When you are in the middle of a difficult situation, it can be hard to stay hopeful. Trust me, I get it. I’ve been there more than once. Yet, today, as I look back on one of the hardest times of my life, I can’t believe how much I’ve learned. Through those difficulties, I’ve grown and evolved into a better version of myself, into who I was meant to be. Sometimes the heartaches are a necessary part of the journey. Sometimes they happen to refine and grow you so that you can be ready for what is to come. Hear this friend: your current struggle is not the end of your story. It is the beginning of a new chapter. If you are struggling, here are some ways I’ve learned to find hope in difficult times and use them to grow into who you are meant to be.
Ten years ago, my life was falling apart. I was going through a divorce, losing my best friend, and watching my happily ever after crumble before my very eyes. I could have chosen to let it break me but instead, I (eventually) let it build me up. I found the strength and the courage to turn that horrible situation into something beautiful. I started Body by Gia LLC and now, ten years later, here we are. Yet, if I could go back and talk to the Gia that started this channel ten years ago, here is what I would tell her:
I was a mess. I took all that negative energy, worry, and anxiety and used it to start Body by Gia. Ten years later, Body by Gia has grown into a community of over 3 million people and I am so grateful that I get to make a living helping you love and care for your beautiful, curvy body.
If you are going through a hard time, you don’t necessarily need to start a YouTube channel, but you could pick up a new hobby, learn a language, plan a trip, etc. The key is to find a healthy outlet for your pain so that you don’t turn to other things, like drinking and drugs, that will only make you feel worse.
I didn’t have this tool at the beginning of my journey but somewhere along the way I stumbled upon my breath. Well, I guess it was always there but I learned to notice it and take advantage of its super power.
When life is spinning out of control around you, taking a moment to stop and focus on your breath can ground you and help you find your way.
They say that time heals all wounds. I don’t know that I believe it heals them but it does grow you into a person who is strong enough to live with your wounds. Know that doesn’t happen overnight. You have to be patient and trust the process. The Universe knows exactly what to do to help you evolve. Eventually, it will hurt less, I promise. In the meantime, be kind to yourself. You can get through this.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Find someone to walk beside you during this struggle, no matter who it is. I didn’t have many people to support me after my divorce. My parents didn’t understand and I had stopped talking to a lot of my friends (depression makes you want to isolate instead of reaching out). Instead, I relied so heavily on my therapist to get through my hardest days. Everyone’s support system looks different but none of us were meant to live life alone. Find support, whatever that may look like for you.
Surround yourself with positivity and joy. That may mean spending time with people who make you happy, doing an activity you enjoy, or in my case, exercising often. Whatever it is, fill your life with healthy habits that will bring you joy, so that you always have them to turn to when you need an extra dose of hope.
Right after my divorce, I wanted so badly to fix the situation, the issues, and myself. Eventually, I realized that none of it was broken- it just wasn’t meant to be at that moment.
Once I let go and stopped trying to control the situation, there was finally room for me to find myself again and begin to heal. As I focused on healing and caring for myself, I found hope in the difficult situation and I found my way back to me.
I learned that my happily ever after didn’t have to revolve around a husband and kids. Happily ever after is learning to love yourself and the life you’ve been given. The key to happiness, and finding hope, is learning to embrace all the seasons life hands you. Each one has something it can teach you. All the seasons, no matter how good or bad they feel, are growing you into who you are meant to be.
This past month, while shooting “Perfectly Imperfect Love“, a new segment on Get It Girl, my ex proposed. That’s right. I am now engaged to the same man I got a divorce from ten years ago. But that is what makes this such a remarkable story. He is not actually the same person, and neither am I. We have both grown, matured, and evolved over these past ten years. We grew into better versions of ourselves first and that healing led us back together as a couple. Through finding hope in difficult times and allowing the process to change and mold us into who we are meant to be, we now get to enjoy a second chance at being the couple we were meant to be.
I am not saying that if you heal yourself and stay hopeful all your wildest dreams will come true. What I am saying is that hard moments don’t come to us just to make us suffer, they have a purpose. They come to teach us, stretch us, and mold us into a better version of ourselves. Sometimes that means your wildest dreams evolve into something new.
Even if you can’t see it now, my friend, this hard situation you are going through is not the end. Trust the process. One day you will be able to see all it has taught you. Eventually, you will be able to look back and be grateful for this very struggle. Until then, focus on finding hope in difficult times and lean on that hope to pull you through the hurt. You can do this.
Change more than just your body