Sometimes when we move from one phase of life to another, it can feel like we've lost a bit of our identity.
We get a new job, enter a new relationship, or move to a new city, and suddenly we feel like a part of us that was once alive and kicking, has now disappeared into the depths of despair.
This has happened to me fairly often, and it happens to people near and dear to my heart.
For me, and those people, I offer this one perspective:
Even if you feel stuck, uncertain, or hopeless, there is meaning to your current situation.
Imagine you're in a forest called life, and you only see what's around you - the trees, the bushes, the insects - all the things that make up your current life conditions.
When you step out of the forest and rise above the trees to see what's ahead, you suddenly see a vast landscape ripe with opportunity, new experiences, and ultimately, a happier version of yourself.
When I rise above my forest, I see more than I can take in. Like a horizon - there's so much out there that my eyes can't even see it all - but I know it's there.
Though it's hard and feels unnatural, when we deploy perspective to our current situation, it takes away some of the deep pain we're experiencing.
When you feel depressed, overwhelmed, stuck, or unsure of what the future holds, just ask yourself one thing: "Do I have enough faith in myself to improve my life's conditions in the future?"
Chances are, you said yes.
Even if we have doubts or fears about our current lives or things we hope to accomplish in the near future, I'll bet that deep down, you have this unwavering certainty that you'll end up just fine, that you'll be okay no matter what.
You believe it because it's true. I know it. You know it.
But why does it feel so soul-crushing when we feel like we're not where we're supposed to be?
It hurts so deep down because the strongest force in our personality is the desire to remain consistent with our identities. When we're not acting according to who we know we are, we feel off.
"Feeling off," however, is a good thing. Like a wound sending signals of pain to the brain, it's our spirit telling us that we're not quite where we could be.
It means you care deeply about shaping your life into a masterpiece. With that spiritual conviction, you're sure to go places you've never even imagined.
You see, we don't have to get stuck in the ruts of life.
Let us see the ruts for what they are - temporary situations, springboards, launching pads - into newer, more exciting journeys that lie ahead.
While you're in a rut, know that a rut can only exist with solid ground around it.
So take with you what you can from your current situation, and launch into the next opportunity with full vigor. If that doesn't play out, launch to the next.
Without you even knowing it, you're acquiring nuggets of wisdom along the way, filling the bag of substance over and over, until you find yourself one day in utter bliss, because you followed your heart, learned from your mistakes, and impacted the lives of others along the way.
You will inevitably look back one day and say, "you know what, I might've been miserable those days, months, or years, but hell, if I had to do it again I would because of where it led me today."
I invite you to step out of the forest and imagine the unimaginable.
Live with substance!