You gain strength, courage and confidence in every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do. – Eleanor Roosevelt
The only way out is through
When I think back to the darkest, most difficult times of my life, I remember wondering how I was going to get through it. In those moments, I was so distraught and so weak that I couldn’t wrap my mind around the thought of feeling okay again.
But here I am. I survived, and I am okay. The pain I once felt doesn’t exist now.
When you start doubting if you can move forward, remember how far you have come. Remember all the battles you have already won.
It’s very powerful to think about life in this way. Think back to the last challenge you faced – losing a job, ending a relationship, suffering with depression, etc. – and remember how emotionally shattered you felt in that moment. Now, compare it to how you feel today. Chances are it was a blessing in disguise. You’re grateful that relationship ended because now you are with someone who makes you happier. You’re happy you lost that job because it opened the door to something better and more fulfilling.
Whatever the challenge, these periods of crisis provide us the opportunity to find our inner strength, learn to let go and move on. Here are the principles I follow on the road to healing.
1. Thoughts only have as much power as you give them
Your mind is good at playing tricks on you, but you have to fight back.
When thoughts come up that illicit a sense of fear, be aware the fear is there and let it go. Know that you are here in this moment, and those thoughts will leave.
2. Use your past to your advantage
My philosophy is, you’ve already lived a number of years, and your life experiences have brought you to where you are today. I say embrace your past! You’ve learned from it already. Take those life lessons and apply them into your life today. Make them work for you in a different way.
3. The only way out is through
Give yourself permission to grieve and feel what you’re feeling. While your impulse may be to ignore the pain, suppressing it will only prolong the healing process. Yes, suffering is uncomfortable, but it’s important to let yourself feel.
4. Accept what you cannot change
Let things be, without forcing life to conform to rigid expectations. Work with what life offers rather than compulsively trying to control it. Accepting reality for the way it is will allow you to move forward.
5. Have an attitude of gratitude
Never lose sight of all the good in your life. Being grateful not only helps us deal with adversity, but it increases our happiness and sense of well-being. Gratitude is a natural state of bliss, so why not embrace it?
Are you ready to say goodbye to doubt and uncertainty? Remember all the obstacles you have already overcome. Replace fear with faith and believe you will get through this challenge too.