#CollectiveBias Valentine's Day Love

It’s The End Of The World: Except, It’s Not.

When our heart is breaking, and our world is falling apart, it’s hard to believe it’s not the end of the world.  I mean, it feels like the end of the world.  It looks like the end of the world.  It even sounds like the end of the world. It must be the end of the world.  Well, it’s not.  There have been moments when that has been hard for me to believe.  A lot of moments.  During my third pregnancy, I had a terrible miscarriage. I had emergency surgery to stop the bleeding and I thought I was going to die.  It was the end of the world.  My dreams for a little girl were dead, and certainly I was going to die.  I even got on the phone while waiting to be rushed off to surgery, calling friends and family, to say goodbye, because I was losing it!   I came out of that, ALIVE.  It was not the end of the world.  The following year was very hard.  There were several major obstacles that occurred in my life.  In my family’s lives.  Nothing came easy.   Everything was hard.  At some point, when again, I thought it was the end of the world, I had an epiphany.  I was ALIVE, which gave me five definitive reasons why it wasn’t the end of the world.

1.  We Are Not Alone

No matter what we are going through, we are not alone.  Even if you are the loneliest person you know, you are NOT alone.  There is always someone traveling (what I like to call) a parallel road.  No.  They are not walking in your shoes on your path, rather a parallel road, coming from the same place, heading in the same direction, on the same journey.  It’s not the end of the world.  We are never alone.

2.  We Can Always Learn To Love Ourselves

When we have nothing left to lose, and are feeling most vulnerable, it’s the best opportunity to learn something new about ourselves.  We have to know ourselves in order to truly love ourselves. We can take every opportunity that Life gives us, to have an honest moment with ourselves, especially in crisis.  When we lose what is most important to us, we often feel undeserving of anything good.  We often trick ourselves into believing that the only comfort is in our misery.  So we turn up the sad music, push everyone away, and stagnate in our loss.

Some people lose people. That feels like the end of the world.  I know.  Some people lose things, that made them feel like a person.  So that, feels like the end of the world.  Some people lose people and things. So that, is the end of the world.  Except, it’s not.  It doesn’t have to be.  We can go on.  We can learn how to live again, by learning to love ourselves enough to believe we deserve it.

3.  “The End Of The World” Can Inspire Us To Start Over 

Usually when we hear the expression, pain tolerance, we think of physical pain.  Life, being so typical and unpredictable all at once, often ensures that we all have a high pain tolerance, for emotional pain.  When we listen, to other people, to the world, we see there is an abundance of pain in the world.  It’s non-exclusive and unbiased.  We all experience it.  Through the proof that we are not alone, and the people who teach us what it means to live again, we can draw inspiration from them to take those first steps to live again, too.  Sometimes that is simply getting out of bed.  When it’s the end of the our world, we don’t really have a world to go back to.  That’s okay.  We can make a new world for ourselves.  We make a new us! We can be and live in a way that honors who we were before “the end of the world,” while embracing who we can become in our new beginnings.

4.  Being Vulnerable Makes Us Stronger

We can’t claim an accomplishment for something we didn’t have to work for.  If something is handed to us, that’s a gift, not an accomplishment.  The same sentiment applies to our inner strength.  We cannot claim to be strong if we’ve never had to be. Being in a place where we are weak, exhausted of all energy and hope, then using every ounce of strength we thought we had, then relying on the strength we didn’t even know we had, makes us fierce. In time, our most vulnerable moments always become the foundation of our strongest ones.

5.  Empathy Is One Of Life’s Gifts

People often use the words empathy and sympathy interchangeably.  They do not share the same meaning.  Sympathy means we have feelings of compassion. Empathy means that we have feelings that are internalized because of some personal experience that makes us have an idea of what someone else is or has gone through.  When we are empathetic, it’s more than just compassion, but rather an ability to relate to someone else.  That is a gift, even when it is born out of tragedy.  We can not empathize with everyone, or everything, because we have not nor will we ever, experience everything. Having people who can be empathetic to what we are going through is often the first step to realizing and accepting that we are not alone.   Being able to offer empathy is not a skill.  It cannot be learned.  Since only certain people can truly have empathy for specific circumstances, it is a priceless gift to everyone who has it.  It can’t be bought. It’s gifted-forward.  Those are our new beginnings.  When we’ve been in a place where someone else is now, we must offer our empathy and wrap them in our love.  Helping someone else heal is one of the most healing experiences we can ever have ourselves.

 An End Of The World Survivor’s Creed

I am not Alone.  I have Learned to Love myself. I am Inspired by my journey. I embrace my Vulnerable moments.  I am Empathetic to those who are where I’ve been. I am ALIVE.  ~ Alicia Gonzalez

By:  Alicia Gonzalez