The word 'life' is written in cursive letters on a yellow shiny tile in a restroom. Photo by Tomáš Hustoles via Burst.
Health + Wellness

Dealing With Hard Truths About Life

It’s frequently said that nothing is certain in life except death and taxes, but that’s not entirely accurate. There are many events and experiences that seem to be universally encountered; including a number of hard truths that we all need to come to terms with. 

We’re all aware that life comes with ups and downs; it’s probably safe to say that common struggles and unpleasant realities are not something we need reminding of; we live through them and can acknowledge how they connect to our collective human experience. However, even though there’s a familiarity about them; hard truths about life are often overlooked or not faced until we’re in the middle of trying to make sense of their impact.

A graphic link to a post on Transatlantic Notes called, Dealing With Hard Truths About Life

It’s reasonable to relegate thinking about potential discomfort and distress to a far-off corner of our subconscious. We get it; shit happens. Why spend time going over something that reminds us of the difficulties and negativity we’re likely to come up against? But I think we all know that ignoring something doesn’t make it go away. Preparation embraces the possibility of reducing the stress and/or disruption that life’s hard truths lay at our feet. If something can alleviate distress, struggle and pain, it’s worth exploring. Hard truths and the situations they create and/or exist in will not magically disappear when we do the inner work needed to support our mental, emotional and spiritual well-being; but it may strengthen our recovery.

Here’s some hard truths about life and how to deal with them:

Every Now And Then, Life Sucks | That may not sound like the most eloquent way of phrasing it, but it’s inevitable that we’ll periodically experience temporary setbacks, struggles and burdens. Feeling frustrated, dejected or strained during these times is natural; we’ve just got to make sure we don’t stay labouring under the weight of negative emotions. By prioritizing things like regular self-care activities, using mood boosting morning affirmations, seeking out supportive people and/or focusing on what is going well (make a list); we can remain motivated when life becomes a bit lousy.    

Bad Things Are Going To Happen | It doesn’t matter who we are or how much good we put out into the universe; we’re all going to encounter situations, events and/or people that bring trauma and pain into our lives. It’s unavoidable … but it’s also survivable. Self-care is critical at these moments alongside leaning on loved ones for support and seeking out specialised assistance (there are some helplines included at the end of this article). We must also hold on to the fact that many more good times are on the way; things do get better. 

Not Everyone Is Going To Like You | There may be a myriad of reasons as to why this happens; we could be causing the issue; those who dislike us may be the problem, or it could be any number of other explanations. Regardless of what rationale is behind it; it’s okay that we’re not everyone’s favourite person. Making amends might represent appropriate action to initiate, but depending on the person/situation, it’s equally justifiable not to work towards that.

A man sits in the middle of an empty country road. His hand is resting on his chin because he’s in thoughtful contemplation. Photo by Majestic Lukas via Unsplash.
photo via Majestic Lukas/Unsplash

You’re Not Always A Good Person | Most people are kind, considerate, decent and loving individuals; we’re definitely reflected in this truth. But nobody is purely altruistic 100 percent of the time. To accurately see ourselves, we have to acknowledge all of our nuanced traits; both good and bad. Wanting to do better requires us to know better; therefore unravelling what motivates and provides meaning to our lives will encourage recognition of what’s driving our choices and behaviours — particularly towards others.

Spending time identifying our contradictions and hypocrisies will make us aware of when/how/why — and against who — we use our more negative attributes. We can be encouraging yet judgemental, positive yet pessimistic or inclusive yet biased, for example. Don’t be afraid to get uncomfortable; we can’t fix what we can’t see. 

No motive is pure. No one is good or bad — but a hearty mix of both. And sometimes life actually gives to you by taking away. | Carrie Fisher

Intention Does Not Outweigh Impact | We may not mean to cause someone distress or harm; that can typically be understood by most people, but if our words or actions become impactful in a negative way, we cannot isolate intention from consequence. Taking responsibility can involve acknowledging our motivations but we have to focus on how perceptions and outcomes are not experienced in the same way. Defending our intentions doesn’t hold space for growth or healing; it’s on us to listen, learn and do better in the future. 

An Asian woman sits at a table with friends having an honest and open conversation. Photo by Jessica Da Rosa via Unsplash.
photo via Jessica Da Rosa/Unsplash

Life Doesn’t Begin After Achieving Specific Milestones | Working towards successes and meeting goals can represent an essential way to provide our lives with meaning and joy; but being able to experience and create moments of happiness doesn’t depend on reaching certain achievements. We embody value and purpose right now; our existence is happening right now. We shouldn’t put off living or get stuck with a belief that life will only improve or be worth something after we’ve completed x, y, z. An abundant life isn’t something we can wedge between progress and accomplishment; it’s a constant throughout all our experiences — we may as well embrace every part of it.

