The light in you and at the end of the tunnel

Hello, world! It’s been a while since I last made a post about my life. Last time, I was riding the high of overcoming crises after crises and celebrating a huge win with my teammates. Our board of directors acknowledged that I had grown into my shoes as an entrepreneur and a leader. I finally had “skin in the game” and my life was better for it. I could point to that moment and tell myself “I am better than who I was before.” It was amazing and I was amazing too.

The funny thing about life though is that it constantly challenges you. It’s ever changing and doesn’t stop for anyone.

The same week that I got promoted and was at an all time high, the unthinkable happened. In the early hours of a Saturday in September, my house was broken into, and we were robbed. My backpack which held my laptop, my tablet, my phone, my PS Vita, my IDs, and my wallet, gone. Stolen in the dead of night.

Should I be thankful that they stopped there with that singular haul? Perhaps. Should I be grateful that the thieves had the “decency” to pull out from my backpack, mine and my dad’s vaccination cards and leave them at our doorstep? Maybe. Should I be glad that all this happened while my dad and I were asleep in our locked bedrooms and things didn’t get violent? Definitely.

The day of the incident, I was in a daze. I auto-piloted my way through the standard procedure. I called my banks to cancel my cards. I remotely logged myself out of the devices that were taken. I went to the local homeowners’ association, the barangay, and the police station recounting the events and reporting what was stolen. I did everything right, applying what I learned about crisis management. Results first, emotions later.

But things weren’t the same this time. I wasn’t powering through a situation with a light at the end of the tunnel like I was at work. There is no happy ending here. The thieves got away, my items are gone, and I feel unsafe in my own home.

I got shaken to my core. I thought I had the fortitude to power through anything, but life slapped me in the face and knocked me down a peg. Suddenly, all my old fears and negative thoughts came rushing back after working for months to silence them and shut them down. It’s as if all my work came undone and was worthless. And so, I shut myself in. I hid myself away.

I moved houses in the meantime by the way. I didn’t really tell anyone, and the few I did tell, I didn’t say why. I couldn’t find it in me to tell family or friends. The circle who knew was really, really small.

The few that were aware of what I was going through gave me all the patience and support they could and went even beyond, and I am so grateful for them. And yet, I wasn’t getting better. I wasn’t getting back to being awesome. I was very much becoming the guy I was before the guy that’s awesome.

Everyone around me has gone above and beyond to help me pick myself back up, Danica most of all. It took an intervention by Danica for me to truly look within myself. It didn’t matter what kindness was sent my way because all the while, the inner me was saying I wasn’t worth being kind to, and that I deserve my suffering.

And so, it all boils down to dealing with my own self-hatred.

Do you ever stop to think if you’re being kind to yourself? Do you ever stop to ask yourself “I like who I am, and I deserve to be loved”? If you’re like me and your inner voice is a huge bully, it’s so hard to get ANYTHING done.

“No one loves you.” “Everyone is tired of faking that they like you.” “You’re not worth helping.” These words are so hurtful that I wouldn’t wish them on my enemy. And yet my inner voice tells me this every day. It’s ABSURD.

It took me half of September and most of October to finally look inward. I avoided it for so long. I was very badly in need of help. Only when I finally escaped the trappings of my own head and asked for that help myself did I get to think clearly and take action. It wasn’t easy but when I finally got to the core of things, my training kicked in and I’m getting myself back in the thick of it.

So, what am I trying to say here? I guess it boils down to three main things:

1. The peaks and valleys of life can come one after another with no warning. Your best day ever could easily be followed up with your worst. But each day is its own day. Don’t let the things in the bad day bucket diminish the things in the good day bucket.

2. Be kind to yourself. You may be getting support from others but not letting yourself receive it.

3. Trust yourself. If you’ve put in the work before and got your wins in the past, they’re not gone when you stumble. Work your way back up to where you can apply what you’ve learned, and you’ll get back to where you were and go beyond.

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