I'm sure you read the title of this and thought, "I hate tough love, I just need someone to be there for me." I feel you. I, for the longest time, wanted people to just let me cry for days about the same thing I couldn't control over and over again. Why does that help us? Why do we feel so much better when other people are feeling sorry for us? For me, I feel like I felt better knowing that someone else thought I had a legitimate reason to quit life. I thought, if they are going to let me give up, then that's what I am going to do and that's okay. It's a vicious cycle. One that doesn't lead to a rewarding ending.
The truth is, sometimes we need that one person to tell us "Hey, I understand what you are going through sucks, but you can't give up." It takes a lot of guts for a person so close to you to say that. I remember in college, I was in and out of the hospital for testing and I was just over it. I told my best friend that I just wanted to give up and he said "Listen, I will allow you to have a pity party for 24 hours, but tomorrow, you are getting up and you are fighting." I remember being so mad at him. I thought "He doesn't understand. I can have a pity party any time I want because it's my life. How dare he try to tear me down." If I could see that little girl now, I would look her in the eyes and tell her, listen. Listen to these words and hold them in your heart because this lesson is everything you need and more in this life.
Now I am 24 and my health is declining and I, again, have that little part of me that believes it's time that I can give up. I can quit my job. I can stay in bed all day. I don't ever have to leave my house again. I have a legitimate excuse. I'm sure people would understand and be okay with it. But, right when I am about to quit, that little voice I have had in my heart since that day in college, tells me to GET UP AND FIGHT.
I'm not going to lie and say that it's easy. I'm going to take that 24 hours and cry, a lot. Trust me. I am going to complain. I am going to scream. I am going to be angry. I am going to allow myself to feel everything, and then I am going to climb back up the rope because it is important to feel your feelings. I am going to get it all out of my system so that tomorrow, I can get up and fight. I am going to put the pain, sadness and anger behind me and focus on getting to the top of this mountain. Some battles are harder than others. Sometimes I might give myself 48 hours to cry, but something inside of me always tells myself to keep going.
Tough love isn't a bad kind of love. Tough love means that someone loves you and believes in you so incredibly much that they are risking everything to tell you something uncomfortable so that you succeed in life.
If you are the person receiving tough love, I am asking you to receive it wholeheartedly. Don't get angry because it's not something that you want to hear, because it's most definitely something that you NEED to hear. The words might sting in the moment, but I promise you the outcome is so much better. You become a better version of yourself because of it.
If you are the person giving tough love, GIVE IT. I know it's scary. I know that you could lose a relationship over it, but I promise that person needs it. They need those words to grow, to bloom and to conquer the world. In the end, they will thank you.
I am a better, stronger person because my friends and family have never let me settle for anything less of what makes me happy. I am a better person because I have received tough love from people who believed in me more than I ever believed in myself. I am a 2 time college graduate who fought tirelessly to receive my degree because multiple people told me to "keep fighting" when I wanted to quit. That's tough love. That is someone saying "hey I know its rough, but I believe in you and you got this," in two words. Two POWERFUL words.
I'm not sure why God laid this topic on my heart, but it seems important. I know there is so much sadness in the world right now and you might feel like the best option is to just give up, but I am here to give you tough love right now. We cannot control the world, but we can control how we react to it. We can control the love that we share. We can control how much praying we are doing. We can control how much of the bible we are reading. I will be the first to say that I need a lot of work in the faith department, but starting tonight I am working on it and YOU CAN, TOO.