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If You’re Going Through Hell…Keep on Going

Right now I’m working on a chapter for a book my friends are writing about girls who have lost their daddys. And I use the word “working” very loosely. It actually looks much more like, throwing a few words down, crying my head off, then leaving the whole thing for a couple weeks. Wash, rinse, repeat.

I can’t seem to get through it. I can’t even seem to talk about not getting through it. I keep, miraculously, getting distracted by ALLLLL these other things that just NEED to get done first, even though I have an impending deadline, three days from now, and even though I’ve known about this deadline for three months. “It’ll get done,” I say. It always does.

And in observing my behavior around this, I realized that this tactic of avoid and disconnect is exactly the same way I handled his death the first time around. And exactly how I’ve handled every single other stimulating and hurtful situation that has come up in my life ever since. To harden. Shut down. Close off. Distract. To not listen. Avoid. Seek attention. Blame others. In that order. And I’ve gotten so good at it, that I barely even know it’s happening.

This past week alone I’ve have FOUR different situations show up that have made me face myself in a huge way. Situations have come up where I’ve had to take responsibility for hurting someone I love dearly, take responsibility for potentially ruining something that was amazing and that I blamed someone else for, for years, take responsibility for how my actions affect another human being. And I’ve hated myself for causing pain. For being the type of person that could do such things. The shame and embarrassment I was experiencing felt too big for me to handle. And I wanted to avoid it all. But I didn’t. I just keep going into the thick of it because I know that’s the only way through it.

And yet I’m not surprised it’s all showing up now.

Natalie and I have been working hard on our new project, Girls Gone Moto. It something that matters so much to me, so deep in my heart. It’s something I’ve always wanted…to create direct and purposeful impact to a large audience, and inspire people to have exactly the kinds of lives they want. To teach that it doesn’t matter where we’ve come from and how crappy our cards were dealt, that we CAN create happiness and we DO have control over our situation. It matters so much to me that I’m making myself crazy. All these things are coming up that I have to face.

And even in these moments of tears, I’m so grateful. Because I know that it means I’m on the right track. My discomfort and sadness means I’m walking the walk I need to be walking. I’m stepping up and out of my status quo. Way beyond my comfort zone. Otherwise my negative voices wouldn’t give a F.

When you’re up to big things, big things show up. Doing great things in our lives calls us forward to face ourselves in a big way. We get to look at both the amazing, beautiful parts where we walk through fire for the causes we believe in, but also the dark, hidden parts where we become the very worst sides of ourselves. Selfish and mean and scared and reactionary and small. In order to make an impact in the world, or even in the life of one person, we must first look at ourselves. No matter how ugly, or small, or mean, or weak we might think we are, it must be done. You can either let this take over, or you can ride the wave, observing the behavior, while always keeping the bigger goal in mind. That goal being creating an impact.

I know you are up to big things too. I know you have a dream, a goal, a vision of how you want your life to be. Know that you can have all of it. Just keep walking your walk and keep facing yourself. And be kind. None of us know how, exactly, to do this. We just must keep trying.

What big things are you up to? And what’s been showing up in your life because of it? Leave a comment and share your story.

And remember, always…….

“If you’re going through hell, keep on going, don’t slow down.”

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25 Responses to If You’re Going Through Hell…Keep on Going

  1. Dana says:

    As always, my dear, this one hit home for me. Been power-walking my way through hell in many ways, struggling with a lot lately, very big things, and it definitely feels like it JUST WON’T STOP COMING, but at the same time, I keep reminding myself these are just new ways to feel strong and sure of who you are. By facing these things and “diving into the thick” of it like you said, you’re sort of reminding yourself of who you are. Seems like it doesn’t come out all the time with the “day to day” activities, but nothing like facing a hard wall to make you grab onto what is basic inside of you. And I also react the same way, shut down, distract, avoid, not the most helpful coping method and never really lets anyone else in your life know what the hell is going on with you. Thank you, this was so incredibly reassuring and a good reminder. Just keep going or like one of my favorites, “just keep swimming”. Definitely a hard one to remember.

    • Sallyhope says:

      Hey lady…I am sorry to hear that things have been coming at you constantly lately. I definitely understand how that is and agree that all we can do is keep swimming.
      I absolutely love what you said here:

      “but nothing like facing a hard wall to make you grab onto what is basic inside of you”

      It’s so, so true. It’s only in those moments that we are faced with these lessons that we MUST learn in order to move forward. Keep going girl. We are all here to love and support you.

  2. Tessa says:

    Oh Sally.

    I freaking love, love, love your writing, your honesty, your fear-wrestling skillz and ideaz… just about everything! Ah!

