Struggling with the weight of life?

How to refocus on finding the light


Dear Lexis,

I am really struggling now with the weight of life and want to know how to find hope in it. With the constant struggle to make rent, so much time and energy spent away from those I love and the added stress of a global pandemic how can I find the time and energy to look for or, better yet, find the light at the end of the tunnel?

~ Hopeful

Dear Hopeful,

I’m sorry you’re feeling so down recently, I understand how challenging life can be sometimes and I want you to know that you aren’t alone.  

You mentioned the challenge of finding the time and energy to look for the light at the end of the tunnel. I understand that you may feel trapped, overwhelmed, and worn down; but if you want to see the light at the end of the tunnel, you merely have to look up. The light is there, shinning before, like it always has.  

We tend to focus on the problems in our lives. We look at them, analyze them, and then discuss how difficult they are with those around us. We hope to find solutions, but because the challenges feel so huge, we despair and close ourselves off. You cannot find a solution while you focus on the difficulty of a problem. To find a solution, you need to broaden your perspective and embrace your creativity, and to do that, you need to feel better. 

Many people dislike this notion as they feel that pulling their attention from a problem equates to burying their head in the sand. For some reason, we sometimes think that by focusing on the good in life we are deluding ourselves into believing something that isn’t true. But I’m not asking you to believe in something that isn’t real -- I’m asking you to focus on something else. 

As any writer knows, if you have a case of writer's block, it’s often a good idea to step away from the story for a minute. You are the author of your own life, so step away from the problem and you’ll probably find the solution when you’re least expecting it. 

What should you focus on instead?

A good question, and a problem that’s often hard to solve when you’re in a negative state of mind. But, despite the difficulties you’re facing, I guarantee that some aspect of your life is going well. If not though, you can always focus on subjects like laughing babies, sunshine and blue skies, or the relief of a long, deep breath. 

It may feel like a waste of time.  You might think that I just don’t understand the gravity of your struggle.  I understand why you might feel that way.  I used to hate it when people said similar things to me, but as it turns out, the idea that your struggles are so unique and difficult actually makes things worse. So, if you really want to feel better and if you want to find ways to improve the circumstances of your life, ask yourself what you are willing to do to make that happen.  

Try it for a month and see what happens. Or, if you feel you must, start smaller. A week, a day, or even an hour can offer you enough respite for you to find some of the answers you’re looking for, and when you find one solution, perhaps you’ll be willing to try this experiment again.  

I’m rooting for you and I wish you luck in your journey. It only gets better from here.

~ Lexis 

Alexis Baker writes from her home in Olympia.  Write to her at 


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