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Natural Awakenings Lehigh Valley

“Life Is Not The Way It’s Supposed To Be; It’s The Way It Is.

My thoughts for the month

“Life is not the way it’s supposed to be; it’s the way it is. The way you cope is what makes the difference.”

Life is a series of peaks and valleys.  Sometimes you’re up, and sometimes you’re down.  It’s during the difficult times that we need a little more support and guidance. I’m a firm believer in that it’s how you respond in your moments of adversity that really defines the type of person you are. When you can improve your ability to navigate the difficult times, you not only live a happier life, but you also grow as a person. Here are some pointers on how to make getting through hard times less difficult:

Stay Positive: I know this may sound cliché, but the thing about clichés is that they’re typically true. Staying positive is only a small part of getting through the difficult times, but it’s an important part. When you stay positive, you’re putting yourself in the best position possible to not only make it through those bad times, but you’re becoming a better person in the process.

Get Creative: There are times when you can’t do much to change your situation. You just have to deal with it. There are other times when you can actively work to make the situation better. The solution won’t be in plain sight, because if it was, you probably wouldn’t have gotten in that situation in the first place. But if you can take a step back and see the bigger picture, you may discover some things that can help you.

Focus on What You Can Control, Not What You Can’t:  Some situations are beyond your control and no matter what you do, you can’t change a thing. You’re setting yourself up for frustration when you focus your time and energy on things you can’t control. You’re also making the situation seem bleaker than it actually is because you’re focusing on the negatives. 

Instead, focus on the things that are within your control because that’s the only way you can make a change that’s actually going to help you. Make a list of everything you can control about the situation and divert all of your focus toward those things.Anything that’s not on the list doesn’t get any attention.

Forgive: If someone else is at fault for the bad situation you find yourself in, the natural response is to harbor anger or resentment towards the person(s) or country. You can’t really get through a difficult time when your every thought is about how upset you are with the person who got you into this mess. It just makes things more difficult.

Maybe the difficult time you’re going through is a direct result of something you did. I’ve been there before, and I know I continually beat myself up about it. I couldn’t forgive myself. I almost felt obligated to be hard on myself.

The problem with that is, it only makes things worse. You get caught in this revolving door of self-hatred and feeling worse, and you’re caught in a swirl of anger and frustration and self-doubt. It’s ultimately a recipe for disaster.

Be Kind to Yourself:  You need to care for yourself to survive tough times. Take a walk through the park, lift some weights, read an amazing book. It doesn’t matter what you do, just do something that gets your mind and body engaged at a higher level than wallowing in self-pity. By doing this you will come out the other side in a better frame of mind and you will be in a better place.

Onward and upward

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