know what good feels like without having felt bad because they work together, yin and yang. Good does not exist independently from bad. They are so dependent on each other because it is their juxtaposition that makes them exist.
I feel like someone could come at me and say, “Well, how do you define what is good and what is bad, Zoa? These things are all relative. Something bad to one person is good to another.” Well, smartass, that is not the point of today’s message okay, because no matter how philosophically intelligent you sound right now, you know for a fact that you’ve had good days and you’ve had bad ones. So please, let me get to the point.
When you have a bad day, whatever that may mean to you, I want you to remember that you’ve survived 100% of the bad days you’ve faced throughout your life. This may sound cheesy but remembering this when I’m sad really makes me feel better. It gives me the strength to go on. In the same way I’ve survived all the shitty days in my past, I too shall survive this one. The hurt, the pain, the embarrassment, these feelings won’t last forever. You will get through it. It sucks, feeling like shit. It really does. But the greatest thing to remember during this time is that it will not last forever. Period. It’s all temporary. You will survive.
I remember hiking the Fish River Canyon in grade 7 and how difficult that was for me. If you don’t already know, the Fish River Canyon is the largest canyon in Africa. As a 13-year-old unfit pre-teen, spending 5 days in a canyon hiking 20-30km a day, having to bath in the river and pee behind bushes and boulders was the last thing I would have wanted to do. I was afraid and upset at the fact that I was forced to do this because I didn’t know how I would survive. I cried before every prep hike and went through so much emotional distress during the course of those 5 days. My mind would give up before my legs would and my body would give up way before I was allowed to. Yet, at the end of it all, I was so damn proud of myself. I survived. I hiked the largest canyon on the whole damn continent! That is an achievement. Yes, I did not want to do it. Yes, it was, in many ways, absolutely horrible. But I did it. I finished. I survived. It was the most physically and mentally taxing activity I had ever done in my life but every time I feel down I remember surviving that hike. It reminds me of my strength.
It’s been 6 years since the hike and as I look back, I realise that it wasn’t as deep as I once thought and to be honest, I would love to hike the Fish again one day. But knowing how much I had to push myself to get through those 5 days never fails to remind me that I can get through any bad day. I honestly feel like if I could survive that hike, I can survive anything.
When you’re having a bad day, this is what I want you to remember. Even though you may feel horrible right now, in a couple of hours, days, weeks, or years, you probably won’t even remember what it is that hurt you. You’ll look back and smile at the person you once were and you’ll see how far you’ve come, how much you’ve been through, and how much you’ve grown. You will appreciate the bad because it has brought you so much good. It has made you strong.
What do they say about the Lotus? It’s a flower that grows in adversity because the water is really muddy and nasty but it’s amazing because even though its surroundings are bad it’s so pretty and perfect? Something like that… What I’m trying to say is, like the lotus flower, you are a survivor. You grow in the face of adversity and you grow stronger and more beautiful than ever. As you try to live your best life you will come across a couple of speed bumps and some truly terrible days but know that like all the days you’ve survived, you will survive this one. You have a 100% survival rate on the bad days you’ve had. Just let that sink in.
100% survival rate.
You are strong.