Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Never Say You Can't

I know it’s been a while since I’ve blogged. I’ve been waiting for the right moment—and then I heard the Bruno Mars song “Never Say U Can’t” and I was inspired to write.

It’s such a beautiful song about living and learning—about triumph, perseverance and support. And I think there’s a lot to learn from it.

We live in tough times. There are a lot of people out there who are struggling to get by—who knows, maybe you’re one of them. The song is an important reminder that no matter how dark and dreary life may seem, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel—things always get better.

If you always believe “Yes, I can,” then there is no stopping you. As soon as we say the words, “I can’t,” we cast a shadow of doubt on ourselves and become defeated—we become victims. The last time I checked, victims don’t win—they don’t get up and fight to survive.

My good friend Nick Maslow told me once, “Stop being a victim and become a victor.” Those words have stuck with me for years—they’ve given me power and strength even in the toughest of situations.

Again, this is about perspective—being a victor is a choice. Sometimes it’s a choice that requires much sacrifice, but it’s still a choice nonetheless.

And you’re never alone. For every person who loves you and cares deeply for you, there are a dozen others who just haven’t said it. Make sure the people for whom you care know it. At the very least, you’ll brighten his or her day—at the most, you could save someone’s life.

Conversely, if you’re enduring a hard time, reach out to someone—anyone. People are a lot more understanding than you may think. Sometimes we all need someone to just say, “It’s all going to be okay.” In the darkest moments there is always hope.

I can’t help but think of the recent string of suicides among gay youth. It’s so sad. It’s a poignant reminder that life is fragile—we can’t take one second for granted. We get so caught up in the day-to-day frustrations that we forget that it could all fall apart in just a second. Bills, groceries, emails, laundry… they are mundane and sometimes stressful. But what would the sweet be without the sour?

Mother Theresa said, "Life is a challenge, meet it." I challenge you to be a victor and not a victim. Laugh at life’s absurdities. Appreciate the highs and lows—we are better people for having endured both.

[Photo via heylauren’s tumblr]