When I look back at the 3 or 4 years after my loss, I see a woman completely lost, afraid and confused as to which way to go. Also a woman who just settled a lot.
The really interesting thing is that I don’t remember anyone telling me to stop settling.
I had nobody tell me something like this:
“You have gone through something really tragic and we know you are grieving, but it is important to slowly build a life you want to have for yourself and for your kids.
Don’t settle for a life you just survive every day.
Let’s help you find your way to a place you will be proud of.
Let’s find ways to help you dream again, hope again and believe that a really good life is possible again.
Sure, I would have pushed back on this. Possibly with anger.
But imagine if our community, our professional therapists, social workers and pastors in our churches were able to hold space for us, so we could come back to that when we felt a little better.
So we could find a way to believe that it is possible.
Imagine if they insisted.
Imagine if they believed that we could have this life, this good life after loss.
We would ultimately believe it.
We would trust that they could see something we couldn’t see.
They would hold the vision for us until we could do it ourselves.
So, we never settled for second best, for third best… for a life in the waiting room.
You see the world around us is also responsible for us settling. Why?
Because they make it easy for us to do so.
Nobody is trying to help us thrive after loss.
Everyone is happy just to see us survive our tragedies and that is good enough.
Well not anymore. If you are in someone’s life who is going through something really hard, remind them that life can get better again.
Give them hope that dreams can come true again.
Tell them that second and third chapters can be enjoyable, and sometimes better than first chapters.
If you are someone who is going through a loss right now and you don’t have anyone around you to hold your hopes and dreams for you until you can do it for yourself, please listen to me. You don’t have to settle after loss.
One day in the near future you will find the strength to stand up again.
You will feel hope in your heart and your mind will start to dream new dreams.
You are going to come out the other side stronger and wiser. Yes you will.
And the pain you feel in your heart won’t be so painful for a long time.
How do I know this? This is a fair question.
I know this without knowing you personally.
I know this because I have seen people make it to the other side of loss with pride, new dreams and some great miracles.
I have seen it many times. But I have also seen people settling, millions of them.
There is some danger here and this is why I am writing this letter to you today.
The danger is that you won’t believe that there is a good life ahead and that you will settle. Settle in your job, in your relationships and in your life.
So here is what I am going to ask you to do.
First and foremost believe that you can have a good life again.
You have to believe this.
Without believing this, settling is expected.
If you can’t see… that better people, things and experiences are just around the corner, you will stop looking for them because you don’t believe they are there.
If I just ask you for one thing today this is it:
And if you are about to settle because you are tired of trying, surviving and hurting just give yourself a little bit more time to find what you deserve to have in your life. Just don’t settle today.