Challenges are an inevitable part of life. Whether it be challenging times, people or circumstances, most of us can relate to coming up against roadblocks in life that feel hard, unfair, or that can even be devastating at times.
Some people face the most unthinkable tragedies and somehow come out the other side stronger. Others crumble under the weight of the pressure and heartache they face.
In times of struggle, having a resilient spirit becomes an asset that seems to transform challenges into opportunities for growth.
The question then becomes, how do we learn and grow from our challenges instead of becoming trapped or swallowed by them? How do we shape that transformation to help us move forward, instead of leaving us stuck?
While there is no obvious or "one size fits all" solution to becoming more resilient, these are some of the ways that have helped me turn my challenges into opportunities for growth and self-transformation:
The lens we view our world through is as individual as we are. What we see and believe to be true, is not "the" truth, it is "our" truth. If the truth we live by is no longer serving us, or has us coming up against the same hard lesson over and over, perhaps it is time to look at adopting a different perspective that "will" move us forward. Changing our minds about something can be an extremely liberating act that expands our horizons. Looking at the same issue through a different lens has a way of opening up new doors of possibilities that can actually help us see things from a fresh and hopeful perspective. When we practice looking at life from different viewpoints, it becomes more natural to feel compassion for other people and for ourselves. With perspective, we can come closer to finding the lesson or opportunity for growth in just about any situation.
In order to move forward, we need to be honest with ourselves. What is it that we truly want? What do we need? How are we really feeling? Putting on a brave face or sugar coating things can create the illusion to everyone around us that everything is great, but if we aren't being honest with ourselves, it won't be long before a serious feeling of uneasiness creeps into our being. We may be able to temporarily trick ourselves into believing the façade, but we can't hide from ourselves for very long. I believe that the sooner we are honest with ourselves and honor ourselves by living from a place of integrity, the easier it becomes to face challenges with grace and a willingness to learn. The closer we bring the image we portray out into the world with our inner truth, the more at peace we will be. When we speak and live our truth, that congruency alone will help us feel an unwavering inner strength that will make it more fluid to move through challenges as they arise.
When we approach life ready, open and willing to move forward, that is exactly what we will do. The same is true for when we are closed off and refuse to budge on an issue that causes us angst... we will stay stuck with the same level of fervor. When we give ourselves permission to open up to the possibility of "unsticking" ourselves and moving forward, the world reacts by opening up to us. Sometimes being open to new possibilities and ways of thinking requires a leap of faith. It often means we are pushing past our comfort zones, which can be initially quite uncomfortable. When we do take that chance and give that gift to ourselves, we are rewarded through the transformation itself. Life is an amazing journey and we get to choose whether we experience it fully or not... the hard parts and all. If we can lean into the discomfort with a little more ease and openness to the learning, the lessons unfold in the most beautiful way.
When we are children, we explore our environments like little scientists thirsty to grow and learn in new ways. We are eager and ready to transform. Over time, we can become complacent and stuck and our spirit can feel broken through the challenges that seem unfair and bigger than life. I believe the way to help our spirit come back to that place of wholeness is to be curious about the different ways and options of moving through life. We can help transform our challenges into opportunities for growth by allowing the struggles to unfold, by moving 'through' the obstacles and by experiencing every little part without losing ourselves along the way. All throughout the journey of life, we are afforded opportunities to continually grow and expand our scope of what is possible. We are surrounded by so many incredible things, people and natural beauty. When we are open and inquisitive, we are more apt to find the inspiration to move forward, live fully, grow exponentially and heal great wounds. When we are curious about how we can grow through our struggles, we have more of a chance of coming through the other end stronger. We become more resilient by being gifted the opportunity to transform.
At the end of the day, what most of us really want is to feel good, to feel understood and to be loved. Sometimes the challenge is to get back to the place of experiencing those ways.
If you are ready, open and willing to move forward through a challenge, I definitely recommend giving one of the above ideas a try to see if it may be a right fit for you.
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