Live life as if everything is rigged in your favour. – Rumi
In life there are things we don’t want but have to deal with, things that show up that we’d rather be without, but still have to handle.
Every one of us loses or has lost something important.
Precious opportunities, lost possibilities, time and feelings we can never get back. It’s part of life’s rich pattern.
Sadly, there are no classes for dealing with loss and helping us thrive through difficult times.
We have to deal with loss of jobs, failure in relationships, or the death of someone we love; but no one tells us how. Mostly we learn through trial and error or trial by fire!
I’ve just returned from a trip to London where I’ve been helping and supporting my brother as he deals with a terminal illness. I’m emotionally and physically exhausted but I know it’s not the load that knocks me down, but the way I manage it. And it’s the same for you.
You might be carrying a really heavy burden right now, but you don’t have to let it rob you of your joy.
I’ve been practicing accepting the feeling of not knowing what’s happening next or where I am going, and training myself to love every experience and every emotion.
It isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do. I bet you know this already.
We all know it’s easy to get caught up in pending loss, or in the difficulty of any situation. And for some of us we turn inward, bottling up our emotions. Trying to hide our sensitivity or numb our feelings. And we manage it for a while.
But bottling up our feelings will eventually take its toll. We get sick or feel eternally tired for no seeming reason. Don’t do this to yourself.
1.Don’t be a lone wolf
Countless studies show that social relationships are the greatest thing since sliced bread as an antidote to unhappiness and a formula for greater well being, (read The Happiness Advantage).
If you’re feeling low or having a hard time dealing with what life is throwing your way, deepen your connection with friends or family. Reach out and allow those who you trust to support you. It’ll help you do more than survive, it’ll help you thrive.
Remember that how we view our world and experiences is largely caused by our mindset. When the going gets tough the tough need to get going…not towards isolation, but towards the healing and well being provided by friends and family.
If you truly want to lower your stress and fear and worry…don’t go it alone.
2.Not right now is ok
After loss you will discover the strength to move on one day, somehow, some time.
You’ll pick yourself up and find something beautiful to look at; the stars, the moon, the sky, the deep blue sea; you’ll lift your head, pick up your feet and move on. But it might not be right now or today.
Right now you might cry for most of the day.
Right now you might need help to sleep.
Right now you might not be hungry enough to eat.
Right now you don’t know what to do with the pain and sorrow and it’s okay.
There’s always tomorrow, or the next day or week or month.
The weird thing is that, whatever the loss, the world still keeps on turning.
Life goes on.
You might be facing a tragedy so overwhelming and huge in your world that you have no idea how you’ll keep on going. Yet you look around and everyone is carrying on as before, as though nothing’s changed.
It’s ok to fall apart, to be scared; what matters most is that you are respectful of yourself.
Every day determine your priorities and make sure nourishing your spirit and your heart is one of them.
Find the wisdom and gentleness to be good to yourself without worrying what anyone else has to say on the matter. When you’re taking care of others, don’t leave yourself behind.
4.Let it be
Do what it takes to get enough rest. Take naps if and when you can.
Everyone has their own unique response to stress, there is no “one size fits all” method.
There isn’t a single solution that works for us all or even in every situation, so experiment. Focus on what makes you feel calm and peaceful.
Emotions can be overwhelming, if you need help in dealing with them seek it. Don’t try to numb your pain, it needs to be felt if you’re to heal.
Forget what you’re supposed to do or say or feel, it’s time to let yourself be.
Our concept of ourself and the mindset we have towards situations determines our experiences in the world.
Within your state of mind lies an explanation for the phenomena of life. If your concept of yourself were different, you would see everything in your world differently and experience everything in the world differently.
You and I could have the very same experience but because our mindsets were different, the way we understood and dealt with the event would be different. Think of how, when witnesses to an incident are questioned, they have different ideas of what happened.
We see the world through the filters of how we see ourselves.
If your concept of yourself stays the way it is, everything in your world remains the same. We all know if we change the way we look at things the things we look at change. That’s just the way life works, use it to your advantage.
Rise to the challenge of bringing your greatest self into the world. Remember, when you take action the universe moves to support you. We’re all in it together.
If you’ve got anything to add or feel like sharing your wisdom on thriving during tough times, we’d love to hear from you.
Encourage one another.
20 thoughts on “How to Thrive in Times of Trouble”
I really admire this, Elle: “I’ve been practicing accepting the feeling of not knowing what’s happening next or where I am going, and training myself to love every experience and every emotion.” I’ve been thinking of you while you’re away and sending you love. Thanks for sharing this life-based insights on facing loss. My heart is with you.