    “To harden. Shut down. Close off. Distract. To not listen. Avoid. Seek attention. Blame others. In that order. And I’ve gotten so good at it, that I barely even know it’s happening.”

    ditto, sister, ditto.

    Sending you a mega blast of love + inspiration.

    Keep rocking out! On the blog, in life, w/ GGM…

    <3Tessa

    • Sallyhope says:

      Miss Tessa…I can say the exact same things about you. You are such an inspiration. Your story and what you’re up to and how you are constantly asking questions and growing and learning and sharing and affecting the lives of everyone you’re in contact with.

      I am so grateful for Marie for bringing us together. And I literally cannot WAIT to see what the future has in store for us both.

  3. Woooohhhh … miss Sally. First time I read this, there were loop de loops happening in my chest, nausea in my stomach and tears in my eyes. Second time I read this, the tears were still there but it was also accompanied by hope (what a surprise?). I know it’s been tough for you and It hurts my heart to see you going through hell, but you are right … “When you’re up to big things, big things show up. Doing great things in our lives calls us forward to face ourselves in a big way.” So here is to doing great, big things and facing ourselves so that we can BECOME great, big people.

    Love ya … a girl could not ask for a better partner in crime. Grateful for you!

    Natalie

  4. AvidExplorer says:

    My reflections of a similar nature. Maybe there’s something here to help with the writer’s block.

    http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=179192084346

  5. Greg Dennis says:

    I’m not much for dispensing advice, because I don’t feel I’m real good at it, but what I can say is what the Marines taught me, which is, “Pain Is Just Weakness Leaving The Body”, and while they meant it for physical pain through exercise, I suppose it could be applied to emotional pain.

    I certainly have some things going on right now that are distracting, but you learn to deal with things, as best you can. I’m not sure there’s any shortcut to learning, or coping, or learning to cope. You deal, you get support if needed, and you carry on. Take the pain, but don’t let the pain take you. Let the pain make you stronger.

    • Sallyhope says:

      Wow…I absolutely LOVE this: “Pain Is Just Weakness Leaving The Body”
      What an interesting perspective. I know it was taught to you under much different circumstances but I feel like it can be applied everywhere. When we really allow ourselves to FEEL our pain and let it come through us, it doesn’t have as much of a hold on us anymore. We can look at that “hold” as weakness, in this quote. So once we go through it, it completely changes the dynamic of it. So interesting. Thank you for sharing. And I agree, there are no shortcuts to learning or coping. No way. I’ve spent my whole life until now trying to find the short cut. It only made my journey longer.

      I also LOVE this: “Take the pain, but don’t let the pain take you”

      Your whole comment is so inspiring and can spin off to a whole other post. Greg…you’re so good at this! You need your own coaching site. :)

  6. Lisa T says:

    <<>>

    Yo, Sally. One of my favorite sports! Denial and SELF blame is also part of the mix. It only lasts so long though before the wall collapses. And that’s a good thing in the long run, no?

  7. E Harper says:

    Sally,

    I really related to this, Im going through a long of anger right now in my life and learning how to process it and let go. One being is addressing to the person I am angry with and finally dealing with the sharp knives I have been swallowing because I was afraid to speak up, be honest and have integrity. I two have hurt some people in the process and I have even lashed out with some mean words…but I almost instantly recognize it and apologize, something I never did before. These challenges lately have taught me that this anger stems from my own fear and insecurities. When I feel alone, or pushed aside or second best, I put up a wall or use a defense mechanism to protect me in that moment, and it’s usually something passive aggressive and soooooo not direct because that moment of insecurity, I lose my self respect to honor myself and what I’m feeling and instead lash out.

    I have been working on learning about Ho’oponoono, the Hawaiian art of problem solving and this is what I say to let go of the anger to myself

    I love you
    I’m sorry
    Please forgive me
    Thank you

    Xoxox
    Lady E

    Your words are so inspiring to me

    • Sallyhope says:

      Lady E…oh man I can relate to everything you are saying. It’s so interesting once we are aware enough of ourselves to see these old patterns show up in all kinds of new situations. Almost as thought we are outside observers watching ourselves react and not being able to do much to stop it in the moment. I truly believe that the more we do this, the more aware we are, the more we will be able to switch up our patterns so that we don’t have to continue the “lash-out-then apologize” cycle, and rather adopt a more proactive and preventative approach. That you are even thinking about this stuff and going through it already means you’re on the path. I’m so proud of you and love you very much.

