This weekend, I found myself on the floor cleaning up someone else’s dog’s dried on shit and piss.
Read that again.
And with no hyperbole, it was the most disgusting thing I have ever done in my life. Do you have any idea what it smells like when you add water to dried up dog shit? It’s like it smells double what it smelled like before it dried and glued itself to the floor. God, gross.
I’ll share more about the reasons why I found myself in this situation later, but suffice it to say, the only reason I stuck it out and didn’t give up and just never use that room ever again is because I knew I was strong enough to get through it and there was light at the end of the (shitty) tunnel.
There is always, always hope.
I’ve written about hope before, and I talk about it for a reason. Hope isn’t the same as faith, though that’s important too, and I have it. Faith and hope go hand in hand, to be sure. But faith would be akin to thinking the dried up shit would magically clean itself up on the next light breeze, or someone else would generously offer out of nowhere to clean it up for me. Hope, in contrast, says that if I trust myself enough to get through the worst thing ever, if I take action, I can expect things to get better on the other side. If I clean up this shit myself, it’ll open up a gorgeous space to enjoy.
I wish I didn’t have to paint this picture with a real-life event that had to do with cleaning up actual shit, not just metaphorical shit. But alas, and perhaps it really drives the point home.
When you trust yourself enough to get through the tough stuff, when you understand that there’s more to life and more to come and it’s worth doing something about, you can expect to see the great stuff soon.
Conversely, if you wallow in or ignore the worst and have no expectation that things will change, well – perhaps they won’t. Because you won’t.
There will always be shit times in life. And there will always be great times too. Having hope through one is what leads to the other. Hope puts faith into action, and that’s what keeps us going.
So hey, whatever you’re dealing with or going through right now, don’t give up hope, OK? If I can clean up all that dog shit without adding my own barf on top of it, well, frankly, I know you’re the kind of strong and confident badass who can too.
OK, if you want a non-shit related example, remember President Obama’s 2008 HOPE campaign poster? It wasn’t about blind faith someone (anyone) new would clean up the shit W had smeared all over the place. It was trust and action behind the expectation of a better future. A lot of hard work happened during that campaign and in the following eight years, but it was worth it.
If you feel like you’re in the shit right about now, check this out.