Hello Sandra – thank you for your love and support. I truly appreciate and value you. 🙂
I’m so sorry to hear about your brother. I know what it’s like to care for someone in that situation. And I couldn’t agree more, it’s how you handle it. And not just with that, but many things that come your way.
I would have to say that acceptance helped me to deal with it also. You can tire yourself out trying to battle something that is beyond your control. It may be hard to accept at first but when you do it makes it easier to be present during the precious moments.
Hello Lea, great point you make about battling something outside our control. The only power we truly have is our power to choose what to think and how to respond. And we both know there are circumstances when this just isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do. But doing it brings us greater peace. Thank you for your wise words. 🙂
Elle, you’ve included so many powerful strategies in this for maintaining resilience in difficult times, thank you. It’s critical to deal with your own emotions, particularly when helping others through what can seem to be even more difficult times – it’s easy to think we’re the luckier ones at this time and suppress emotions as a result. I love your message of reaching out to others to help you through. And you also made me think when you say “You might be facing a tragedy so overwhelming and huge in your world that you have no idea how you’ll keep on going. Yet you look around and everyone is carrying on as before, as though nothing’s changed.” Whenever my life goes pear-shaped, I always look around at ‘normal life’ carrying on around me, and gain great comfort from knowing that it’ll be right there for me to slot back into when I feel good and ready. Love and thoughts x
Hello Laura, what a cool idea to gain comfort from the fact that the world is still turning and people are still smiling and loving and enjoying life and will be there for you when you’re ready. Brilliant thought. And thank you for joining the conversation. 🙂
Oh Elle, I am so sorry about your brother.
Times HAVE been amazingly tough this past month or so. I do remember the first time I went through a serious issue how amazed I was that people were laughing and the world just kept on spinning in spite of my grief.
Hello Julie, how lovely to ‘see’ you again. I’m sorry times have been tough for you too this month. It isn’t that either of us haven’t been here before, and though it doesn’t get easier, I find I have greater resources to call on as I develop myself personally. I bet this is true for you too. Though I’m not too sure how your psychic abilities come into play here. It’d be cool to hear more from you on this. 🙂
So sorry to hear about your brother, Elle. I know that it is a tough one when family members are ill or suffering. You offer wonderful tips here on how to continue on through the challenges. I love this line, “Every day determine your priorities and make sure nourishing your spirit and your heart is one of them.” Thanks for sharing and all the best to you!!
Hello Cathy and thanks for your loving support. 🙂
Hi Elle, such a beautiful post, it is very inspiring and real, there are times that we get stuck, but we truly need to rise to the challenge of bringing our greatest self into the world. Thanks for sharing another great article. 🙂
You know Sherill I always think since we’re all in this together, we probably have had a lot of the same experiences and it’s always good to look at things from a different angle. As always I appreciate you stopping by and sharing your perspective. 🙂
I’m sorry to hear about your brother. Hugs!
Totally agree with what you said: We see the world through the filters of how we see ourselves.
Thanks for inspiring us to change the way we look at things!
It’s so true Evelyn…until we change the way we see ourselves our life never changes for long. 🙂
Thanks for this useful advice. My favorite is “Not right now is ok.” I always say to my son, “It’s for right now, not forever.” Accepting where we are at any time and realizing that it too will change is so important in the long run!
I love what you tell your son Debbie…not right now is definitely not for ever. 🙂
Our instincts usually tell us to do the exact opposite of this advice which only makes things worse. Expressing our feelings and letting things be can be so healing. Having little kids, I’ve watched “Frozen” many, many times. On an almost daily basis, something spurs me to sing “Let it go.” It seems that we humans find the act of letting go so hard.
Hi Elle..am so sorry for your brother.. I pray that God gives you all the encoragement and strength you need…and its true when you mention..its how one manages a situation.. “the cross one carries” sort of speak..I really admire who you are as a person…and how you reach out to people. I do believe in spiritual strength and its potential healing But sometimes it seems like nothing can help…at times based on serious on going situations. But I do admire your words. Sometimes things happen in life where you feel you haven’t done enough..even when you’ve given your heart and soul for family member or a good close friend..whatever the case. When downfalls hit you very hard. We always need to do what it takes to pick ourselves up..go forward head up high and take care of yourself. But..still….what is the best way?
Elle, from personal pain, comes immense wisdom. These strategies you share here are proof of that. Thank you for sharing, I know these will help many many souls in troubling times.
Hi Zeenat…I love your wise words. And may others who read this article be truly helped.