We hear this phrase all the time.
Especially when we are down, depressed, frustrated, despondent, or confused. Or sometimes a combination of more than one. Or two.
Do you tell yourself not to give up? What if you do give up? Are you any better or worse for giving up?
We all walk such a fine line between honesty and guilt trip all the time. We make a choice, thinking we really wanted that choice, only to find out somewhere down the line it’s not what we really wanted after all. Does making a different choice mean you are giving up on your first go around?
The Free Dictionary defines giving up as: a verbal act of admitting defeat. yielding, surrender. relinquishing, relinquishment – a verbal act of renouncing a claim or right or position etc.
Does that mean that when you can’t figure out a math problem you are relinquishing whatever hold you had on math? If you can’t get that painting or ceramic piece or quilt to look the way it’s “supposed” to, are you renouncing your right to be an artist?
It’s all so confusing, no matter if it’s a serious stopping point or a mere spacing out. There are times when I give up — or think I’ve given up — when I can’t get on the same wavelength as someone else or can’t seem to write what’s in my head. I want to give up when I’m confused about where I’m going or what I’m talking about or how following a recipe from a cookbook could turn out so wrong.
But I don’t consider my changing course “giving up.” I try and find a way to accept where I am, then work my way through it. I become honest about my limitations and work within those parameters. I look up what I don’t know, stop, and rephrase things I didn’t make clear the first time. I know when to cut my losses, and know when I should push through to the other side.
I suppose I’m talking about this this evening because I have friends in situations that seem to have no positive ending. In the chill of winter and cloudy skies and sub zero temperatures its so much easier to give up than work it out. Hide under the blanket and don’t bother with growing and feeling and figuring things out.
In the shortened daylight I sometimes feel that way, too. I know that it’s normal not to have energy to change or grow or explore. Or to just forget and move on.
But I also know I’m more than all parts that make me who I am, and that, eventually, this too will pass.
Find one thing every day that gives you joy and let yourself experience it. Read something. Write something. Watch something. Learn something. Talk to someone. Accept that you’re in a negative way and do something anyway.
If you really want to work through whatever it is you need to work through, don’t give up. Work at it every day until you’re where you want to be. And if you really can’t make it, don’t give up.
Just change your target. Change your direction. Find something that you can do and learn to do it well.
The world is your oyster, as they say. Especially when it contain pearls.