We all go through difficult times in life; its all part of the experience. The trick to a healthier life style lies in reminding ourselves no matter what is happening in our lives or how chaotic it may all seem, it all happens for a reason; everything has its time and rhythm. Let’s keep in mind everything in life has its ups and downs. Just like the seasons, difficult times shall pass, everything changes, everything evolves. We forget we are always changing; we are never the same person we were even a few minutes ago. It would not matter how hard you try to hold onto to the person you were a minute ago, try as you may that time is gone. In our desperation for control (ego) we forget to realize nothing is really within our control. This doesn’t mean we should not have a plan; plans and goals can help us optimize our lives; its a matter of not getting caught on the plan. We need to learn to flow with life and although its hard at times it helps when we believe that in everything difficult lies a lesson.
How many of us have gone through horrendous childhoods/lives where we thought “I can’t do this anymore”, ” I don’t want to be alive”, “I am not strong enough”. Personally I look at my life and I see the amount of times life brought me to my knees. Looking back I can see how everything that happened amounted to the person I have become, the person I am still becoming; I can see how perfect life’s plans were. Yes it hurt and it totally sucked to have to go through those experiences but at the end I am who I am today because of them. I’ve also realize the most pain my soul ever experience was the result of my resisting to life’s lessons ( I am not talking about things such as rape or any other type of similar abuse, nor the loss of a loved one, those are things which could not be helped and its hard to understand why).
Due to my experiences earlier on I developed a wall. Yes I became a fighter but with it I also resisted life whenever it wanted to show me a different path…. I lost my trust in life. It is only later in life when I truly started to realize my resistance was also part of the problem. Life was trying to heal me from what was done and yet I kept fighting it. There are times my ego still fights back and I fall back in its trap; at those times I feel I can deal with everything on my own, I resist life and it makes the process harder. I can also see my own evolvement, the amount of times I am putting my trust that all will work itself out are far outweighing the amount of times my ego wants to take control. Learning to trust didn’t happen overnight, it is a process. I am not talking about blind faith or hoping for some punishment for those who have hurt me, instead is all about me. The more I work on me, the more I develop trust on myself. The more trust I have in myself, the more I understand life and its amazing perfection and the more confident I am that no matter what happens life will always balance itself out.
Whenever you are encountering a negative experience which may anger you, frustrate you, scare you, allow yourself to acknowledge what you are feeling. Give yourself permission to feel that way, and above all DON’T GIVE UP!. Breathe and keep telling yourself “This too shall pass”; keep in mind everything has a beginning and an end. In order for this technique to become easier to access whenever a negative occurrence takes place, one needs time, patience and the ability to reflect on life. It is not easy to get there, neither is it impossible. The time will come in which you will be able to look back at all of it as a learning experience, an anecdote, a stepping stone in your life.
One of the best ways to start ourselves in this path (the path of self reflection/modulating our emotions when something negative happens) is to allow ourselves to lose our guard whenever we are experiencing pleasant events. Whenever we feeling content, happy, joyous, let’s take a second to truly submerge ourselves in the experience. The more we submerge ourselves in positive experiences, the more we give our brain something to draw from whenever a negative event occurs. We are literally teaching our brain we have the right to be happy and damn it we deserve it!. Doing this more and more will also help us to learn to be more patient with ourselves. There is an old proverb I like which says “Whoever is patience with himself, lacks nothing in life”.
There are times we go through life wishing for time/months to go by faster yet later we look back and wonder “where did all the time go?”. To live like that is to live in contradiction, it is to teach our mind that we are not certain of what we want. To live like that means to live life focusing either on the past or in the future forgotting to live in the present. On this aspect we really could use a lesson from little kids, they are experts at living in the now. Our parents (with best of intentions) tried to teach us responsibility, yet it was a lesson badly delivered. We need to teach our children to be responsible without losing touch with the moment. Teaching our children and ourselves to do this will be one of the most valuable gifts we can offer our children and ourselves. It is in that ability to be present, in the ability to see and feel the magic, which will give them and us the strength to make it when things hurt/or are toxic. In this sense there is a Chinese proverb that encloses in itself a highly educational and therapeutic teaching: “If something has a solution, why be concerned!…and if something doesn’t have a solution, why worry about it!”.
The truth is even after a negative experience has gone by something about it remains. The remains are what are called the lessons, these lessons becomes part of our essence. Our essence is made of all the lessons we have accumulated. If we see them as lessons instead of mistakes we can learn to balance past present and future.
There is no easy solution for each one of our troubles but we can arm ourselves and set in motion strategies which can help us deal with our troubles in the best way possible. Learning to accept problems/challenges as simply lessons can really help the overall health of our mind and soul. When we can teach ourselves to see problems as lessons it makes it easier to accept them as simply part of life. Looking at things in this way can help us have more confidence in ourselves when dealing with challenges and it is a great way to stop reacting impulsively.
Something else we can do is to look at the challenge from all angles. Try to find what the root is, what influences it, what makes it bigger, what could make it smaller. It matters not if you think you come up with outrageous ideas; take a look at all of them. The more you allow your mind to come up with solutions; not matter how outrageous you may think they are; the closer you get to the “right” way of solving the issue. After having look at all the alternative solutions make a decision weighing first the pros and cons of each one of the ones you think are the best idea for solving the problem. When looking at the pros and cons always take into account the amount of emotional work, time and effort it will take. Your health always comes first!. Once you have chosen the most sensible solution, apply it. Put it in practice without doubting yourself….remember that if it does not work out, you can always repeat the process, so don’t sweat it!
The most important thing as stated earlier is to remind yourself life is always morphing, always changing and it always has your best interest at hand. Even if it does not feel like that at this moment, remind yourself that you are here for a reason, you are not just here to fill space, your life matters, YOU matter. After all is said and done if you’ve searched for the lesson, if you’ve taken responsibility for yourself and accepted that nothing life is giving you is done in order to blame you but rather to help you become a stronger human being, you will be in the right path towards healing. Keep in mind strong people accept their mistakes and take responsibility for their own actions. The results of the process are really up to you; when all is said and done you will either have learned nothing–you will victimize yourself– for only you have the power to do so; or you will rise from the ashes like a phoenix, maybe morph and discover the beauty in you, like a butterfly….so embrace yourself , keep telling yourself…“I am strong enough, I am no victim…and this too shall pass!”