Let’s face it…sometimes life just sucks! It doesn’t matter how religious, spiritual or immersed in personal growth we are, when life throws us a wicked curve ball we find ourselves swinging wildly at the fence! I know that when someone has told me to “turn my frown upside down” I have often felt like punching them! It’s during times like these that we must show ourselves some EXTRA grace and give ourselves permission to release our emotions before we can truly move on.
Whenever we experience any type of adversity, our challenge is to look at it as objectively as possible. Below, are 3 considerations that can help us stay grounded in presence, even during the most trying times.
*We must be mindful of the meaning we attach to our challenges. Many times we unknowingly attach a meaning to a current challenge, a meaning that was birthed in another place and time. The meaning we have assigned to our current challenge has little if anything to do with our present reality. This “preassigned meaning” can skew our perspective and provide us with a distorted view of our true reality. It is imperative that we focus on our current reality and make our decisions accordingly. Remember…different challenge, different point in time.
*Are we experiencing PAST or PRESENT emotions? Many of us link PAST emotions to our current challenges. For example, let’s say that I recently lost a close friend to Cancer. I may find myself bringing up unresolved emotions around my fathers death from Cancer even though it occurred a decade earlier. As I begin to replay the tapes of all the things I “should” have said or done while my father was still alive, I may find myself inconsolable. I have shifted into a state where I am experiencing strong emotions surrounding both deaths. This is a very intense state of grief. By shifting my focus to my present reality (friends death) I can honor my current emotions of grief without entwining them with the lingering emotions surrounding my fathers death. This awareness can help keep us grounded as we experience this type of challenge. *Albeit, easier said than done.
*What we resist will persist. Perspective is usually based on perception. Many times, our greatest breakthrough’s occur when we are willing to change our perspective. I know that some of my greatest challenges remained steadfast as long as I remained steadfast. During my live seminars, I often ask two people to stand facing each other with their palms pressed together. By using just their palms I ask them to try and push each other out of an imaginary circle I have constructed on the floor. Invariably, they both dig in and engage in what amounts to no more than an unproductive pushing match. I then pull one of participants aside and ask them to push for a few seconds and then drop their arms. As soon as one of the participants drops their arms the other participant lunges forward, falling off balance. This is the exact same thing that happens in life. As soon as we drop our arms (SURRENDER) the person or problem we are struggling with loses it’s power over us. What we have resisted has persisted until we have surrendered. Through surrender we may also find our greatest joy.
To sum it up…Sometimes life just sucks, what we resist tends to persist, we must remain in the present moment and be mindful of the meaning we attach to our challenges. This is a tall order, however, it can certainly keep our focus where it needs to be…NOW.
As always, I look forward to your thoughts and feedback!