Is Being Tough Just a Way of Closing Your Heart?

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I used to think toughness was how much you could endure and how quickly you could harden yourself against the darkness. Years of thinking this way, taking on more limiting beliefs, led me to the darkest place I had ever found myself in.

When we see the world as a cold, cruel place, those thoughts will manifest, no matter how well we treat others. Trial after trial kept appearing in my life and each time I decided to fight tooth and nail by trying to negate the possibility of them happening again. I closed my heart, stayed suspicious and always assumed the worst. Looking back, it was no wonder I endured so much adversity.

I know how unnerving it is when someone tells you to think positively, as if they had suddenly cured you of something plaguing your life for months. Thinking positively is not what I’m saying. Gradually, we have to understand that our thoughts are energy, and this energy plants the seeds for our tomorrows. When we shift our energy, even slightly, we shift our reality.

One night, I dropped to my knees and begged for someone or something to help me because I couldn’t handle the pain anymore. At that moment, my life changed. At that moment, I gave up the struggle and surrendered the fight. I had no more resistance to give, and no more space for the darkness to take up. I had shifted the pain to a force greater than myself.

“Hate is too great a burden to bear,” is the purest truth. Martin Luther King Jr. meant this towards others, but I could not bear the burden of the hatred of myself any longer. I called on the universe to open the doors I could not open for myself.

Rather than fight and struggle as a means to become worthy, all I needed to do was enjoy my life for it to get better than I ever thought possible. I learned how to meditate, observe my thoughts rather than fight them and, most importantly, work through my emotions instead of burying them underneath the guise of “staying tough”.

Now, the hardships I face are fleeting because I understand consciousness and practice gratitude, even when I don’t want to. There are good days and bad days, but I know how to come back to center. If you have ever felt like there was no way out, please remember that you are not your thoughts and your thoughts are often lying to you. The highest truth, the deepest peace and the brightest moments are within us, beneath the chatter.