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how to deal during difficult times

Sometimes, really hard things happen in life.

If you numb out the difficulty with a bottle of wine, four hours of television, a shopping spree, or working 12 hours a day you’re missing a golden opportunity … to be human.

You’re supposed to bump into challenges and get bruised by hard stuff.
You’re supposed to feel a tsumani of emotion from time to time.
You’re supposed to break down and break through.

Of course, life doesn’t want you to suffer, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be pain. It’s in allowing ourselves to be present with our pain and process through it that we are able to bypass suffering.

No matter how much you try to avoid feeling what you’re feeling – whether it’s with smoking, drinking, gaming, going cold, getting hard, fucking, shopping, eating, working, sleeping, medicating – what you repress will emerge, you can be sure of that. When it emerges, it usually creates a whole lot of suffering. You might sabotage a relationship, flare up on your kids, get sick, burn out or go dim.

Feeling the pain is easier than struggling with the suffering.
Welcome the difficulty, the dark night, the devastation.
Stay with it. Breathe through it. Be mindful.

When you numb, distract, deflect, or avoid the hard stuff, you loose out on fully experiencing the good stuff too.

Feeling trapped helps your appreciate freedom.
Experiencing chaos helps you appreciate peace.
Experiencing loss helps you appreciate what you have.
Experiencing the darkness helps you to appreciate the light.
Experiencing heartbreak helps you appreciate how damn good it feels to be wholehearted.

The good news?
It gets easier.

Being present with pain, feeling feelings, dealing with difficulty are mental muscles that get stronger the more you use them. Once you get through it and you’re settled on the other side, you’ll wonder what you were so afraid of.

Being present with, and processing, pain may not sound like your idea of a good time. But, in only pursuing what is good, we don’t allow ourselves to experience what is real.

It’s the realness of life that allows us to live freely and love deeply.

Life is calling you to feel, to step up, to make the call, to be brave.
You will get to the other side.
And, it will be glorious.


Photo credit: Catherine Just captured the moment.