The Darkest Hour
Stars can’t shine without darkness!! This blog was inspired by my younger brother after a video he posted on social media platform about dark moments in life. We had a conversation centered around perceptions and how someone’s life of perceived enjoyment and greatness sometimes causes us to compare our seemingly uninspiring lifestyle. Our conversation went on to reveal that “comparison is the thief of joy”. It is so imperative that our mental well-being is not limited by perceptions that we are surrounded by on social media.
In my blog “who you learn from matters” I share about the importance of learning from people who are able to contribute to different aspects of your life. I recognise that in life everybody goes through “the struggle”. But in social media land we only show the fabulous parts of the story.
The breast cancer diagnosis really caused me to think differently about life, and how to navigate in my darkest moments. What I learned is: – What you KNOW will keep you, when what you SEE fails you. The depth of this statement reached to the core of my being and spoke to my spirit. At some point I knew that the telephone calls would cease and the visits slow down, the flowers and cards would eventually slow to a halt, and the telephone messages stop and the scriptures and the songs would stop…WHAT NEXT?!
If I didn’t have enough strength or enough mental willpower and psychological capital the voices of darkness (yes darkness has a voice) would confine me into isolation. Over the last 20 years, I’ve made a conscience effort to develop my ‘psychological capital’. I didn’t realise the transferable nature that these soft skills would have on contributing to my ability to navigate this dark hour. Hope, Efficacy, Resilience and Optimism became intentional component parts in managing the darkest hour.
My ability to recall on the good strength building memories created through the many demonstrations of love by way of gifts, cards and messages – tangible items that you can actually hold builds the muscle of your memory, builds the muscle of your mental strength and builds the muscle of the good times that you should always have in your arsenal of defence. It forms a picture that you can point to in order to maintain balance as well as recognise the darkest hour is just a moment and not an eternity.
I have not posted any pictures of me in recovery, in hospital, with my hair un-done and walking around the house in my pyjamas not able to stand upright because of the pain, tension and swelling in my chest and stomach. The reality of life is we all have dark hours. When the time comes I can look at the best of what I’ve taken from life and use it to impact, grow and develop; I call it intentional living.
It makes sense now. In 2014 my dad was given a terminal diagnosis for pancreatic cancer. From the time he was diagnosed to the time he passed away he would take pictures of those that came to visit him. He created a visitor book and wrote the names of those that came to visit. On occasions I would observe him flicking through the pictures on his phone. I wonder if this is what he meant? How will you choose to navigate your darkness?