Every experience has the opportunity to be good or bad. In some cases it may be both. The key is how we deal with it that makes it a positive experience. Positive doesn’t mean that we don’t experience pain. It means that we use the pain to propel us forward in life.
The death of my father was unexpected and left me as the main caregiver for my mom, who is sight impaired. I had become close to my dad when he and mom moved into a home adjacent to ours. Losing him was a shock and not one any of us where prepared for. On the surface there is nothing about that experience that was good. However digging deeper and the passage of time showed me a different perspective. Mom became more independent and overall happier because she regain confidence that she’d lost being taken care of by dad. I developed a better relationship with my mom and now as she nears 83 she know that whatever happens in the rest of her life that I will be there for her. All of those changes are very positive.
It takes time to work the stressful events in life. We can’t sweep them under the rug and expect them to stay there. Instead all that stuff builds up and comes out in ways that we’d never intended… anger, illness, depression… We need to travel the path and overcome the obstacles. When we do we’re better prepared to deal with what may come at us in the future.
Try these Simple Steps when you find yourself lost in life’s potholes:
- Allow yourself to totally feel every aspect of the experience. Whether that is grief, anger, jealousy, embarrassment… Feel those emotions. When you relax into whatever you are feeling rather than resisting it… it loses the power to hurt you. One note… Some emotions may be better handled in private… that is your choice too.
- Dig down into the emotion that you are feeling and ask yourself why you feel that way. For example if you are angry at your boss for not promoting you determine if those feelings come from your belief that you were the best candidate or because you thought she was your friend and would be your advocate. When you can identify the belief that is at the crux of that emotion you can determine if your belief is truly valid.
- Validate or invalidate your beliefs. Just because you believe a certain way doesn’t mean that the belief is valid. For example if you were raised to believe if you work hard enough that you would succeed and then don’t you will be devastated when overlooked for a promotion. If however in your experience hard work is only one component of being promoted then the belief you were raised with is not valid. That’s a conflict that needs reconciled. Your new belief may become that hard work, being a team player and taking on special projects are necessary to advance in your company. Looking back at the promotion that you didn’t receive you’ll know then what you need to do to be better positioned for the next position.
In allowing ourselves to feel what is bothering us we are better able to deal with the emotions and move forward. Not only to we gain strength by overcoming the challenge but we learn from it. In that lesson we also get to decide if what we believe works for us or not. And in the end it is all about our happiness!