We’re All Racist | How that manifests and to what degree will be different for everyone; racism isn’t always about raging, torch wielding, hate-filled supremacists. Some of us unwittingly uphold racism’s tropes and prejudices because we’re influenced by subconscious racial stereotypes and implicit bias. Becoming aware of this is a complex undertaking, especially as it requires us to perceive something in ourselves that we don’t like to admit is there. If we’re willing to carry out the work, there are numerous anti-racism books we can read, and many educators and activists we can learn from. If we’re made aware that our assumptions and actions perpetuate racism; this is exactly the time we need to engage in thoughtful, open and honest listening. It’s all too easy to get defensive and attempt to justify/prove our good intentions, but that impedes our ability to engage in critical conversations. It’s okay to get uncomfortable — in fact, it’s a must if we’re determined to tackle racism in society.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of hard truths about life (feel free to add a few more in the comments below); but they are the ones that I frequently come up against myself or see many others grappling with. Instead of being apprehensive about the lessons they teach us; facing uncomfortable realisations is all part of our personal inner work. Accepting hard truths can encourage us to live more authentically and intentionally; we may as well support ourselves as we journey through life.  

What hard truths have you learned in life? What advice would you give about dealing with them?


Further Info:

11 Anti-Racist Accounts That Are Worth Following – Variety

NAMI Helpline – a free, nationwide U.S. resource that offers experienced peer-support guidance and advice

CheckPoint – global (by country) resources for mental health support

38 thoughts on “Dealing With Hard Truths About Life”

  1. This was a good reminder of all the ugly truths we usually more or less choose to ignore and act as if though they don’t stand. As you pointed out just ignoring something does not make it go away. Some bad aspects of our personality it is also ok to take a step back and understand them. Sometimes we tend to fool ourselves. E.g. self confidence is a good thing but when it turns to too much ego and ignoring of other people’s needs and feelings it turns to a flaw.

    Like

    1. I’m glad to be sharing the realities we all need to spend time looking into and dealing with. I agree that we tend to fool ourselves; but that will only work for so long. Eventually we know we have to do the work so we may as well take a look at these hard truths now. Thanks so much for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. There are lots of really interesting points here. I think the hardest one for me is that we’re not always good. I defo can be toxic at times and have to work on recognising that and putting a stop to it!

    Corinne x

    Like

  3. Beautifully said Molly. Life isn’t about hoping nothing bad happens or that things go smoothly all the time, it’s about problem solving and equipping ourselves with the proper tools to handle tough situations. Self-care and affirmations are wonderful ways to remind yourself that you’re loved and you’re doing the best you can. We’re all human and we’re going to make mistakes. I recently pulled an affirmation card that reminds you to put a hand over your heart and say “how human of me” instead of putting yourself down for making mistakes. The wonderful thing about life is that we’re always growing and there’s always room for change. Thank you for this post! 🙂

    Like

  4. A great post! You have outlined some interesting points — I like the point where it’s said that embracing life at the very present moment. We tend to forget this sometimes, we work towards the goals and forget to live the moments in the present.

    Like

    1. I sometimes find I definitely fall into the trap of “I’ll start enjoying life when …” and all it means is I am not living life in a good way. So many people seem to experience the same too; I figured including it may be a good reminder to whoever reads this that all the joys of life are happening right now. Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment!

      Like

  5. Interesting read. I appreciate that you added the last one about us all being racist. I think people make the mistake of assuming racist means hatred which makes it hard for some people to admit to being racist. It’s important to acknowledge the difference. That’s not to say that it’s okay to hold on to stereotypes and racist beliefs; you should still try to be as evenhanded as possible in how you view everyone regardless of background or color, but it’s literally impossible to eliminate some of our biases. It’s when racism is elevated to hatred and purposeful denial of human rights that things, obviously, become an issue.

    Like

    1. 100% — this is why racism is such a hard truth to get to grips with. Once we do though, it’s easier to see how this permeates our own thoughts and behaviours as well as the policies and systems that very quietly uphold racial discrimination, etc. Once we see it, we’re more able to join the fight to dismantle it within our own lives and within society Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this!

      Like

  6. This post is so important. I truly believe that sometimes, we just have to accept things as it is and move on because no matter what happens, life goes on. Thank you for sharing this thoughtful content!

    Like

  7. Wow, awesome post. These are valid points and truths that we have to face. Life is always rainbows and sunshine no matter how much we would like that. No matter how good you are, there are obstacles to overcome. Great points. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

  8. This is such an awesome and relatable post. Bad things are going to happen no matter what and it is important to know how to effectively deal with them when they happen. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Like

  9. It’s certainly true that I’ve not always been a good person, especially with the poor choices I made to cope with my childhood trauma. But I strive to be a good person in everything I do nowadays

    Like

  10. This is such an impactful post. You’ve provided great information and I particularly enjoyed your point about racism (so true!). Thanks for sharing.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s