Difficult life circumstances often give us an opportunity to explore our inner lives and do the internal work necessary for us to rise above our challenges. When things are out of our control, all we can do is live in the present moment as best we can. It’s time to seek out new ways of coping, try available tools, from mindfulness to meditation, alternative and holistic therapies, to spirituality and journaling – to help us better understand ourselves. Look for tools that offer support and healing.
Reach out to people who can be there for you and lead the way.
1. Get to know yourself better and be open to internal work. Until we face a traumatic or stressful event, we often look to our outer world, and are preoccupied with external circumstances and changes. These are the times for self-understanding and self-awareness.
2. Become aware of what doesn’t work. When you hit a dark place, you receive a gift: you realise what doesn’t work. You have more insight into yourself than you did before. Understanding what doesn’t work is as insightful as knowing what does work. Knowing the dark is critical to appreciating the light. When you see the futility and hopelessness of a particular path or situation, your mind can create a new path and life. 3. One step at a time. Every day of a personal crisis, breakup or serious life change will be a tough one. If you think about the enormity of the situation in one go, you’ll feel paralysed. What is one small step you can take today? How can you move your life in a positive direction in the smallest of ways? Don’t think about the global picture, take everything moment by moment. 4. Never give up on yourself. You’re in a tough spot but you’ve been in similar places before. You’ve gotten through rough patches and you can do it again. Current circumstance may be more challenging than those you faced in the past, but you’ve built up your adversity muscle to deal with changes and setbacks. And you’ve done it again and again. You believed in yourself when no one else did. You got back up. You found a new job, met someone new in your life, found a way to solve the problem at hand. You’re a known and proven problem-solver, solution-finder and fighter. 5. Embrace the dark. During your most difficult hour, it’s hard to sit back and exercise any amount of gratefulness. Your heart’s throbbing, your head’s crammed with worries and you don’t know yourself anymore. Why would you ever be grateful for this? You can learn to appreciate the situation because you are discovering the tools you’ll need to navigate in the dark. If you can keep walking toward the light, you’ll develop qualities that will help you resist life’s challenges. When you walk in the dark, you develop the qualities of persistence, patience, discovery and navigation. Sure, you won’t know where you are, but you’ll start getting a better sense of the darkness and will eventually navigate your way around. Your greatest gift in the dark is your newfound abilities to embrace change, persist and keep going. These are skills you’ll have with you for the rest of your life. 6. The dawn is near. This to shall pass. The current situation has to move forward. Life is like the seasons, one will always follow the other and your situation will change, just like the seasons change. You’ll find a way to move on, discover the solution or get the break you’ve been waiting for. Don’t bask in life’s lows and dark places when light is just around the corner. Stay hopeful for a brighter tomorrow. Stay patient if things take a little longer than expected. Life sometimes serves up difficult situations. You’ll feel terrified, hopeless and helpless. Your experiences will feel pitch-black scary and lonely. The good news is that your life won’t stay this way. You can find your way out if you stay strong and persist. You’ll not only achieve significant growth and change, you’ll come out stronger. You’ll emerge with a newfound appreciation for where you’ve been and will learn lessons that last a lifetime. Your darkest hours are merely a setup for your greatest days ahead. Stay safe. xx