When life gets tough and overwhelming, do you wonder why you are having to deal with such troubles? In such difficult circumstances, it is natural to wonder “why me.” Sometimes, we are left pondering why bad things happen to good people, or why some people endure more pain and suffering than others. When we have these thoughts, there is a way forward, but it takes time for the clear, bigger picture to come into view. In this article, I share some personal lessons that have helped my outlook and resilience during life’s challenging episodes.
Absorb what resonates with you and make it your own. As we grapple with sadness, burnout, and anger, my hope is something here unlocks for you to see the grander, more hopeful, picture. Here is what adversity has taught me.
WISDOM – I always respect and appreciate the wisdom of my parents and elders. All the ups and downs in their lives have afforded them the emotional knowledge and understanding that only comes with time. Remember, every downfall is life’s way of laying the foundation for that knowledge. The more you fall and get up, the wiser and more adept you become at the journey of life. You only become wiser with experience – good or bad.
SUPPORT– You realize who is in your corner when you are at your lowest. The ones that stay and care without judgment are keepers for life. The broader takeaway is accepting help from this circle of support. It takes courage and humility to reach out and ask for assistance when you are always expected to have it all figured out.
HEAL - During turbulent times, we have the opportunity to mend broken relationships. It is during this time we determine if they are worth it and, if so, how we can heal them. Chances are that the other person is waiting to do the same so it matters not who extends that olive branch. Worthwhile relationships can weather a storm and still survive.
CHARACTER – As clichéd as it sounds, adversity builds character, but this is only possible when we are willing to face the truths of our situation. Once we begin the hard work of peeling off the layers, we start to see where and how we can change to become better in life. Developing this self-awareness and taking it forward is where the character building happens.
WORTH – The slow and painful climb back after hitting rock bottom is when we realize our worth. I have endured the same traumatic lessons over and over again only to realize that I need to strengthen my sense of self-worth. Nevertheless, this ascend from misery is the opportunity to see ourselves for who we are and not who the world expects us to be. Once you know your worth, not a single incident or person can rob you of it for long.
RESILIENCE – Getting back on your feet after a fall gets easier and easier. You learn healthier coping mechanisms; you lean on loved ones without hesitation; and, above all, you believe you can make it. The unshakeable confidence that you can and will be back on your feet in due time is the backbone of your healing.
HUMILITY – Hardship breeds humility and strips us of our egos. This is the time when we can accept that it is never too late to learn or begin again. Instead of functioning on auto-pilot, this is the time to introspect to become better for ourselves and others.
COMPASSION – We become more empathetic when we are in need of compassion. Heartache gives us insight into someone else’s pain and suffering. We can then accept that everyone carries baggage and past trauma; instead of judging and labeling them for it, we can make the effort to understand that trauma.
THERAPY – During life’s hard moments, the power of therapy is profound and immeasurable. If it was not for my therapist objectively weighing in on my situation over the last several months, I would still be in the weeds of self-doubt, depression, and worthlessness. A good therapist sees all that is shrouded for you and holds up a mirror to show you what they see from the outside in. Having this impartial presence is necessary when we cannot see beyond our negativity.
FAITH – It is easy to be hopeful and positive when life is going in your favor, but what happens to that hope and positivity when life gets tough? Absolutely nothing if you have unwavering faith in whatever feels right to you. For me, my faith is personal and deeply embedded in the higher power. Any difficult period in your life is a way for you to rekindle your faith in yourself, destiny, or the universe.
GRATITUDE – Your sense of gratitude is enhanced once you are beyond the trying times. Carrying this gratitude with you past the healing leaves you in a better position to face future downfalls you may experience. Take the time to see and feel how your troubles contributed to your betterment and life’s progression. Without a doubt, you will find something to be grateful for regardless of the calamity that has befallen you. Make that your anchor.
PATIENCE – When challenges come our way, we work to eradicate them as quickly as possible; however, sometimes, the process of overcoming them takes longer. In those circumstances, our difficult times teach us patience and perseverance. We learn to tirelessly work towards a resolution learning to be patient with our efforts and the results. Patience is one of the finest teachers in life, and it only makes us wiser, stronger, and more thoughtful of our actions and outlook.
PROBLEM SOLVNG – Hardship teaches us to fend for ourselves through trial and error. Sometimes, it requires us to be creative and think outside the box to figure out ways to cope with and better our situation. We may learn to think on our feet efficiently. We may also learn to process our emotions more successfully leading to manageable stress and minimal burnout. Real life problem solving equips us with practical intelligence, greater confidence, and perspective.
If you are still wondering “why me” then remember this: Ultimately, life is consciously choosing to work through the muck to feel more connected to our inner being. It is the art of shedding the layers and becoming truer to our whole selves. Every hardship is our opportunity to get closer to finding our true selves.