“Sometimes when things are falling apart, they may actually be falling into place.”
I am not sure who said this (so if any of you know, please speak up), but when I saw it the other night on Pinterest, I immediately “repinned” it onto my Words to Live By board, and it inspired this blog.
The severity of a crisis or challenge is determined not necessarily by the traumatic situation or event, but by your reaction to it.
The word “crisis” in Chinese is formed with the characters for “danger” and “opportunity.” A crisis presents traumatic disruption or threat, but it also presents a unique opportunity for growth.
While you are in crisis, you are forced to function outside of your normal comfort zone. The sheer nature of a crisis or struggle creates a certain amount of present moment awareness, which is where the solutions live.
Our natural inclination is to look and get away from a crisis situation as soon as we possibly can. This desire to avoid pain and upset is a natural human response, but moving through or away from a crisis without taking the time to understand how it has impacted you can be a mistake. The feelings that get kicked up do not disappear because we stop looking at what happened. They go underground and continue to impact your life in ways that can be very confusing. Denying feelings and pushing them down will eventually distort them in such a way that it is difficult to understand why you might be responding to current events in your life in a particular way.
Below are a few ideas, influenced by an ancient set of Buddhist concepts, to maximize your growth/benefit from any crisis or challenge.
All Experiences Are Part of Your Journey
If you can accept that all experiences, even the ones you do not want, are part of your life journey, you will look at a crisis or challenge with different eyes. Expecting that there will be difficulties along the way sets you up to react less negatively when things happen. Having patience with the process of your crisis will help you gain insight. Patience allows you to welcome difficulty with strength and endurance rather than fear, anxiety, and avoidance. None of us likes to be in turmoil, but if we can endure the turmoil with strength, without complaining or denying, we become ennobled by it.
Find the Gem
In every painful experience, there is a gem of self-learning. In order to gain the wisdom and growth from the experience, you must be willing to give up a victim mentality and be open to the profound life lesson that is waiting there for you. There is a gem in that mine of murk and mud!
Be Grateful for Everything
During the crisis, if you can remember to be grateful for all of your blessings, your pain will be lessened. It is so easy to focus on what is wrong, but no matter what is wrong, there are still so many things that are right. Gratitude softens the harsh sting of a crisis or challenge and helps to instill hope in your heart.
I hope you find some of these suggestions helpful. I am always interested in your thoughts and your own experience with a crisis creating an opportunity for growth in your life, so please be generous and share your pearls of wisdom or questions, right here with us.
Have an amazing week, and, as always, take care if you.
Love Love Love
Terri Cole, founder and CEO of Live Fearless and Free, is a licensed psychotherapist, transformation coach, and an expert at turning fear into freedom. A cornerstone of Terri’s practice, meditation, was the impetus for her recently released guided mediation CD Meditation Transformation. Terri can be found on Facebook and Twitter.