Some of life’s best lessons are learned through the worst times. ~ Ani DiFranco
Living doesn’t always comes easy.
Life can seem like a series of losses. Loss of loved ones. Lost possibilities. Lost relationships. Lost opportunities. Lost jobs. Lost feelings that never return in the same way.
I lost my brother this week and it hurt. I’ve lost my parents and my husband and now my brother. Times like this can be a test of our souls, of our inner power and because of this they can also be the biggest opportunity for our growth into a greater self.
Loss is part of being alive and when things come crashing down around you, and you find yourself going through your worst times, you’ll need strong habits to fall back on.
I’ve spent a lot of time experimenting with habits that would help me to not totally fall apart when the worst times rolled around.
Here’s some of the things I’ve learned and I encourage you to remember that in your greatest struggles you will discover a strength you didn’t know you had.
1. Look within
You might lose your good health, you might lose your job, lose a loved one, go through difficulties with others, be involved in divorce but if you stay connected to your inner self, however bowed you are, you won’t be broken.
The outer circumstances of your life matter, but they can’t take away your inner peace and strength without your consent. Once you become aware that happiness doesn’t lie in your circumstances, but in your heart and soul, you have discovered who you are at the deepest level. And this inner source of peace and happiness will be there for you no matter what.
You can connect to it through choice, even when surrounded by sadness.
2. Open your arms
We all want to protect ourselves from things that hurt or wound, but we can’t.
Life isn’t perfect and wanting it to be so only leads to unhappiness. Joy, pain and all the feelings in between are part of the reality of living.
You can try to avoid experiencing anger, loneliness, or grief, or having to deal with difficult experiences or being treated badly. But in the end, life always has it’s way.
Better to be compassionate with yourself when life deals a blow, and open your arms to all that life has on offer.
It isn’t always easy, I know…but don’t let your challenges rob you of the chance to find the key that unlocks the door to a greater and more fulfilling life.
3. Stop taking things for granted
Don’t let all the beautiful things in your life become invisible because you see them so often.
I sometimes fall prey to this.
But when I find that myself complaining more than I’m grateful, I turn my sights back towards all the magic that life has to offer and remind myself that whilst I’m focusing on stones, I might miss all the diamonds that are right under my nose.
Life itself is an awesome gift. The question is are we ‘taking it for granted or taking it with gratitude’. Reflect upon your blessings and you’ll discover you still have plenty.
4. Make the journey easier
It’s not easy when we’re alone in our grief, when we’re so frustrated we could scream or when we’re just plain old scared. That doesn’t mean we give up. You can get through these experiences. As Rumi says: “Your pain can become your greatest ally in life’s search for love and wisdom.”
Make peace with yourself and your past, and allow compassion and loving kindness to heal and bless you in ways you might not yet be able to imagine.
What if instead of wishing life was a certain way you decided to let that go and simply wish to feel happy; wish for guidance to open your heart to all of life and wish you could embrace every aspect of it with love.
Then the journey, difficult as it is, will become a little easier.
I’d love to hear from you. If you’ve been going through some worst times lately, what’s the biggest lesson that you’ve learned so far that you’d like to share with us? Please let us know in the comments below.
Your insight may be exactly what someone else needs.
P.S. If you’ve got clients, colleagues or friends working their way through their worst times, send them this post. It might be the very thing they need to help them move forward.
Encourage one another.