  8. Kirra says:

    I think you’re right Sally. I’m currently in the midst of changing things in my life and workings towards where I want to be in the future. And it’s gotten really frustrating. Because here I am…changed my major to a more inspiring, helpful one…working as a peer counselor for social issues, doing trainings…workshops and at the SAME TIME it feels like everything can go wrong…will go wrong! So I set here…wondering if I have some bad karma out to get me when I feel like I am doing things to ultimately better myself and put good out and into the world. For example, I had suicide prevention training AND had my car wrecked to in the same day. WTF?! So I think you are on to something :) When you’re up to big things, big things DO shop up. Thanks for the message, love reading ’em! xoxoxooxx

    • Sallyhope says:

      Miss Kirra…I’m so happy to hear that you’ve shifted things in your life to a path of more fulfillment. When we focus our energies outward, we ALWAYS get rewarded in one way or another. It might not seem like it right now, but you must just keep walking down the path that feels right. And I totally understand the frustration of what’s coming up for you. Life with throw all kinds of wrenches in your path to see if your conviction for your decided path is strong. If you overcome the obstacles and keep moving, you WILL have and be exactly what you want. You’re sending a message to the universe that no matter what happens, you are going to continuing striving for that bigger vision. It doesn’t usually make sense in the moment, but keep on going girl. You got this.

      Love,
      S

  9. Liz says:

    Ahhh you wrote this just for me didn’t you? ;) Perhaps not but soooo needed to read this today. I’ll just say, I’m with ya lady… Thanks for your words and vulnerability, as always. Sending you a big big hug. Luv ya. xoxo

    • Sallyhope says:

      Oh lady…I’m ALWAYS writing for you. You should know that by now. One heart, one mind. Email me if you need a little extra Sally love. You know I’m always here for you.

  10. Jen Kem says:

    Sally Hope you’re words are golden, true and brutal. And I needed all of them to see very clearly what was getting in the way of my movement forward. ME. :) And I have to love me, respect my gifts and bring them. Thank you for giving yours…your honest and authentic take on your own journey gives us all courage to keep going onward with ours!

    And the quote “when you’re going through hell, keep going” – love it so much that I have a T-shirt I wear all the time that says the same thing!

    Keep your fabu self going. You’re playing BIG and that’s what you were meant to do.

    Big x’s and o’s
    Jen

    • Sallyhope says:

      Miss Jenny From The Block, I’m so glad that my blog happened at the right time for you. It’s SO easy to forget all this stuff. I do all the time. That’s why we have each other to write and support each other through it all. I LOVE that you have a shirt with that quote on it. So funny!

      Thank you for playing big with me.

  11. Life is so interesting – if we decide to live an “ordinary” life there are very few tests and we become so numbed. However – if we decide to live a fully expressed life – the reward is high highs and low lows – we’ll get tested along the way – always. But it’s so worth it.

    Be kind…. I love it

    • Sallyhope says:

      Girl..I LITERALLY could not agree more. It’s when we push ourselves that the highs are higher and the lows are lower. So interesting! I’d rather have the extremes than the middle ground. you?

  12. Wolf Larsen says:

    Sally.

    “And even in these moments of tears, I’m so grateful. Because I know that it means I’m on the right track. My discomfort and sadness means I’m walking the walk I need to be walking. I’m stepping up and out of my status quo. Way beyond my comfort zone. Otherwise my negative voices wouldn’t give a F.”

    Man am I in a place of being up to a big thing, and having a shit ton of Big Things show up, waltz in, sit on my lap, and wait for me to deal with them. When I try to lean to the left to see my computer, they lean to the left. When I lean to the right, they go right. When I try to push them off, they give me a tittytwister. And then they do the worst thing of all. When I calmly ask what they want, and how I can convince them to leave, they just sit there, silent, and hold up a mirror.

    It’s the F-ing worst. But, like you said, so good. The Great Indicator. I needed your post to remind me of the so good part.

    I F-ing love you.

    You may start getting some of those hail mary’s some time soon, but when you’re least expecting it.

    xo
    wolfie

    • Sallyhope says:

      Miss S…man of man…that image of the mirror gave me chills. Isn’t that the truth? No matter what we do, it always comes back to having to look at ourselves and learn something new and uncover some thing that lies within. But it’s absolutely A Great Indicator that something big is a’brewin in our lives. Otherwise, we’d just go along, merrily, doing our thing, oblivious to the unstill waters below. That’s how we’ve been up to now. And that’s how we’ll be til the next thing shows up. At least we have each other. And hail marys to get us through. :)

  13. Sarita says:

    This one spoke to me especially hard my wise, wise, lady-friend. ;-)

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